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learning how to whistle

Often these stories tell themselves what they mean to each other, caress each other’s face with their hands, whisper sweet nothings. That’s when you know that you’ve got to run away. You are talking in the distance about agony, you are holding his name in your hand. You’re learning how to whistle. And it is spring-time again. You would think it was spring-time again, wouldn’t you? Yes, you always do. And there you are now, Little Boy Blue, coming, blowing your horn, buried somewhere in the wheat field, your head on a haystack. Out there with a wine glass, with a dream, and dirty feet. Often these stories tell themselves it will be okay, put their hands in their pockets and start to reach further into themselves. Little Boy Blue always coming and blowing

me off. Always saying he wants to be happy, always saying see you again like there was ever anything he could do in that field but lie, his head against the hay, his lips together, pursed. But he meant it once, meant it one time I wasn’t listening, I wasn’t gonna let him pull me in like that again. But you meant it didn’t you, that time, and do you hear the song he’s started to sing? So say you wish it was another story, was another problem, another way. Say that maybe it is, that maybe we aren’t crazy, we aren’t lost. Say you’re whispering it to my cheeks, say you’re holding it with your hands by holding mine, do you see me from the window? The bird fluttering to get inside, the bird desperate, banging its head against the screen, the bird thinking maybe this room is the outside, these blue ceilings better versions of the sky. Because can’t you touch them. And I gotta get in on that.

The bird not thinking. The bird shivering from the cold. The bird soaked from the rain, from the agony, not imagining these ribs could be anything but a cage. But will you welcome him in, Little Boy Blue, will you sing him a song? Will you teach him? Will you let this story end with fire, with moonlight, with something to believe in, and do you see me from the window? Will you tell him hey, there is room here? Will you pour him a drink? Will the steam cover our eyes? Will it pull away, eventually? Often these stories don’t say much else than context. Often these shadows leave enough to the imagination. Often, Little Boy Blue doesn’t come home. But isn’t this what you live for? Isn’t this the story you’ve always wanted to tell? What will you tell yourself, when it is spring-time, and the grass is shaking, and everywhere, birds? I could have buried myself with him there in that wheat field,

by the haystack, with those dirty feet, those dreams.

learning how to whistle