Chris Campanioni

Life was breath and we learned
How to do it
Because it was free
And beyond that
A pleasure and before

We become our parents and their fears
Between the two of us
It’s almost like we’re up
Against the wall
And I want it that way, wouldn’t
Have it otherwise, or elsewhere

You could be riding a Citi Bike
Through Chinatown and at the same time
Updating your status
With just two fingers
Something that articulates movement
The smell of the sea and rain

You could be watching neo-realist
Italian cinema on a Saturday night
Wondering what to make of the use
Of shadows or haphazard slips
Of the tongue

You could be listening
To the same song on a loop
And thinking this could be forever
As you look out the window
And into another

Where you see a kitchen, a husband holding
His wife by the waist, the outline
Of factories rising from the roof
Never accounting for the fact
That a smokestack could be just as beautiful
As an elm, or a littleleaf, because that’s actually what’s outside

We take what we are given
And give back
Something the same
But also different
Call it love
How we sleep with the past
Or at least the past
Fucks with us

Does this make you feel good?
Or indifferent?

One way out of atrophy
Is to think of things the way you would
If you just woke up
With no idea where you are
Or where you’re going
Try a crowded train
Or the moment you walk above
I take this up a lot
I think it helps

To hang on certain scenes
I had my first kiss under aureole
In Hackensack
At the roller rink
Maybe it’s called Roller City
Maybe it’s a Wal-Mart now
Some unrecognizable shape or form

Figure as fugue, probably
From the Italian fuga
Which means flight
For example

In the moving car, in the half-light
Of the dying sun
The window gives me back
My eyes

The way I open up
To strangers

The love of your life says
I still can’t figure you out
And you take that
As a compliment