OLD TAMPONS

Long distance relationships are like believing in God and do you want to believe in God again?

From the corner of the room I can see the mummy of an old tampon, the last thing she leaves me before departing back to Boston and there is a slow sunrise. I live like my West Coast, blue and large and dangerous. See for example, the Pacific ocean. Jane leaves my house wearing her black dress before her chocolate cookies are finished baking, and burning and crumbling inside my shitty oven and I like her short black dresses and the way she is hurting because she has to leave me. If the look on her face had to be words, when she turns back around in the slight moment of white and yearning and standing there in the dark, they would be goodbye and Jesus and please do call me. Please call me when my plane lands.

I tell her on a note she finds later in her jacket pocket at the airport: Fear expands me as well. She texts me about it and I don’t answer my phone right away. For a few days I don’t answer.

Glass balls are dropping everywhere in the cities of America and the skies are all on fire, blue and orange and yellow daggers. Fireworks and new years. Crowds of warm people. New York City and the need to be resolved. Jane asks me would you like to watch television on the television? And I say of course. What are you kidding? I would love to do that with you. Much later when she says it, the word Jesus means complete and whole agony of the heart, and Christ means Christ. For a moment there is a moment and we take off everything. She takes off her dress and she pulls loose my belt. The word Christ means that was good, your tongue inside of me and swelling like that. Jane is a girl that knows how to get down and then back up again. She knows how to drink wine and how to drink wine and how to make a linguist useless, because I can speak forty different languages and none when she plays her dance music.

All the ends of the brain are saying hello and I am high again. Before I meet her, Jane is a deity because she lives so far away, the girl lives in Boston. Think about how New Gods are walking inside bars and coffee shops all the time, making the boys feel the size we have not yet known. All the time, we are witnessing these NEW GODS, magnetic people that tickle with you with imaginings of a future. Jane is on her plane and she is sadder and sadder and there is no balm more soothing for a man than when he knows he can cause sadness in a woman. Milan Kundera says this. I say this. I say more, please. I say somehow, I am a California boy toy.

And how did we get here? Me and her and you out there.

To fuck a God is how a person feels infinity. To love a person is how to feel finite again. To know what it is to know is more difficult than both of these.

After Jane is gone I have to go clock in to work and I am late. My friend Alyssa arrives to the Food Cooperative, unaware of what loss I feel, and she tells me she is gaining weight. And I disagree with her right away. What are you kidding? I tell her, I don’t think so. I think that you’re merely just appearing. Turn around.



(Richard Chiem:  Above all he believes there are lovers. The co-founder of driving home press and the editor of Vertebrae, a literary poetry and comics journal, Richard is currently a director for a virtual reading series, the eye reading series, and a co-director of a real time reading series, the Friends in High Places Reading Series. He was selected to read in the New Writing Series in 2007 and won the UCSD Stewart Award prize for poetry in 2009 and the DimeStories Competition 2009: SDSU vs. UCSD. His work has been published in the Purple & Gray and on Linh Dinh's blog, Detainees. He blogs at: http://richardchiem.wordpress.com/)