from Still Places To Go
by Paige Taggart

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*

Skin and skin if there’s more of it. Rubbed surfaces with skin; encased it, pushed between glass and oh, ledges. Remembering what it’s like to feel the past. Not a problem to disjoint numbness with numbness. I thought, I’ll go home and sew myself a new leg. Go home and bite the hell out of an armchair. It needs me to sit there; require each other, the way loneliness is a quality of visible absence. Already decked out in blood gown.




*

Three-legged dog enters view. Women wrestle for power over the neighborhood. My color is obtrusive, take the measuring-tape and stretch my weight out. I’ve come to this new place to meet flesh and all I’ve met are bones. Some premonition, unfigured. Gravely we have all been ex-patriots of the art-as-book. Follow the camera. It’s wide and ironic.




*

People buy shit off street vendors on the island. Have been known to go mad mostly. Mad is future composite of those lucky enough not to be land-locked. Preferred format heightens cloud exposure. Music reminds me that place is extinguishable.




*

Letters and numbers hooked eye-to-eye on transient map. Mostly chatter now, strung up in chords of high times and: do depart tonight. Meet up hand-in-hand. What’s with the foot in the mouth to suppress the voice-box. It’s as if it were still summer. Let’s meet-up at the fork-in-the-road. As of late all entrances require a photo id. Young beauty on stallion, a must-see.




*

I am nodding off to sleep with a main attraction. Embarrassed to curve cardboard and bend messages: do contain self. Try to invite acid back. Promise fame to amend half my ankle in henna with a thick gold chain. Lock my neck up. Facilitate remembrance to petition my will. Tie my collar down. Send me gifts in jail. Still waters move deep in photorealism.




*

Light floods through. A pop-out portrait collection. Unable to synchronize our hysterics (how obvious she’s devised image). I’m not brave enough to tell her: no. Her ego’s thick in sanguine gown. I destroy tools that in past built mementos. Tacked upon maps labeling: been here. I take care not to undo the pain my lies have caused. Seal a t-shirt with this draftsmanship. Continue to walk around funny on the treadmill, all sweaty in the noose.




*

It rains on her shoulder near mine. Staccato of: makes me more alive without protection. Her inertia moves forward in yellow boots. She copies what’s on flyers attached to posts. Presses thumb through journal to find articles about extinction. I forgot to pick-up my copy of The Failing Enemy. Forgot to put mask back on. Fumes seep through in darkroom. The handle meets the open door; step out. Come home. Come back. Grass.




*

Look: she has shadows again. Long list of names to pull from binders. Decide whose territory to bash first. Have achieved near balance, she draws out new map. Nobody in middle, neither symbolic or an easy first-draft. She concludes in her own epitaph: everybody shall have nice weather




*

Fall and end up: nothing here for me. I wound down light. My glass eyes shrink. I want to hire a large staff to just stand behind me. I shoot missiles through letters, blast pictographs curved along the belt. I bend my palms to actually shape: the tent. I pinch her. Promise one day to grow gardens, digging holes with plastic swords. I haven’t lived in a combat zone but literally: this is me.




*

I jump off a cliff and am glorious with a ring around my finger. A debris filled milieu, close to hail, greater chaos. I fell as a rodeo vendor and sold tickets to the 1893 World’s Fair. Have always had that western virus passed down through ancestor’s thick skin. I guess I originate from somewhere that has a preemptive beginning. A photograph of some memory I always wanted. Weaved in sepia tones. The performance heritage, committed shelf-life to albums. My fourth great aunt a trick rider invented the game: Olly olly oxen free.