Matt Miller – The Scientist – Draft 4

7 Jul

I surrounded this glass with friends. Arbitrary objects
from my shed. Plant pots with smiling faces,
sawdust shavings arranged into the shape of happiness,
the tangled remains of last summer’s wasp nest,
no sting left. A pillow.

I surrounded the glass, here on this desk
with unmoving amounts of love.

And still it did not move.

So I removed all of its companions, placed it high
on a shelf, away from everything. I watched it,
wanted to see it sob, to send globules of itself tumbling
down the sides of its skin, but still it did nothing.

There had to be a catalyst.

So I went looking for one. Ventured out
into the garden one afternoon, flicked the latch.
lay on my belly and snaked out.

Between the foxglove beds painted faces
played Twister on the grass. One spotted me, grabbed me,
hurled me into a mass of jelly limbs.

They smothered my perfect coat
with strawberry ice-cream
and raspberry vodka.

Built a manic house around my head.
Poured eagle feathers
down my straight backed throat.

In that warm temple, the love
that jacked the vacuum left by fear
left my chest uncomfortable.

We danced until dusk. I forgot where I was.
Until, lying on the lawn and watching the sun
paint the sky a colour I couldn’t describe,

I remembered my glass of water in the shed
with it’s stillness waiting to be bled.
I found a stone. While everyone slept, I left.
Stood. Goosed back in.

I feel like I knew the consequences
as I stood, pinching the pebble between
my thumb and forefinger
above the surface of the water.

When I dropped the stone into the glass,
the liquid moved from one place to another,
sloshed upwards,
spilled onto the wooden surface
until it grew stagnant.
Until it smelled

of your breath on quiet mornings
until it smelled

of lactic fear seeping from between my ribs,
the sweat that leaked from my knuckles,
the plea to stay I sought from your closed eyes,
until it smelled

of unwashed blankets and folded knees
at two in the afternoon for days,

until it smelled of this puddle. On this desk.

I hated the stench of that spill,
but could not look anywhere else.

I have been here for years.
Waiting for this water to unspill.

I’m starting to suspect that it won’t.


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