maybe the most beautiful moment ever
was pulling out of the desert propped up
in the back of a pickup truck, watching
the sky collapse into a purple-orange mess,
watching it all get pulled away, the dusky lumps
of hill, rocks that stopped mid-crumble,
silhouettes of sad cactus, it was like a strong
and noble lover who didn't want you
if you were stupid enough to leave.
the whole scene was like a postcard
or a painting, too gorgeous to be something
you could walk into the middle of,
you doubted its existence even as you
watched it, so enormous and incredible
and proud like it knew its only job
was to just be there, that perfect.
tonight i rumbled on my back,
flat in another pickup truck,
getting the weird view of this city,
the endless wires that hook the whole place
together, the frosted tops of our corroding
birthday cake homes, they're beautiful,
chunks of whipped cream topping
hardening to scabs and flaking into the streets.
just because something is beautiful
doesn't mean it will be cared for
is no guarantee it's even wanted
i sucked down an oyster at a barbecue
more sport than eating
it lodged then passed through my throat
like a fleshy pill trailing horseradish.
i ate chicken and grilled salmon and
chunks of potato salad with my fingers
i hadn't eaten all day so it was really great
to arrive at such a feast
and all my friends were impressed
that i had brought them to the home
of people who ate so good.
the next party was raver stoner all-boy
fiesta, maybe 3 girls, so straight
it was like wild kingdom, watching them.
you brought me watermelon, thank you,
at the bar, you thought of me today
when i wasn't there to poke you
with my presense, but i didn't write
on the bathroom wall for you
and you wrote nothing for me
and obviously something's amiss,
the wrong forces are at work here
i really hate wanting something like this
i'm like all the girls who didn't make the squad
this season, i'm picking up all kinds of
secondary habits to pull me through this
shitty night. if i got whacked by a car
just think of the desert of cactus
that would bloom in your guts.
it's all i imagine.
i am so careful walking through the world,
moving with caution so i can live long enough
to give you another chance.
- michelle tea
"the city at the end of the world", 1997