This is a fresh (and hopefully improved) version of the piece I performed last week. Rochelle did warn me that performance poetry shifts with every telling. I’ve also included the words below. I performed this at The Hive Open Mic yesterday.

When my heart is a radioactive wasteland I find you standing on the the brink your back to your own poisonous past We exchange a cigarette, a story or two I tell you about him, how on restless nights I write his name in silver grey swirls of nostalgia You take a long drag and hand me the cigarette

We time travel Through unexamined memories Expired emotion We have our first date in the universe of pain Nostalgia is best navigated When you’re playing tour guide

The next time, I become the girls you never said goodbye to I fill in backstories you never completed All those Happy Endings that came with no explanations You pick them out of the debris of your mind and you fit them onto my story I slash the t’s and I dot the i’s with tears until sleep blacks us both out

You try to scrub out our kisses with your toothbrush I fuel paper planes with angry emotion And since neither one works, We become prosthetic people in each other’s amputee lives We navigate the minefield of our mutual pasts Holding hands Your mistakes help blow my memories away

I think of love-hate relationships This is not as romantic as that But lust and disgust live in the same neighborhood And the street corner where they meet is where you and I park.

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