Paper Machines

Annie Christain

"[Keanu Reeves and I] actually got married in 'Dracula,'" she told Entertainment Weekly. "No, I swear to god I think we're married in real life." Wynona Ryder


There are things I can pour into you
to make a campaign

          with a part of my foot touching home plate somewhere
          to exude a greatness. 

Mom says someday I won’t need to imagine four angels
with their open mouths aiming light toward me,
                    just to get out of bed in the morning,

but the guidebook says I’ve already lost
if I think in terms of a future. 

I swear to god I think we’re married in real life.

Once you have a mind-domicile, you can put anyone in there. 

The decoder ring fits twisted into cardboard,
turned towards Saturn,

the taste of blood I imagine to invoke a demon.

          I don’t feel bad about it.

The pentacle on a round transparency taped to a flashlight
aimed at your passport photo—

even the drawing of the circuitry of the death ray gun
                    can work if I touch it.

At three hours before an event, things are totally unchangeable,
so I have until then.

          You have no idea how things happen here anymore.   

I had a dream you gave birth to a boy.
I cupped his head close and said, relieved,
“It’s him.”

I need better ways to thatch our minds together,

but I can spin around and around
if I start to lose it.

The original Hebrew was smudged on accident,
how it stays in all future spellings
                    because we can’t bear to lose all the fury
          poured into the damaged talisman.

That’s all a language is,

planets that give in to everyone’s
same opinion of how best to inflict pain.

Our past could go either way now
          if you let it.

I’m never supposed to lift the pen until I write all it is I want.