When I Saw Ariana Sing for 2 Hours (Cash Compson)

Molly snuck a blunt in &

we drank tall boys outside before

even though it wasn’t that kind of show, i guess, wasn’t 

supposed to be a blur like that, someone said,

but we did, & i kissed sloppy in the coliseum, darkness like ocean water, inky runoff, so high up we were part of the sticky summer night waiting just above,

strobes, when they came, exposing our hands &

our smoke to mothers & children, & we went wild

when she did “Problems,” revivalist metallic glory, her

lioness strut, face painted

like JonBenet, like funeral glow, 

& i church hollered when 

she did the old ones, the ones from when i 

first found her bird-whistle music, relics i looped like porn,

back before i was dead, fat, drunk—

just high on the internet late at night, chasing her

cartoon mouth, untouchable everything, yet somehow

mine mine mine.

chugged more beer 

during “Break Free”:

i lost it

not because i 

broke free at 

all, ever, but

because i was somewhere

not at home, not dozing, 

pushing, only two alive on the planet, syrupy tongues heavy

& i hoped we’d never be sober again,

& it ended & the lights were too white & Brooklyn was heinous, mortal 

in the afterglow, ancient gothic monoliths looming

like gods, overlords, & she didn’t invite me back

to bunk with her & her 

alcoholic boyfriend who always tried

to fuck me in my sleep, & who cried when i woke up, don’t tell, don’t,

like i’d ever, like i even talk to people,

so i didn’t get on the 2;

i took the Q to Coney Island & walked &

the water was black out on the Sound & i

drank clear liquor through a straw & got sick with

the white-haired girl who was always there, by the water,

who had the fiancée, she said, but no ring, no name.

i woke up panicked & 

looked out her window

at a street i didn’t know

that i still don’t know

& i did not feel dead,

first morning in forever

i didn’t care about my soul. didn’t think of it,

god bless her, whoever.

& now i’m here & it’s a memory &

Molly has a kid & we don’t talk anymore, & i’ll never see Ariana again,

& this is one of those things

i want to tell my girlfriend about

when she’s my wife

but words will ruin all of it

& anyway, no one cares 

about what we did & when we did it

& who we did it all to, & who saw us do it

& all that. we have to care because otherwise

these things fall, flatten, become like dreams and other things that never happened.


Cash Compson lives in the northeast with his dog, who hails from Arkansas, and his girlfriend, who will hopefully be his fiancee by this time this is published. If not, he will write sad poetry about the rejection and submit it, of course, to Rejection Letters.


image: MM Kaufman