Foundations by Jason Kish
1. “What are you thinking?”
Let me say, I don’t have a choice.
It feels right. It feels like
Things finally shifted into focus.
Say, this is all right. Everything is all right.
“Have you already forgotten me?”
How could I forget you? Our memory
Glows in my mind – how I
Cooked for you in my apartment.
Laughing and joking,
Everything living and light.
Or, our first kiss…
But, is this me? Am I lying?
It’s a new year, I’m a new person.
Born into light with a hat of weeds and earth.
All old pain has poured from
The holes in my heart, and I am happy.
What more can I say?
I feel poor today, but strong.
I can only give myself.
2. The first time someone made me
Feel it, I was cleaning and fixing
Run-down apartments. Spent all summer
Shoveling those rusted-out lives
Into big, black garbage bags.
I was here, they were gone.
It all seemed so permanent.
– But by the third haul of the big dresser
At the command of new tenants,
By the second time I re-cleared my path,
I finally felt transcendence.
Young American Princesses,
They saw a dirty, ignorant boy, instead of me.
Their dresser wasn’t the right color;
It wasn’t big enough for their big-screen
T.V. – I should bring another,
Their big, manfriends could get it up.
I had no words for them. The drive
To the warehouse felt absurd, but fine.
I loaded the largest dresser and
Almost killed myself on the steps.
I felt out of fashion in painted clothes.
I imagined they would fill the dresser with
Those shirts that said, “College,”
So their boyfriends would know
Who they were fucking –
Our educational systems.
Those memories have been
Breathing in and out because
I’ve spent the morning packing.
I have a sense of humor about it;
I know something they didn’t.
I’m confident. I don’t have to say it.
I hardly think about it.
3. I think about leaving Pennsylvania
For southwestern deserts. I dream of faces:
Angry faces, happy faces, tired faces;
Mostly, I think, apathetic faces, lingering
On these dusty street corners
Of this forgotten mining town.
I won’t leave anyone behind…
Your eyes match your shirt.
You sit quietly alone, very elegant,
No talking, no motion, just a small smile.
You rest your head on my shoulder,
On a stone foundation.
This is permanent.
Were you waiting for me to get here?
You don’t have to say it, do you?
We should marry each other, then,
With the life and earth that
Lingers underneath America.
Maybe we already have.