Sunday's Blue Dress

*For John Risvold

He sits, unlit cigarette in mouth, piano music
in the background, the world on fast forward
and rewind. I found how to slow down
time but not stop it. A few more hours
of this lifestyle and he’ll be able to figure
it out. Leave, he says. With me, leave reality.

Restless, he told me he can’t sleep with reality

so the escape is songs, lyrics in his music,
drugs, talks, music, the girl and her figure.
He smiles at the transition road, presses forward
past the time when we thought about it, hours
back, when our vulnerability emerged and fell down.

All the facades are forgotten. We write down
what should be expected when we seduce Reality.
Save all of the layers, he says. No one can see ours.
Listen to notes, the individuality of music,
incomprehensible at moments until they come forward,

expertly put together, to make great sound figures.

With nights like this, I wish I could figure
out how to make this just a college game, writing down

the score when desired. This way when we’re forward
with fantasies, they won’t meet the unspoken reality
that draws together blue and white music
during cerulean, illicit, tempting hours.

It’s frustrating there’s only so many hours
to be a character, he says. Without facts and figures
and without explanation of notes and music.
When the blue plate reflects my face, I stare it down.
Plastic sprinkles a white spark into my reality.
Only when he breathes in flurries, does navy flash forward.

It shows the mutual veto breached, then forward

to alleged understanding, feeling, and blissful hours
and all that could be in this altered, attempted, reality
before it’s decided to touch another figure
and the whole trial period comes failing down
and memories are only welcomed by music.

The upside to present reality, we figure,

is that we can forward our lives to hours
when we crash down to hear other colors and watch music.

Stephanie Teasley

TartanMoon will shortly be publishing ‘Red College Excuses’, a wonderful collection of contemporary poetry and short fiction.

Her writing is sometimes personal but resonates with human constants: love, family, relationships, and the frictions and conflict that often underlies these themes.