Gary Sullivan

My dear Nada,
              If today I'm as flat as the light on the street below
it is only because I write from great distance, but do curl
as a cover in the sun, toward you, if imperceptibly
wanting more than to be newly come as a first kiss blossoms thick
as summer. I wish today I had its heat, & that heart others "trod on
ages ago," & so this may explain why, yeah, I'm a fool
why the red sun in my throat is yours; well,
it was mine once, now lent to you in utterance, sweet doubt &
scattered brains hacked away to this, my love -- but, what point
in bluntness, flat as the light in the street?
                                               It's too easy to repeat
& expect subtle difference, nuance; I want every word I do give you
to be new, not newly come. I saw today  LOVE: a book of remembrances
& ached we hadn't thought of it (b.p. Nichol did), it sent me
here, to these words struck against my Underwood "Golden Touch"
's ink-black platen, my cigarettes, & beer as amber as your eyebrows
appear photographed in wiggly fluorescent light, though
they're dark brown, I think, almost black, it's your eyes that
're really amber. & "really real," as Van Morrison would say; & I've got
I realize no right to write you like this, though I don't feel
beguiling, more that you charm vivid color from even this dirty
Brooklyn air. "The year starts in despair/ at ever awakening to it,"
I just bibliomanced, "New Years, Mad," from Coolidge's  Solution 
Passage, & I wonder at the madness of this, but know equally
I do love you.
               It worries me, too, fool that I am, of breaking up
with you into pieces, silent as letters, to be strewn onto water
not able, the winter sun so harsh above the south Brooklyn skyline,
to become, without words, so liquid as this. But this --
imagine foraging for anything like this, among others
more beautiful than us.
                        That we are not so beautiful is why we may
strive to make this, here -- & I mean This, not
these words -- so beautiful. Give me Anything & I'll take it
& make of it Everything. For you. What is love if not this promise?
I promise you this: All my promises will be kept, until delivered
& then they will be yours, & what you do with them will be
you. & it's you, that shadow around your mouth, I want. Do you know
what you've done? To me? I drink as the sun sinks below
other projects because I am not, now, drinking you. Only your arms,
your legs, opening, & there you are, you, Nada,
only you wrapped around me, as I am rapt now, thinking of you
matters to me, my hands & arms, lips & tongue useless
that they cannot feel, this moment, how you pulse beneath your skin.
Our cells, the alphabet of our souls.
                                      We will never speak, bodily
in complete sentences, we'll lose every spelling bee, but know
this is only because we did not begin as adults. That's also
"what love is," knowing that, that loveliness is accidental, might
mean a chipped tea cup, flowers oddly situated in a drinking glass
filled with tap water, that nothing might be so perfect
as our seams. Or our "seems," as in "it seems
so perfect on the screen." If you can resist me, in person, if I
fumble lines to your face -- elsewhere
"a bee soaked with liquid rises," & that knowledge may be all
that will save us. My only request is that you know
& remember this.
                 Will to be yourself with me. The sun has just now
disappeared behind white buildings, I need
to do laundry, the everyday seeps in even into this letter, how
keep it out, if I'm to be honest with you? I itch
in my clothes, no doubt reek of cigarettes, beer, sweat & cum
am human & animal as you are human & animal
should boil tea to sober up, begin to think "How can I quit smoking?"
O, Nada, do you even realize what it means I'm thinking
these things? How can I do laundry, having written you this? I
close my eyes, having stared at this photograph of you too long,
it soothes nothing, I know I'll wake tomorrow, my extremities cold
my thoughts curled in your syntax, my body still quick w/your
image, it was somewhat cruel of you to send me such beautiful photos
don't you think? Or not cruel, but beguiling, as if to say
"I'm yours," when, no, you're there, I hope we can forgive each other
knowing cruelty as a product of distance.
                                          My mouth feels like it just
fell off, I lift my beer to it but there's only my tongue
& this, my language is what you've reduced me to, or elevated me to-
wards, as though writing you were loving you, which it is, but
no it's not; Nada, I want, need, to love you, bodily & soulfully, meaning
bodily over time. Deny me that & I will sink back w/fits suspended
against my face, my tongue will grow dim, my arms will rest
as fallen dominoes. I write this as the sky grows purple
& paper dim.
             Whatever happens, Nada, I know we will never again
imagine our skin to be protective. I know, too
what insomnia is, & that love is not merely attendance. It's also sound
that numbs logic. It's this neighborhood we live in. It's whatever story
you tell me that I relive.
                           The ruckus of this letter is no accident
it's how my very words love you. It's how vain I feel
feeling the sun exists to warm me. "From letter distance I am made,"
only I'm here now, seeping nitrogen, able only to light
another match, able only to confront all the things I think
looking at your photograph. What, I dread, will we become
if not together? "Understanding"? That's the last thing
any bruised heart hopes for. Mine, or yours. "Let all our mistakes
be jewels," our sparks & low grunts no relief. I will never
ever, be "relieved of" you. You're too deeply inscribed. No one,
my love, will ever write you like this, no words this
insectile, no letter so porous. Reading this, youreading this,
I know, & do feel, you seep. We are not poor in spirit. & so,
let us no longer starve for love,