Atmosphere
by J. Reuben Appelman

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I.

I wish you were lonely.  You would call me if you were lonely.  You would ride me into the sea, a yellow bird on a whale.  Eventually I would eat you, but I wouldn't know that yet.  I wouldn't be able to say one thing is food.  I wouldn't know what you are when there is nothing but sea, and distance.  And chlorine and pharmaceuticals.  And distance.  (This is a physical lightness beginning as not. You hug your bears.  You hear bombs going off.)

Culled:  My right and left arms are settlements.  When you lay your head on my chest you are treading in sea salt.  I have tried to tell my children this but they are hanging from the trees.  They are urinating.  This is an instant cocksucker all over me, repeat.  Come in, Supernova, Come in.  (At public bars, a violet hour when the eyes have sunk.)

2.

There's a whore in Dallas I saw on Montel.   She's beautiful.  And you haven't been out of the house.  She'll have a baby with anyone.  We should visit her.  (Here is my social security number:  Psych.  Don't touch me.)

Culled:  At dark hours on the beach, we burned our songs to stay alive.  This was beginning.  When ships would pass, we closed our eyes and hummed against our teeth.  This was sexuality, and eventually accounting. There was a moaning from the sea.  It was brought to us each evening and lassoed back out again.  (This after I drew her face on an orange, and cut it in half.)

3.

Somebody threw a key party, and everyone went home with a tumor and a vehicle.  (He told me, go into the universe and make loneliness, Son, make more loneliness.)

Culled:  You are over 90 days, a closing date will appear.  This as a statement of your account.  Go into the universe and make gabardine, Son, make more gabardine. ( Approximately 84% of his revenue was from longing.  In the company’s view, well-positioned for stalling.) 

            
4.        

I am an 800 pound gorilla, and you are roller blades.  Your whole face is a diaphragm, and because of this we have sex.  Sometimes I bring you coffee, but you are spreading your ass and won't drink it.  The telephone rings constantly, and it's a village.  People are throwing spears at our house.  You are pinching your nipples.  You are on television, and this is what the villagers say:  Your whole face is a diaphragm, and because of this you have sex.   (If you haven't been listening, every time somebody uses ketchup I get a quarter.)

Culled:  We would flood as rivers flood.  We would know ourselves as something other, but would not be able to recognize this.

5.

That I have become scalloped is of low-tide concern.  We understand one another, or there's a God that understands the gorgeous clouds before men.  We are suspended from the clouds as men.  We live and bounce among the sea-birds, yet fear the sea.  Come, ship, flaunt me away as necessary as body.  Mine is a hard one now, and built to furnish souls.  Make use of me.  Before crowds of men or Brooklyn, kiss me on the lips in Detroit.  (Light-winged smoke, Icarian Bird, melt thy pinions upward as ash from my cigarette into ripples.)

Culled:   In a decade will be ambivalence.  Fish or whatever.  My father as X under pending. And sometimes money, brilliant gold coins laid out in a trail.  A thing in the sheets,  discovered by luminol.  That’s the fucking bitch you were culled away for.  This will be called Space and Time, and that anything happened will be history.