DAVID BOWIE EYES
Jack asking me to fly
to Portland, so we could meet
and make out. Jack writing,
“Get here yesterday,” when I ask him
which weekend works best.
Jack picking me up from the airport,
his body shockingly thin. Jack asking me
if my suitcase is vintage. Jack taking me
to dinner and telling me he might not
go home for Xmas and then asking
if I would be around. Jack saying,
“You have great style.” Jack convincing me
to sleep in his bed because “it would be fun.”
Jack making me sticky, like a Polaroid picture.
Jack telling me he wants to be inside me.
Jack spooning me in the morning, his dick hard
against my back. Jack putting on mismatched socks
and laughing about it. Jack’s kitchen cupboard filled
with Rx containers. Jack holding an umbrella
while we walk in the rain for hours. Jack pointing
to where Mount Hood normally sits, the clouds
having erased the image from the skyline.
Jack humming an ELO song as it plays over
the loudspeaker in an ice cream shop,
the same tune he posted on Facebook
six months earlier, after some chick rejected him.
Jack getting defensive when I ask about his Xmas plans.
“I haven’t made a decision yet.” Jack and I singing
in the car, doing jazz hands. Jack performing
a strip tease and then refusing to touch me,
sensing my wrongness. Jack searching
the World Wide Web, while I sit on the couch
thinking, Oh, fuck. Jack telling me he isn’t feeling
romantic, and he wants to be friends. Jack getting upset
when I tell him I’ll be sleeping on the couch.
Jack revealing he’s only fucked one woman
in three years. Jack asking me where we stand.
Jack taking me to the airport two and a half hours early.
Me staring at Mount Hood as the plane flies past,
so close I could almost touch it.
—from Rattle #69, Fall 2020
Erin Bealmear: “‘David Bowie Eyes’ began where it ends: in an airplane. While flying home from Oregon, everything I had experienced over the previous few days started rotating around in my mind, over and over again. The only way I could stop the loop was by scribbling it all down on the back of a boarding pass. Those flashes, and the feeling of being trapped inside a memory, would later inspire this poem.” (web)