If You Buy An Old Polygraph At a Swap Meet, Do Not Break It Out At a Party
by Derrick Brown
When I first brought the thing home
I had no idea it would change me for the better.
Honesty is a wide shot of a movie lot.
Now, I cannot trust lovers or anyone with curly hair.
The clerk at my supermarket wants my life.
The hairdresser keeps looking at my neck
and then the scissors
and then my neck.
I don’t trust you. Your pants are baggy.
You’ve got choking hands.
All dresses are fingerprint recording devices.
I don’t trust your painted face.
I don’t like that you keep looking down or that your eyes shift into neutral… .
like a dying man’s… .
as a dying man’s.
How do you know what is honest anymore?
Because your snotty toddler is not the most adorable thing in the world?
Because the cops don’t actually care if you have a nice day?
Because you are not the world’s best grandma and didn’t even apply in time?
Because that chocolate is not to die for unless you were a dog
and then you’d just be a dead dog?
Because I am still alive and death did not do us part?
Trust the machine.
You can trust something without a heartbeat.
Everyone practiced beating the machine
through breathing techniques,
biting of the tongue,
and squeezing of various butt muscles.
It didn’t matter.
“Have you ever wanted someone more than me?”
“Have you ever lied to me?”
The slightest pause means gather the jackets.
Everything honest ends in silence.
but I have this purple heart
I got it from beating myself up over things I can’t fix” —Rudy Francisco, My Honest Poem (via carnivorouspitcherplants)
when it just hung off my brainstem like whipped mule.
When my hands only wrote. When my mouth only ate.
When my ass sat, my eyes read, when my reflexes
were answers to questions we all already knew.
Remember how it was then that you slid your hand
into me, a fork in the electric toaster of my body. Jesus,
where did all these sparks come from? Where was all
this heat? Remember what this mouth did last night?
And still, this morning I answer the phone like normal,
still I drink an hour’s worth of strong coffee. And now
I file. And now I send an email. And remember how
my lungs filled with all that everything? Remember
how my heart was an animal you released from its cage?
Remember how we unhinged? Remember all the names
our bodies called each other? Remember how afterwards,
the steam rose from us, like a pair of smiling ghosts?” —“December,” Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz (via clavicola)
I want to live in an honest house
where the motion detector is so sharp
it knows when my thoughts leave the room.
I want a clap-on lamp that works as a polygraph:
when you swear you still love me, the lights flicker.” —Megan Falley (via wingspan)
Now my heart is a pressed flower and a tattered bible
it is the one verse you can trust
so I’m putting all of my words in the collection plate
I am setting the table with bread and grace
my knees are bent
like the corner of a page
I am saving your place
-Maybe I Need You, Andrea Gibson