It Snowed & You’re Elsewhere

People tell me

a lot

about how I’m

sad & ruining all my moments

here alive with everyone

by being sad & being

somebody who has forgotten how

to live in

our wet-eye skyscape

our futile snow globe

our lost mess

& I know I want to go,

I do,


I know I’m different from

you in

the most unremarkable way: that basic

absence of life—

but I didn’t believe

those girls those voices those


the milky eyes of bewildered fawns

who sit with bad haircuts & empty heads looking up &

I believed none, all of them, about my


my “illness”

my what the fuck ever

until it snowed almost two feet

this weekend

& I sat inside the night before

before the glow of my screen god

before the choke of my cocoon

& ate edibles & got ugly melted &

I promised myself I’d take

that morning walk through unbroken

unsullied white powder &

shut off the mind

the Great DumbBoy Sad

& pretend I’m Young Goodman Brown

riding the lightning


getting all of it

that stupid-thick Puritan rush—

pretend my somewhere & your somewhere could bend

& get rough & clash

& we could stay together all night

& I could do what you want

& untangle you from that familiar priestess

& we could

do what we were to what we’ve become;

take me high outside this trash brain &

show me what you’ve grown inside your

elegant spilling ruin of head—

to traipse about, high & smiling

walking anchor heavy brutal foot

through moon-drenched ice kaleidoscope, sun-drenched ballet,

stargazing in the morning at the reflection that is mine

& no one’s

just mine

while you sleep


yellow-haired & porcelain-faced

(yellow I cannot touch, the conjuring of your frost)


miles south &

I did that—

I promised myself something unscathed by my fat-head chaos, that walk.

But then

but then I got real distracted by

the fact that I’m one being:

dwelling alone, outside the realm of your breath,

beyond the evanescent sleep watch of

your eyes like

eyes like

eyes like ash-clouds

a wolf waking up like

the cool spill of silvered lakewater

against flesh like

I can’t leave your grasp when they’re on me like

the noose of that svelte shimmer

that summer I want in you

of that walk before me

that walk behind me

that move you make

that rush of daybreak

& your nonlinear multitudes &

your avalanche of ethos & it is somewhere

with you who is somewhere

& I am not there

& it is suddenly very present—

I remember all of it

& I remember that nobody cares if I wake up

& nobody cares who I love

or what I eat or what I don’t eat while I starve

I say these words

they are just

a promise to myself

to eventually wake up

pull the plug

stop the death-march


I remember that my experience

out of heaven is mine

& it is mine to make

& it is mine to smother &

I think of those I lost

& minutes pass

& I think of how moms get old

& how everyone gets old &

how I’m getting old &

I’ve done nothing:

I’m not a rock star

I’m not a fuck-king

& I own nothing &

I’m mostly birthed

halfway gone

& I’m a tourist in everyone else’s home

& I’m a visitor in your life

while you own every breath

in my filthy lungs

whether you want it

or not

you have it

& I’m sorry for the way I am

& I’m sorry you have to know I love you

& I’m jealous that you can walk from me if you choose

while I’m in this motherfucker until cremation.

I’m thinking with the shades down

& smoking stupid & fucking with my pretty chalk-pearl benzo stash &

light dances beyond the shades &

my dream of unsullied snow is somewhere

& I am somewhere else &

when I walk out

to the red-eyed morning

I see

somebody has stepped on my snow

with dirty shoes

& now it’s just ruined & it’s because

I didn’t sleep & dissociated wept drugged instead

& now, like everything else I want to

squeeze to death in this gorgeous

blood-soaked shell of a world,

it is gone from me

that cool untouched breathrest morning white;

someone got there first

& fucked the life out of it

& now I don’t want the

whole thing;


yes, you,

can keep the whole mess

& what I’m saying is that

I get what they say about me &

what I’m saying is that

I know it’s all my fault &

I’m saying that I still love fresh snow

even if I won’t let myself claim it like I did

when I was something before what I am now &

how I really hope that still counts for something

because if not

what am I

& am I anything like

the thing I was before

I met myself?

I’m saying I hate being old even

more than I hated being young  &

what I’m saying

is that

I love you

& I’m also saying that I’m glad

you don’t know me

enough to hate me yet &

that I can still pretend

for a while

that you’re the person

who fixes this

who fixes me

when I fade

who wears eyes of pewter & narcolepsy

who feeds me to every new unblemished snow

without a word.

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Ryan R. Jones