Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Fallout - 406 words
Sarah Van Name

It’s been a while but I never forgot how to deal with the fallout from the bomb that hit me when I was thirteen, knocked the wind out of me like a well-placed punch to the still-soft gut and left me dizzy. My life has become a series of images I thought I had missed, ancestral things that tie me to my former selves and the rest of the fucked-up moon-eyed college kids across America. Hookah and the clementine smoke. Screen porches and clenched teeth and you. It’s easy to fall into pre-determined patterns when they feel so good, so right like driving fast in the dark in the middle of the night.

I am not too young for this. But I am young. Imagine me spitting these words like a slam poet.

I am happy, lost, senseless, young, I want to answer no questions. My future is the blue of the sky in October, clear and cryptic and beautiful. I gotta hope the world will forgive me for putting ambition in a prism and hanging it from the window, leaving it as I move from room to room, because all I want in my future is love love love and for these words to make you rock and ache.

I’m young and my confusion and my passion are still the bright hot red of a freshly scraped knee. I still have the rage of my childhood self that made me slam car doors and scream in swimming pool parking lots, the deep well of senseless fury that, when asked Is That All You’ve Got, responded No. And just like my childhood self, only the warmth of another human soothes me, only your arms around me, only the tightness of your arms.

You make me shiny brass bands on a sunny Sunday afternoon and you scare me. You make me feel like tobacco fields in the sun, you put the heat of the deep South in me, the passion of midnight fistfights, you in me. I am impossible to myself but you have changed me, and wherever I go I will send you love letters to tumble into your lap like leaves.

And out of nowhere, I lie in your bed and cry about death, freak the fuck out about death on a Wednesday night. Because sometimes the old fear that snuck its way into the bomb comes and pushes with brutal fingers on my bruises.

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues – the Gaslight Anthem

1 comment: