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Published June 4, 2022 by April Fox
I guess you could say it's all
there is one last everything

They aren't there, like he said, in the shadows with their
creepy spyglasses and
notes about my favorite things
They aren't anywhere, and if they were
I'd be blind to their existence like I was
when he was there
initially and now the image
is a double exposure

Clear and shaded in the foreground by the ghosts of things that were
And still might be and fear
is not a thing that I'll allow and
attachment is a thing that I avoid and
letting go has always been
the easiest part of life

The only things that ever felt like were forever
were the things that tried to take me out
and failed

The cracked ribs the empty spaces where the things that we don't talk about
should have been
The endless fucking bouts of crippling anxiety when the only thing that I knew
was uncertainty and he asks me, this one, now

If you don't tell me
how will I know?

And I might have said, or only thought
(my head last night was hazy from the whiskey and the day)
In ten years, if you're still around, I might

I won't.

Sitting here like nothing, autopilot hair bleach laundry pasta salad lather rinse repeat I am balanced on the edge

Of moving forward

Tasting the blood on my tongue

From staying still.

Spun (for Audrey)

Published April 20, 2022 by April Fox
Way back yesterday, we
spun ourselves mad in the
cold old dark, searching
blind for why and
wondering where
the sea would end
wondering how you walked away and simply

Way back before when we were small
and looked up wistfully at the potbellies and sagging breasts that loomed
like storm clouds above our heads
we spun ourselves
in search of attention and the feeling
of falling over
spun ourselves into the crumpled
of bones and dirty laundry
that would carry us into

Way back yesterday, we thumbed through magazines
spun the laundry damp and poured in things
to make it soft, caressed the edges 
of our cookbooks like the 
faded faces of lovers
we maybe should have kept
if nowhere else, tucked away in our pockets
creased with age
and worn with fear

Way back then when we were smug and sure and everything
was set in stone and cigarette smoke made shapes against
the sky and we touched
every single leaf and we tripped
quietly and laughed
at all the branches making letters
in the woods, spelled out
every single thing
we knew was true, we spun
laid down in the grass
never knew that one day
one of us
who wasn't yet
would walk into the sea
and disappear.


Published November 7, 2021 by April Fox
It's possible
that everything I thought I knew
was true
was false.

It's more likely, in the interest of objectivity
that it's probably a goulash of sorts
true, and not, and quite a few things that had had
the truth scraped away in order to show
the skeletal frame of deception.

It's certain, with very little margin of error
that I don't give a shit.

"You can't just turn it off
like flipping off a light switch."

But you can, if the bulb's been burnt out anyway
and you were only able to keep a hazy field of vision
by making light refract
from somewhere else.

It's already dark
flipping the switch just closes the circuit.

It's possible that I'm a little bit high,
taking a pause from responsibilities to
let a few words creep into my head
and out again
--and none of this
means anything
at all.

That's the one I'd gamble on.

I can look at the clock, now, and predict
when the next touch is coming
when I'll shift from blurry background prop
to something perfectly
but not at all sharply
when I'll connect with this unfiltered life.

I can look at a few simple words scattered across a screen and tell
exactly where I'll be
when I close my eyes at night.

I can tell myself
with prejudice
that this is well-deserved.

I can watch the muscles of his forearm
jump as he leans forward
and know without a doubt
that this part is.

It's possible that everything I've said here is a lie

You never know.


Published October 27, 2021 by April Fox
There ain't a single drop of sorrow in this 
I haven't felt a thing for two years now
  (up until last week, and that was mostly physical
    --and we don't need to talk about that, do we?
you weren't there.)

The house is hazy and there's a whole new type of woodsmoke dripping
from my veins

Who knew you could make so much room
in the front seat of a Mazda 5?

Let's be quiet about this
hide in the dark from the shit you're too small and I'm too big
to say

I'd set it all on fire but I'd just have to clean up 
the ashes

"You can own the stage
but the lights and glares 
will not make you real."
    --Margot and the Nuclear So and So's wrote that line
and it always felt like pulling me into a centrifuge

Spotlight dead center, focused on me
trying to pretend to give a shit about the covers and the 
Super Cool Radio Rock (soon to be) Hits!

out of my

Feeling like the Cheshire Cat
invisible aside from the big
and the psychedelic fur.
I pulled out my phone before I knew, started to text my friend
    I don't think I love him anymore.

Saying it felt like sacrilege
and I wiped the screen clean
and shoved reality off to the side
one more fucking time.
Sold all the way out and still don't have shit
and here he is
walking behind me all the way up the street
just because I'll let him

You can own the stage
and it don't mean shit
if everyone around you 
is only a prop. 

Might Be

Published October 23, 2021 by April Fox

I might be
a little bit drunk, but the fact remains
that he never was.

It never was.

I left this behind
the same way you leave behind
a pile of trash, bits of paper
Once upon a time it meant something and now
You wonder
why the fuck you held on to it in the first place.

Did you need it for a return?
Proof that this thing existed?

Waiting on you, I know
you'll keep me warm

Melt me
into nothing.

Conversation, hypothetical

Published September 29, 2021 by April Fox
What are you looking for?


I don't think you'll find it there.
There's a mannequin in the window, watching you. What's it thinking?

Not anything. Mannequins don't think. They just stare.

Remember the one thing you said, did you mean it?

Of course I did. I never will. I never have. Did you?

Of course.
One day they'll drop the bomb on us. I hope you're here with me. 
There was never a point, was there? All the pencils, dulled with use and whittled down to eraser stubs, the pink dregs of mistakes huddled in the bent metal grip like refugees, bits of foil in your gums, chewed up by anxiety --
And the papers, long forgotten, formulas and spelling rules burnt up in time's incinerator

(I didn't coin that phrase; look it up)

And there goes my mind, spiraling back again

To the safety of lost album covers and songs they never played on the radio till they were oldies

And the speakers at the gas pumps tear my ears away

from my battered scalp

The exhaust fumes make big holes inside my eyes
What were you looking for? Did you ever find it?

No. I wasn't looking.

You were blind.

I was blind.
The lights were keeping score, tabulating risk

Halogen predictors of the future.
Why are you so quiet?

Go to hell.

The Economy of Loss

Published September 14, 2021 by April Fox
In this one small act
-- miniscule, undetected by almost
everyone --
there is the end of the world

A heartbeat steady and sure, stopped
by an unseen hand
vibrations stilled
the silence echoing through
a suddenly empty skull

I wish that I could hear what some might say should pass
for reasons why.

In this, there is no vast beyond, no other side;
the existence thereof is inconsequential
when one is there
and one is here

In the night sounds, I sit waiting
to hear the low thud of a string plucked,


Just the high-pitched sounds of ignorant, lucky things
with wings.

We are reduced in this to nothing more than the first thing that we knew

I am three years old and watching
my father melt into my mother
the universe closed in around them

I could feel it then, the nothing
the curtain coming down, closing off the reality
of permanence
the shape of letting go.


Published September 8, 2021 by April Fox
I killed my aloe.
Everyone says you can't do that;
That aloe is impossible to kill.
I can kill damn near anything.

Pert near, my grandma Fox used to say:
"Supper's pert near ready."

She was the softest person I've ever known
And probably the toughest

I remember the apple tree in her yard.

I wonder how she walked and talked and breathed when her little ones were gone.

I want to make apple butter,
sit in the kitchen and watch it cook down to thick, brown

Feel the autumn forcing its brittle way into the heat.

I want to reconstruct the farmhouse
Stack it plank by plank, haphazard
Crawl back up into its lap, settle deep into the sawdust and woodsmoke and the crumbling edges
Of the floorboards
and the softened stairs, sagging in the center

Find the places where the ghosts are huddled
Whispering to me that the aloe can live
pert near anywhere.


Published July 28, 2021 by April Fox
Find a place
go there
look around
try again.

Cover your ears with thoughts
of escape plans
and tiny spiders crawling
up your arms
Cover your mind with things that used to work but now
only make you real.

Find a place and know
it isn't yours
sit down in the grass
try again.

Cover your eyes with
indifference and giant shades
Cover the holes in your mind with bandages made of memories
And lyrics from the songs you used to sing your kids
to sleep.

Find a place to hide and don't come out
Try again.

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