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  • The Stardust Review

January


By Corbin Wamble


It's often said that math is the language that binds the universe, prose the tongue of the common man, poetry merely flashy language to make words light up like burlesque legs enticing lonely men from a neon sign, slowly tick tocking pink stilettos back and forth in the gaze of a 4 AM straggler. Like clockwork we process; persistently intempered we swig and expel the unheard ticks of an ever rambling clock, the breaths shared between two lovers panting up towards the ceiling, the complexities of a dream blending with reality, my instinct to explore still at its zenith, the manner in which my lips curiously paraded and stuck to that of my first kiss like a coy magnet on a Whirlpool fridge, the way a family photo buries itself under mounds of sagging skin and fallen roof shingles. When we met, the candy fallacy was gone, left only in memories sprinkled in with a lascivious nostalgia; With infallible youth, we blazed through different patterns, I wrote these fragments on a laptop, you smoked reefer and modeled to strangers on the internet. The way the freckles curled about your face like blonde house flies rubbing their insidious palms on a clean paper plate, strewn about a picnic table with the decomposing remains of a barbecue, the cacophony of batting wings bequeathing the faint must of beer and potato salad, muttering softly to me, “she’s human, she's human!” The certain things that brought us together, Childs Play near Halloween, warm limbs entangled on a couch, the way you said my name staring down at my limestone hair perched like a jagged sand dune, guarding your body from the maverick swells that crashed in the vibracious grip of your sleek ivory legs, the movie sauntering on without a curious glance. Looking out at the same northeast skies, gray as sun bleached pavement, so often I graze your hand, staring distantly into the past, I see your eyes guarding the fixture of a different world, you hang me in my thoughts like a crystal chandelier, climbing up my legs, barely rooted in the earth, breathing the sweet scent of life into my nostrils; faintly, cigarillos, cherry chapstick, perfumed scent of passion fruit and island palms. I wince, letting you go as if I were embarrassed by the sweat of my palms. Consumption, a friend of creation; Grief, a working father, I fail to sleep without seeing some lumbering enigma regail me in my nights. And the clock ticks, no hand to be seen, no sauntering 360 degree falangee to inspire a clever metaphor, I read the numbers, the sky politely darkens for the night, I take a pre bedtime piss and sleep, or stay awake in an indifferent fear of what nightmare will strobe the snores of my open mouth. I measure time by the laps a shadow makes around a tombstone, a worthy track star waiting to pass the baton or a black sedan that slowly turns in circles. Crying in a grimy restroom, dead parents fueled our fluorescent days, crashed us into one another. We etched our questions into the mire of filthy mirrors ‘Do you know me?’ ‘Do you see me?’ Awkward struts of angst recall my lips, mouth the silly words ‘does anyone care?’ Where have you been and where are you now? Work and kids and the things we said we’d never do. Politely, I say, you say, we keep our conversations short and quaint, trapped in our grocery aisle of politeness, bound to rotting fences and healthy marriages seen through bay windows by jazz handed neighbors walking poodles. We keep arguments away from the kids we said we’d never have, or between quips of dark humor, said we’d abort. On Friday nights we stay home and drink box wine from spit shined chalices bought at Costco and sit at dining room tables with Burger King crowns dawned on migrained heads like fallen angels forged halos. We talk like royals in a banquet hall of suburban magnanimity, whispering our wine giggles as not to catch any stray ears. At night we sleep on separate pillows, impervious lightning flashes far into the sultry night, calls to memory form in their wake; where would we be on this urgent moon?


Corbin Wamble is a writer from Northern Delaware.

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