Idiot Box: ‘Turning Japanese’

Turning Japanese

I was a girl you splashed with water.  He spoke only in signs and subtitles.  We kissed on his bed under a blue and pink horizon of cigarette smoke.  Outside his window there were fireflies.  Inside his walls there were infomercials.  I carried a sword too big for my fragile hands, he drifted aimlessly in space, always out of gas, always out of luck. 

In our cartoon world, we can pull costumes out of back pockets.  In the ordinary world, all the roses he gave me were already half-black. On a melting sidewalk I intertwined our names like DNA.  He only called at 2 a.m. when The Boss couldn’t hear. 

The cat still says his name aloud.  I only have the red half of our locket.  I hold the summer’s last firefly in my hand outstretched.  Really, I say.  Really, it was nothing.

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