I remember the night I brought that guy home not to talk but to fuck & my roommate didn’t knock – later she expected me to apologize for not locking my door never mind that she didn’t knock or that she wasn’t innocent either – in my new house the door has no locks but my new roommates know to knock especially when a stranger’s boots are outside the door & they don’t care who I fuck or when or if I have a reason or if they never come back again & I find that I like not having locks on my door.

I remember
As I’m sitting
On the cliff
How the rope
With all its
Knots & rips
Would swing
After I hurtled from its length
To arc in the sky
Choppy water
How in those brief
Freeze seconds of simplicity and
I would catch
A glimpse
Of it weaving
In the sun
I slapped
Through the water
Of the Pend Oreille
With stinging force
Then clawed my way
I remember the night in Havre with the Hot Damn that started out full & was empty in the morning that started out simple & ended bloated with rumors & suggestions – & I remember the fact that we kicked the other roommates in the hotel that night out into the hall to fend for themselves – & I remember that I fuzzily wondered how I had gotten my clothes on in the right order until I realized I hadn’t – because my belt was backwards & the only reason I noticed was because the lettering that said MJRA Queen was upside down & all I could think about when I put it on the right way was – I wished I had never been a queen at all.

I remember the time I was simply floating on the current occasionally paddling my way back & I looked at the swing in time to see a girl none of us knew panic in mid-swing on the rope & release – she landed in the rocks & I remember how the blood spread into the water & how we packed her back to the road & sent her on her way with her friends – we didn’t call the ambulance – she said we were all fucking nuts & we laughed because that was fine & we thought we weren’t lost but we were & so was she – but we didn’t know it yet – I think she was ok at least I never heard otherwise.

I remember
The day in Missoula
My mom
Asked why I wanted a blue bra
That was more expensive than
The beige one
Before I answered she added
No one will see it anyway
I looked at her
Pasted across pale skin
Blue eyes
And red hair that was not natural
She turned redder than my hair
It was two hours before
She spoke again
It had nothing to do with bras
Or who would see them
I was
21 & I thought of
The other memory of expectations
Of her saying
Only nasty girls
Get their tongue pierced
I heard later that
My father was less than
But it didn’t
Matter because I got drunk & blacked out
Woke up three hours after it was supposed to happen
A hangover
No phone
So they won.
I remember the day I realized what I loved I could never have & I cried because it tore a piece of heart that was dearly treasured from me & left an empty hole that sorrow filled – that I can’t remove – it makes me grey when I see others do what once was mine & the red & black jacket hanging from my closet door in plain sight of my every hour – haunts me – but I can’t force myself to pack it away especially when the rodeo grounds are only a block & a half away from my heart & its hole filled with sorrow.

I remember walking in the night how he looked the last time he left in the middle of the night & I think he knew then he wouldn’t be let in again – because I was tired of fucking him & pretending to be interested in what he said – I felt nothing when he smiled at me the next time he saw me – I was distracted with someone else who entertained me.
For a while.

I remember
Wrapped in
The first time
I saw
My Brother
I remember
It was
The first time
I felt

I remember the night I wanted to go home – away from friends & drunken laughter because nothing I drank erased the emptiness rolling in my gut – I went away from them – the rolling emptiness remained when the morning sun slinked through the window to laugh at me.

I remember
Into the fire
By the flames
So free
I wanted
To be them
I remember wanting
To cry
I could never be
The flames
My heart
Loved so much
I remember
Killing the fire
When it was time
My heart
For its
Smoldering surrender
Its smoking grave.

I remember when I saw him standing in the rain & the mud one leg dragging woefully in spring’s soup– I remember how I tried to save him – knowing I could not – why do I always try to save what I cannot.

I remember the night I played Apples to Apples & put down an AIDS card to go with the Irresistible card – I don’t think I won either – maybe it had something to do with the four plus glasses of wine & being cross-eyed by ten o’clock.

I remember
How the rain
Covered the darkness
Slid down
Felt like
All the tears
I couldn’t let

I remember the night we sat on the dock at the kid pond outside of Dillon – how we planned & convinced ourselves we could make it – inside we knew the truth of our lies but we hoped we could change & those lies would become truth – they never did & it was over but we wouldn’t admit it for months to come until the night we made up with a bottle of Pendleton in between us because we needed to make up to move on – & I moved on faster – when you left me a message last week that said call if you want to talk – I never called.

I remember
The day
I can’t
How I lost
24 hours
To nothingness
I remember
Waking up in
White walls
Choked by tubes
Stabbed by needles
They tell me
I was
A possible
Drug OD
Even a
Suspected spinal infection
Ripped IVs
From flesh
Babbled incoherently
I don’t remember
The in between
So I wonder
If I was
Somewhere else
No lights on
Or was I
Me as I truly
Can be.

I remember saying fuck clay pigeons I like to watch shit bleed – saying fuck the pain I want another – saying pour me another fuck tomorrow – I remember saying fuck it & walking away but I haven’t been able to wash my hands of it yet.

I remember how the words taught me to fly – never mentioned how to land – I remember the first time I came down from my parchment sky – it hurt so bad I wasn’t sure if I could bring myself to go up again – I did so maybe I am not a coward.

I remember
How I stole
My own pride
Drowned it
In booze
And tears
Nothing remained
Bubbles popping
On the surface of
The night blue abyss
I remember
Trying to save it
I’ve never
Been a good swimmer

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