TALKING TO A GIRL ON MISSION STREET
Well anyway you can only write one story about the flood. Smoke spilled out of her mouth as she spoke and her hair spiked down over her face in shiny triangles. Because after you write one it seems like everything turns out to be about Noah, everything you write on after that. And then you try super hard to avoid writing about not just the story itself but also variations and retellings and similar themes, and pretty soon every poem ends with the opposite of G/d destroying the world, or if He ends up going for it then in your poem no one is chosen to survive so the boat’s empty except for the two-by-two animals and beasts, the captain’s wheel thing just spins by itself with no one to steer so the barge slashes around in the gale and skyscraper waves, wildly bucking and tipping and the maelstrom rips wooden boards and rigging off the side of the ship.
She flicks away her cigarette pulls a fresh one out of her bag. Ha ha, do you have a light? Takes a long deep breath of smoke and lets it drift slowly out of her mouth again in little waves and then she’s silent for a while and when she starts to talk she’s not looking at me anymore. Everything ends up as some stupid bible imitation or childish parody, anyway. Her eyes are clear grey staring off in the darkness and then suddenly they snap back onto me like a wolf’s. Seriously, she says. Everything I or you will ever write. She doesn’t smile.
The Girl on the Fridge