« Sampson Starkweather | Contents | Stephanie Burns on Brigitte Byrd »

Stephanie Berger

MY DIARY


Dear Diary,

You are a four-headed liar, and I don’t have to take it.  I pen this against you, pen pressed against you, soft, in the shape of that political cartoon.  This party is a joke.  I forgive you.  The first time I fucked in the shape of a frog, I was so self-conscious, a chorus of balloons around my head.  I understand.  The videographer, my junior high school best friend.  I’ll never get close to anyone again.

Dear Diary,

My alcoholism functions best against you.  It really pops against the black room.  Don’t you think it’s striking?  Don’t you enter through the back room in the gallery?  VIP?  All the paintings are rolled up in paper and red plastic carpet, alluding to the subdued glamour of their impending transport.  There is no light.  You don’t have a choice.  There is a vague honeycomb of the foot when stepping off the subway.

Dear Diary,

What kind of bees make milk? he asked.  I will never be as beautiful as you.  One day I will stand up and push the table over.  I will remember everything, and everyone will be there.  Teacup, teaspoon, sugar granule….  It’s terrible to be so ordinary.  Always a diamond, never a diamond’s rest against my nose.  My alcoholism functions well against the philosophers and their noses, and against what happened to them.

Dear Diary,

I stood up inside the dream.  I pushed the table over.  Everyone was watching.  My boyfriend wasn’t interested in the repetition of motion, I think, because it was so familiar to him.  He didn’t see the raucous black sun of a difference between: this repetition, our dog, our family.  Come home, I said.  I want you to go home.

Dear Diary,

You can always teach a dog old tricks he’s forgotten.  No, I take that back, he probably remembers.  He’s a god, he’s a god.  You can’t teach a god, you can’t teach a dog.  You can’t take the guard out of the dog.  Or the street or the little red missile or the trash out of the dog that broke into the trash.  You can always drink against the dog, in bed.  My fortune read, The bed is only as soft as the pillow.

Dear Diary,

We sleep together every night, and yet, you’ve never entered my dream.  Come on in, the water’s wet and always boiling.  You never eat the things I cook for you.  Don’t you like figs?  Don’t you like me?  Don’t trust the woman isn’t a fig. 

Dear Diary,

The woman said the hole inside me is God-shaped.  Can you be a God-peg if I roll you up?  Will you promise not to threaten my dog?  Why does every abuse story start with some furled reading material?  No one enjoys my eyes but you.  Sometimes I lie, even to my mother. 

Dear Diary,

My body’s entire process has shut down.  I am more stone-like than the sea.  It’s a good thing you love my matching immaculate insides.  These eyelids, the most curious machine.  Shut them down, and they never close.  A body at rest can move at rest.

Dear Diary,

Together we will save the world, and when we don’t, one of us will fall off the edge.  My head will be a crate of butterflies falling off the wagon, but not before the wagon slips over the edge.  When you touched my neck a boulder fell.  I always wanted to be named after a canyon.   

Dear Diary,

The woman warned me not to “fall off the wagon.”  I guess I fell against it, this anger having hardened in the shape of a weathered sun. The landscape is black in memory, fluorescent in scope.  The stars may be fire, but the moon is stone and even brighter.  I am the sea, and the sea is never moving.  Welcome to the black room.



« Sampson Starkweather | Contents | Stephanie Burns on Brigitte Byrd »