Saturday, October 27, 2012

broken cars and stolen bones

            The Russian girl lisps when she’s on cocaine. Gives it to me subtly, in a sudden tweak of daylight, and we trot off triumphant in our own unique way. Craving scotch, loose and tipping over a bit, minus zero and suddenly in love plus a few too. She speaks of her village and her grandmother’s pirozhki. We take the temperature of parking meters and try to kill a few pigeons with just our looks. She smokes Pall Malls down to the filter, and winks when she’s happy. She spends the rest of her time kicking ass. Don’t bother me, buddy, with your tips on fashion, with your raven-at-my-window-with-a-broken-wing sadness. I’m settled and the score’s knotted at one. And that’s enough and all we want. The bars are all calling my name. So, drink away the cabs and kick the pinball machine down the boulevard. There’ll never be another way to scream, “Hotdog!” out the window. Not like this. Not only and ever like this at all. She’s got a mustache on her coffee mug and barbwire in her smile. Just trading mistakes for pinwheels, tossing silver chopsticks at a bum who’s sitting Indian style in the gutter while I tell an out-of-work fortune teller, “Everyone I know is either splitting up or getting hitched.” We stand still under a streetlight and kiss the frogs from the sewer grates while the wind sings our favorite song. It’s closer to four in the morning than it’s ever been. Somebody whispers, “She’s a walrus and she don’t like black.” We wander both sides of the street until the moon’s sunk and all the stars have gone shopping for silverware. My nickels are all spent. The Russian girl’s parlor hopping. Her hands find their stubborn way through the folds of my attire. She’s outside the law and she’s honest as all hell to boot. We stride with Stanislaus-County soda-pop-bottle mirrors while white bats dart and swoop above. We get as far as we shouldn’t, and then keep going. Nothing’s rushed or poignant but the plunk and drizzle of a little rain. Napoleon’s on the roof. We get by with a bottle of decent scotch and marching orders from Aristotle. It don’t matter. I quit staring at or in windows long ago. Nothing proper. Nothing avocadoed to a mayonnaised bun. Bronze trumpets and hirsute soldiers of the poor, born-late halfbacks and Tupperware salesmen and Montgomery Clift dolls in a sidewalk trashcan. Sold my TV for another drag of love. And nothing’s over. And nothing’s too much and not enough. But the Russian girl’s moving on to religious material. She waves armies home with never-kissed goodbyes. We stay up all night and shower at the Y in the morning. We cook breakfast on the hot concrete. The stray dogs bark for more and get what’s left, no matter what’s gone or far, or sleeping off the rest. We matter because we don’t. Don’t get any ideas. There’ll be more than enough change left to keep us the same. The Russian girl’s gone off to raise scorpions and leafcutter ants. She gets phone calls from Istanbul, and St. Petersburg too. There’s nothing left to steal. The Russian girl’s gone for bad. The Russian girl’s boiling crude oil in coffee cans. The Russian girl’s drinking stale beer in the morning and chewing nicotine gum. The Russian girl’s on the lam and in love with a voodoo doll of who I used to be. And me? I’m just kelp floating off on what just so happens to be her sea. Cue the piano music and shoot all the marathon runners. We’re taking chances with computer-repair-shop junkies. And the night’s still curdled with Debussy’s leftovers. And the nooses are all undone. And the Russian girl, she’s twitching and yowling to nothing new under the sun.