Our thoughts don’t see the opposite shore.
Lost over the horizon,
we find no answers.

Our feelings are surrounded by the truth.
There are no questions.

It was our first date, or maybe our second. Regardless, it was early on, though not so early that we didn’t find ourselves in bed, reflecting together on the evening we had built together, breaking down the awkward building blocks and rebuilding them through the warm glow of our love making, our guards’ stripped and on the floor with our clothing.

“You’re a narcissist.” She said it with a smile and no sign of judgement in her eyes. This felt like too true of an idea to have developed through one date. She must have meant something else.

“What makes…

the Paris Review

She arrives at my door without warning, never totally unexpected, always a pleasant surprise. I welcome her in, barely able to conceal my excitement from curious neighbors. With the door closed behind us, I behold her in her perfect simplicity. She is slightly disheveled from her journey to me. She needs no artifice – her facade, untouched by rouge, shows none of the virginal timidity of a glossy amateur.

I waste no time eagerly undressing her; thin covering, hiding nothing, falls quickly. She opens willingly and the pleasure is immediate. For weeks she will consume me. Her…

À trois

The devil invented French to give name to my desire,

another tongue to pair with mine,

Un baiser amourex

of the ox and the lion,
I am certainly a lion.
But I admire the ox, and am grateful for his help.

You can’t force genius but you can set the table for it and invite it in.

When I sit I listen to the Gnossienes to turn up the volume on my own voice. When it’s time to move I change to ska.

I race the motorcycle down the street, the trumpets and the sun and I dance and our kinetic energy takes shape. Without a helmet the signal is clear.

Turn around, fly straight home! Keep the form gingerly in the mind - now rush up the stairs, two, three at a time, and throw open the door.

I pounce.

sundays are the perfect day for being alone. the thought brushes against a faint memory of a time when I felt the opposite. at that time, and for awhile after, I was sure this was a thing that could never change. an inviolable truth, like death. now i am happy. sundays are perfect for being alone but they don’t have to be. i have conquered death.

imagine the river of humanity spread out before you

in one direction is splayed all people that exist with you in the now

in the other, all those that have been and will be

the eddies and whirlpools pull us together and fling us apart

they bind us in memory and thought

from the banks of the river you watch a million trillion lives come and go

each one an infinite universe to itself

and some of them

are you

I rode the motorcycle back in time.

I was still mostly in the present, as much as I ever am, when I got on the 10. By the time I hit the 405, the past was in sight.

As I roll through the stop sign the future is a distant memory, and an odd one. I’m remembering an ending that hasn’t happened.

I pull in to park. An uncomfortable feeling of discontinuity alerts me that something is wrong. Why do I worry that if I turn left and knock on the door, she might not answer? I might not set…

We met on a dating app, I don’t recall which one. I was interested because she was cute and she worked at the company that made the children’s song; the one you know even if you’re not a parent, and you probably despise if you are one. We messaged back and forth a bit, for maybe a week, not really about anything. Sometimes the conversation builds on itself and sometimes it spirals into nonexistence and sometimes it just exists and both people continue to participate, maybe just for something to do.

It was 9pm on a Wednesday when she asked…

Today I ran to the ocean

And I reminded it of who I am,

That we have known each other a long time,

and that even though I always keep running past –

Could it lend me some strength in my time of need?

And the ocean responded that it knew me well,

that it hadn’t forgotten me,

that running would not take me more far nor near,

For it is within me always,

and the proof ran down my cheeks,

and I could taste it on my lips.

Brendan Mulligan

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