Eleanor Mary Boudreau
[Historically] We Haven’t Taken Any Prisoners
At the border with the carpet a hot, unstoppable liquid, seeding through the [once] green.
The carpet was like heaven—where the angels rest and play—and felt that way
until it burned. It's only coffee, but the voice in your head is [already] saying Okay,
now agree with whatever he says. If I've been warned once, then—I imagine—I've been warned.
The idea that we know who the bad guys are—or can tell by looking—is ridiculous.
The threat of nightfall—on the grass, the shadow of a fence, posts stuck deep
inside the ground. At night your hands like spiders, crawl back to their places. Quickly,
love deteriorates to something dirty. The empty insides of my sneakers—
you're not going anywhere. How come, Darling, there isn't a police force
to regulate between us? That's because, baby, there aren't any rules.
Walnuts ping on the bottom of your car—life is beautiful, life is wonderful—and bruise
their yellow hulls—marble without is marble-color. The bruising doesn't mean
my heart is made of stone, [in fact] it means the opposite. Fall slides into winter like tires
on the drive, the ground we tread gets hard, then harder. This is not a transcription service—
not perfect—we make choices, and those choices increase our souls' peril.
From an evergreen, birds seed the sky. As we elevate the craft, so do we the ethical standards.
[Yesterday] you said to me, "Birds don't get pregnant." That's [true]. Birds can also fly.
A yolky sun spreads above the snow. The driveway is the frying pan into which you broke
the contents of my heart—it's hell, just frozen over. You salt it and it crackles.
Described in pictures, described in words—achingly beautiful—
More tender than we [ever] could have imagined.
[In the Cartoon Version of Your Life Birds Sing in English]
Every morning men flay the inside of the building.
—Of course they aren’t all men, that would be illegal—We aren’t being literal.
They rise up centrally through the elevators and fan out, each man a knot, tied
by a black line of energy to a distant purpose. Without that energy
we would fall through the world that so deeply absorbs us.
The building is grey, the men are pink. They spot the inside of the building like fish
inside a coral reef.
The building has an inner beauty the two-dimensional ocean
has never seen, and never will. We are not drowning.
All night the sun sets and pinks the outside of the building, too.
Pink is a pretty hue.
On Valentine’s Day G handed L a card with paper hearts all over it.
G is trembling like a daisy and as he does the paper hearts shake, Dearest,
This was very disturbing.
Today in a grey classroom—excuse me—grey conference room covered
by a grey ceiling,
we learned that the favoritism G lavishes on the woman he is sleeping with
is not unlawful.
The color of the ceiling illuminated by tough, fluorescent ceiling-lights filtered down
through our airways, through our breathing.
I worry for the deer in the woods, worry because they are so tame.
They fear no men. They chomp the grass so naively, the sound
of their teeth going like jack hammers in their heads. Oh, Dearie!
Oh dearie, dearie, dearie, dearie, dearie. Dear Bambi—blank stares—Oh, Bambi!
You don’t know who Bambi is.
We have lost our sense of place again. It was fun while it lasted.
Sitting on the grass watching the fence struggle with its formal choices
vis-à-vis horizon. A red thing pierced and soaking through the fence teeth.
Though they permitted everything, it is good
for there to be rules, rules for life and the living of it—Rules that I respect—
and not that much grey area.
Bombs go off in the Middle East while at home we are relatively at peace. Of course,
I would never compare the two all events are separate, discrete. But they happen simultaneously.
We can’t be at a party at the Maples’ while we are across town at a party at the Johnsons’ and you tell the Maples so. This is evidence of a respect for space and time, planning, and, most of all, consideration. Tell them we’ll be there in spirit! No. Too ridiculous.
The vacuum sucks a desert from the carpet—varoom, varoom. You enter and say words to me, words I do not hear until you tear the cord-head out, “…nothing,” you say, “happens in a vacuum.”
On the radio I say: Bombs explode in the Middle East, simultaneously, look like constellations come to ground, kill all within those bright stars, troops and civilians. Our military reads of this pattern, sends surface to air missiles. Art has not taught us to be ethical. From behind a sound-proof pane my boss gives me the thumbs-up. Anything is better than dead air.
I smile, a smile that reminds you of a viper.
Orion’s belt lowers behind my house. Nothing surprises me.
I thought we’d live happily ever after—ha ha ha. I like to laugh. An art that’s empty, if not quite tragic.
I never said love was a magic spell. There were supposed to be cords, cords that connected us, if only in thought.
And the cords were supposed to mean something to you as well.
I deserve to be called cartoonish. I am flimsy and unserious, essentially vacuous.
On the radio I say: Sorry, sorry, folks….
I care for Nothing in your absence.