bathtub astrology

from by t. gagnon

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all my best friends can be found in a pile on my bathroom floor,
stargazing the dots in the ceiling tiles,
begging the morning off to dream up constellations some more.
we used to think we were lost saints,
communicating with dead guitarists by songs on our mix tapes.
but tonight, my friends leak mascara like it’s war paint,
and i realize saints only find their reputations half a decade below their graves,
and when we drink our love against bathtubs, i find it easier to hold my complaints.

but i miss a friend that used to tell me, “the world’s a collection of drunk dialers and smooth operators and the ones worth a call left their phones off their receivers."
she found love in an empty room he was only passing through,
out of a bedroom window, into a backseat, collapsing in a dorm room,
both trying on old uniforms they met each other in,
before bank slips shorted their intuitions like the snow inside their cableless television.
i believe in their love, but what happens when the voice on the other end stop sounding like something i’d believe in?
i ask, but she’s sleeptalking her vows into the trash bin.

i miss my friend, a girl you’d miss between the wallpaper and carpet at the house parties,
on the floor flipping through records with the drunks who couldn’t rise above.
she was the one i could count five rows down from me in all the yearbooks,
but i couldn’t figure the distance between our armrests and passing looks.
she’d wear her older brother’s clothes and she’d hug people like life preservers;
i always thought she held me longest because sinking together beat fighting air somewhere new.
but then she grew some lungs at parties because that’s how we hide in public now,
and i call her name, but she’s hoarse as she can be as she searches for a seam to unsew.

and i watch the sun come up as my fingers make like combs,
running through the moments I just breathed in, never inhaled and exhumed.
i waited for the reasons these friends of mine still talk to me and come back home,
can i even call myself a home? spill it out from the stomach and out through the mouth,
something we’ll clean up from the floor, gasp and hold our bile down.

i was a backpack full of night lights against all the strobe light waterfalls,
i’m now the kind of person that ignores your calls.
you used to toss your words out like the overstocked soup kitchen,
now you suck it in filterless in some allston cave in,
you used to be the kind of person I could love repeated,
but I’m joining you on the floor as you map the constellations,
and i squint and you point and i drink it in, but i can’t see it,
I can’t see it.


from Swoon, released June 10, 2014
music by k. mcnair, m. bacon, j. warren



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t. gagnon New Hampshire

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