Travel South by Gabby Bess
TRAVEL SOUTH by Gabby Bess
The window to my bedroom
muffles louder things
that are happening just on the other side.
Though I know that we are just animal machines
that will one day leave
a final task uncompleted,
I want to gather a crowd of strangers to smash and break objects
with their hands.
Through this experience the strangers will create a shared memory
and when everything is broken they can turn to one another and
say, “Remember when things were whole?”
After I incite the crowd of strangers into smashing and breaking
objects with their hands I want to encourage them to just hug and
I want to feel soft next to a body that feels soft
A body that breathes like I breathe:
In and out
I remember when we used to lay on your bed,
and breathe into each other’s mouths as practice
for when we would inevitably have to live and survive
When I get like this,
bathed in the nostalgia of events obfuscated by time,
I could probably walk around my neighborhood
and remember small things about you for
upwards of 6 hours
Now, I appreciate the emotions
that you have toward me
(Of goodwill and continued interest in how I spend my days)
but I wish it could be love
I want to make it love: A concrete feeling
of laying side by side,
but knowing that you are there as I am alone,
as we are
being pushed apart
at a rate of 5 miles per hour
by a migrating pod of whales.
Every year, starting in the late summer,
the whales begin to travel south
and every year,
the whales move us further
away from each other.
We are suspended in the sea.
This cannot be helped.
This is simply the result
of evolutionary processes.
It is simple, like this:
My stomach goes up and down because I am breathing
and I am experiencing reality because I am breathing
On my own I cannot gather large crowds to form
Nor can I influence their collective actions or emotions
I do not have the charisma
But I can experience reality without breathing
for up to one minute and, for example,
I know this truth:
I can see a picture of an open mouth
that is is Sasha Grey’s open mouth
Alone With Other People by Gabby Bess is now available from Civil Coping Mechanisms.