Alissa Hattman- “We Are Always Blue and We Are Always Traveling”

Woke up with a burn to leave again. Mid-afternoon. You, next to me, snugged in blankets, the shadowy light from the boxelder leaves murmuring in the corners of your face. We are not right together but also, somehow, too right, and then the gloom paints over our day-to-day ways and we’re really not right after all that.

That, being most nights. That being when we put the car in drive at 2 AM and headed for the pond near the sleeping volcanoes. We fished in the dark, waiting for the mist to rise from the harbor, both hell bent and shivering and that’s when you told me that you wished you were dead and that you wished I was dead and that all the people you loved were dead because then we’d all be free from suffering and, with the dead word still in the air, we fucked on the earth’s ashes, and while we fucked one of the fishing poles was dragged into the pond by a some lazy-mouthed bass, silver with longing.

At least that’s what I think happened. When I think of you, I think of the fish with a pink feathered lure stuck in its gills—like a bright punk piercing, dragging the metal burden of us.

You are always saying no, stay. No, go. No, stay. I stayed last night and together we sucked grape popsicles for dinner ‘til our teeth hurt and watched Futurama stoned while the neighbors swore at each other which we liked because we could say not us. At least we’re not like them, we’d say.

One of my fingernails has fallen off. It looks like a still pond against the black carpet. I wait until your mood changes and you tell me No, go. I am not right but the not right keeps me in a tangle of myself and our suffering, the not right makes me feel real and not just someone’s made-up invention.

I hate it all, so I run off to India. Then Japan. Then Canada. You are there lying next to me while I flip through the images. You are there, like you’re always there, hating me with all your patience.

“I wonder if the punk fish is dead yet,” I say.

You say, “What punk fish?”