Mel Bosworth


The Scenic Vista

Between two points are sometimes great distances of implied reality. For example, if I’m enjoying a Whopper inside the Burger King on Northampton Street and I’ve left you in your crib at the apartment on Cottage Street then I must trust, I must believe what I cannot see, that the distance between us is filled with roads and cars and lampposts and trees and grass and other indicators of tangible now. Men and women with dogs, you understand? And tomorrow Ned will decide to come to work drunk! I’ll allow my anger to bubble up to the low-end of my throat so I’m still able to direct him to clean the deck of the push-mower—which I know he likes doing when drunk—then I’ll hike down to the scenic vista that overlooks the Connecticut River. Someone will have carved into the wooden bench again, this time an exclamation of “420!” As if I’m too stupid and old to know what it means. But I’ll know where I am and I’ll know how I got there. A Peregrine falcon will swoop by me, wearing what appears to be a partial mustache. Ned will approach the trailhead, calling out as he does when drunk, “There he is!” Meaning, he can see me. And I’ll see everything that stands between us, forced for a time to suffer a smaller world.

 


Wham O

Stuart from across the street has a son around my age. When Stuart’s son isn’t in rehab he’s playing Frisbee on the street with some dude. The dude likes to smoke cigarettes while playing Frisbee, and I suspect he likes to toss empty beer cans beneath my car. I drive an old Toyota Camry. In fact, it’s a classic. It takes me back to a time I was in love with a girl in love with scarecrows. Hay was her aphrodisiac. Barns. There’s something wonderful about fucking someone you love on a hay bale. There’s something wonderful about struggling men playing Frisbee on the street.

 


On the Second Floor

I hung curtains in your office. You hung yourself in the bathroom. I cut you down and propped you up on the sofa. I sat beside you, flipping through a JCPenney catalogue. The sales were extraordinary. Have you seen this? 40% off Levi’s. How could you go wrong? I opened the window. The day was ashy. Turbo from across the street carried two paper bags. I asked what he got me. He said, “I got you toilet paper, beer, and apple pie. Everything you’ll ever need.” I said, “That’s just wonderful.” Further up the street another neighbor pulled a chainsaw to life and ripped at a stump in his front yard. The noise was ridiculous. I reached back and spider-walked my fingers across your naked shoulder, wishing you could see this incredible and perfectly white asshole.

 


Lost & Found

It was July and you lost your keys. I lost my pocket knife. We both lost our sense of direction. The sun smeared behind the redwoods and I went down on you on a patch of lichen. Later, you found what we needed right there in the sky that was so soft and black and freckled with bright. “Look at the stars,” you said. “Constellations,” I said. I rested the back of my head against your belly and you took me by the shoulders, steering me like a little ship. You guided me through the rough waters here on Earth and helped me feel my way into the heavens. Behind my blood, your hips shifted and this mostly toothless night gummed us to sleep.