Andrea Dreiling

I don't write because I believe that what I have to say is important.  The world is large and I am one of billions.  I write because I must express myself.  I write to help others express themselves too.  We spend our days in contexts where we know we shouldn't always tell the truth or speak our minds.  But if we don't take the time to do these things we lose sight of the line dividing public pleasantries from our true thoughts and feelings. I write to reaffirm my existence as an individual.  I write with the hope that my readers will become inspired to hone their own unique perspectives as well.  I want my writing to serve as a reminder that we must never lose sight of our true selves.

Four States of Matter

1st State of Matter (Solid)
Answers to all the questions
are the lights behind the eyes of the half-dead.  
I sweep out the kitchen.
I sweep out the bedroom.
I use a feather duster to kill off
the joy in our bedroom.  
I give you the simple answers that we both want
to turn on
the lights behind your eyes.  

2nd State of Matter (Liquid)
A long walk with headphones on.  
Slipping, muted.
Until the mud clings to my ankles I am no one.
So will you find me.
in between the dark bedsheets
of crack-bottomed alleys?
Your hands crease as they fold over me, 
I disappear.

3rd State of Matter (Gas)
For six months you will be sound,
only sound against static.  
The miles in between all roaring so that I have to yell
as if there is not a phone connecting us.  

For six months you will be an absence.
And I will be or not be,
however you can imagine me.  

4th State of Matter
Memories will come as a blurry indulgence
a living reflection,
the moon an eyesore.  
In plasma water and solids suspend each other
like two bulls locking horns.  
Like we are pressing against one another
as though we might disappear
because we decided that we're better off alone. 

Review of the Latch-Key Kid

He is wild right beneath the skin until it jumps out of him.  All that wildness right beneath the skin is bound to get to him sometimes.  

Ya know what a latch-key kid is?  It is a kid with a key to the latch of his parents house because his parents are not there to let him in.  It is a kid with no one there to count his hours.  He was a latch-key kid.  

The latch-key kid- all wildness right beneath the skin.  

The light smoothes over the lenses of his glasses, the way that hash smoothes over all of his emotions, the way that I smooth over his waking hours so that he can finally go to sleep.  

Ya know how lying in the dark with someone else is?  It's a time for painting a person on a canvas of air.  It's a time for turning a stranger into the one that is most familiar.  So we lye in the dark and re-create each other.  

I tell him that he is a lion all the way to the tips of his hair.  I think that his teeth are made of spark plugs and sugar.  I tell him that the patch of hair on his chest is the North star;  I think that it will help me to figure out where I am going. 

 Love is an ever growing sense of terror of going back to being alone.  Going back to when we were latch-key kids after all the neighborhood kids have gone home


He lives in a half-dead body after all.  
Shins as white as the bones underneath them.  

Derrick rolls forward.  
His shins as white as the bones underneath them.  

His shoulders
are not white or thin,  they are broad.  
He lives in a half-dead body after all.  

His tailbone hits the porcelain when he takes a bath.  
Underneath the water
where the sound is always louder.  
He holds his head underwater to hear the tap, tap, tap; 
his tailbone hitting the bottom of the bath.  

He is a sound engineer after all.  

We live in a house together, 
a house that is long from front to back.  
We are happy and angry here, 
sleeping and making here. 
We recycle the beer bottles and all of the cans.  
We recycle all of the things that have been said 

so that it is his idea, my idea, 
his idea, mine.  
We play guitar separately and sometimes together.  
We go out and come back, say hi to the neighbor.  

He is not a half-dead man after all.  

His feet go riding on the foot-board of his wheelchair, 
held up at a constant angle.  
Held in pristine shoes.  
And our single-pane windows
fog up in the winter- his nails turn blue.  

As blue as the blood
that flows right underneath them.  

And his legs stay still
except for the blood that flows right through them.  
His heart makes the beat  
and his hands make music. 

My heart makes monotony, 
it sends the color to all of my bruises.  

Bruises and nails as blue as blood, 
blue as the blood that flows right underneath them.  

In the mornings breakfast is mangled by the slow stones of our tongues,
our teeth all right in a row.  
The slow break down of food, 
slow pace of slow, 
slow sun seeping through the uncovered window.  

The Fed ex man knocks but we will not open the door.  
He would try too hard to hold it open for Derrick, 
who is not a half dead man, ya know.