Car Parked Sideways

I’ve had to drag
out the color blue
just before it turns
purple. Have been confused

why people don’t carry
a pen. Writers too.
Have not asked
for coffee with walking room.

Now I will. This day
comes with a ruler
to measure the distance
between inexplicable Earthly

sadness and each depression
on the surface
of the moon. The impressions
I’ve made before all of them

never last. I cannot answer
the question
would I have jumped
in to save that first lover

who drowned in his own
pool, if I’d known.
Pool of what? Sweat?
Desire? Betrayal? Boredom?

Vomit. Mysterious
scratches on my arms and neck—
not so mysterious
when you have a cat.

If I had worn a raspberry beret
that day in May
31 years ago, maybe the car
wouldn’t have crashed.

She would still be here—water
dancing. If.

Not so secret all-night rave
parties at Colin’s house
on Colfax. He was so generous
with his hospitality—

beer, vodka, cocaine, X,
what he thought were expressions
of love. So proud
of his scammed copy

of The Black Album.
Colin, Steve, and me.
A threesome all that first winter

I didn’t know I wanted
to survive
in Minnesota.

“When You Were Mine”
became our soundtrack
that one night.

We wrote The Ecstatic Uptown Chronicles
over an exquisite corpse
one 72-hour day.

The Uptown, First Avenue, the Entry
was The Ashtray back then.
The CC Club. Even Glam Slam

once or twice. Colin wanted to dance. Steve
was always listening to the music, lilting,
always drinking.

So much dark energy
can explode through
the fiercest windchill.

Now you’re gone.
All of you.
Even Prince.

Left behind, I stand here
by myself outside the club
in broad daylight

without an answer.
Maybe I really did move here
because of Prince,

not that other guy.
So many musicians,
so many lakes, the land

of 10,000 treatment centers.
I’ve wanted to dance

my life away. Wasted
too much time
asking why.

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