The Floating World

Written for a girl I was in love with, a long time ago.


The others are sleeping now, Cold as comfort in their Eddie Bauer blankets And the loft at the top of the honest Yankee cabin Where Bowery mothers come to tan their ankles in mountain sun And kiss the air that is not thick with bass rhythms and smoke. The others are sleeping now. You and I can begin.

We built the floating world, you and I; Collected it from a thousand scraps of teen magazines And art-books purchased by the pound in dusty warehouses. We laid upon it and, kissed, and touched one another While the angels that we made sang in the voices of touch tones, Some CD you picked up from a stall in Osaka, In the paper city.

I want to you to understand this, Like God understands the spin of an electron, The charmed quark, The still life. I want your skin to tingle And the short hairs to rise on the back of your Gazelle’s neck. I want you to burn like I do.

We have sat in enough uncomfortable chairs, You and I— We have listened too long to the dull voices of others, Promising the sweet life, The thoughtless life, The not-life. It is time for us to listen to our own voices, One to another. What in the name of Christ’s bleeding wounds Do they have to tell us That we cannot think of for ourselves?

Pull the air onto your tongue and taste it; It tastes like nothing else. Here we are free, At least for a while; Here we are beyond these words, In silence, In the floating world.

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