Two Poems by Jason Hardung
My cat is about to die and it’s raining again. The sky opens, I pet her cancer—xylophone keys, a bag of knuckles and a beautiful soul transmitting in there. I feel the wind of the desecration angels hovering above. I am terrified that the hat I became me in, will blow away. We always want just one more day. We plead to the wind, just one more day. We point to the sky and make deals, “I’ll quit smoking if you give me one more day. I’ll stop asking for anything, for one more day.” When everything but heroin gave up on me, my cat was still there. When I was too fucked up to even feed her and the other cat escaped out the window, she rested on my chest, positive she could still hear a heart in there even though it was faint—church bells ringing through a hurricane. Soon, I will fall through terra firma—a libertine dog-paddling through white noise. I am lost without satellites. Somewhere someone is climbing a mountain while I have nothing in common with youth anymore. I want to be celebrity enough to receive backlash for being politically incorrect but most of all I want my cat to put on weight and run through the sunflowers, one more day.
There’s a dead robin out here, on its back, one talon reaches towards the sun—like, “If there is a bird god, please help me.” But no one comes. There’s a constant threat of war out here and we all reach for something that’s not within our reach. I stare at my feet and wonder how far they could actually take me. There are lilacs out here, blooming over the sidewalk, I smell them and just like the two seconds during an orgasm the future reads like anything is possible. Hope is never a solid line. Hope rattles off in Morse code—a dot here, a dash there—radio silence and then we wait for the next pretty thing, the next two seconds to vault us through the next gate. Just one more time let me love something so much it kills me, from the nerve endings outward. There is a guy out here with a grey beard and a cardboard sign cut into an arrow; he says he was sent by god. Really this guy just loves to hear himself talk about god. When the arrow is pointing to the ground, that side reads, You deserve hell. When he flips it around it points to heaven. It reads, Repent now! Ask me how! I realize people with the most passion sometimes say the most useless shit. Just because you use a dictionary’s worth of words doesn’t mean you are saying anything. They conjure words from deep in the diaphragm because passion doesn’t derive from the mouth—bacteria does. Say it like you mean it and people believe you. There’s a woman out here that used to have short hair and smells like vanilla. She asked me if she could take me to dinner. “Sure, I like food. Why not,” is how I replied. She stood me up and I haven’t heard from her again. I wasn’t convincing enough. Just remember—you may smell good now but when we rot, we rot the same. I don’t want to run from war and I don’t want to be the mouthpiece for the creator. I want to create. There’s a need for art out here. An artist is a guy who takes photos of 101 different vaginas, frames them, hangs them on a white gallery wall and hands out wine to people that pretend they understand him. A pervert is a guy who takes photos of 101 different vaginas, drinks wine and hides the photos in a shoebox under his bed knowing nobody will ever understand him. I don’t need a Buzzfeed quiz to tell me who I really am. I am out here sniffing lilacs in stranger’s yards—over and over until I make it through.