Christmas, 2011 / No. 27

I wanna go to Tupelo with you.

I don’t care that I’ve never seen that place outside of a picture,

because I think that town would hold us

keeping us cool, keeping our skin warm because we’re tasty.

I want to sleep in a hotel room where everything is velvet and green.

Where the end of the toilet paper roll

is dog-eared like a Jacqueline Susann novel.

I want to make verbs with you.

I want my thighs to stick to the seat.

want to shave my legs in a parking lot

with a razor from a pack of six.

The pack has to last us three weeks.

I want to eat warmish macaroni at an Esso station

in a town between others with names.

I want to sing until my voice sounds like yours

and yours like mine. I want to almost leave you one night

in a dead mall over something tiny that explodes.

I want to love Elvis with you without irony.

I want to take care of all that business I built up without you

on my own. I want to cry lost time into every stitch

of the pillow until all those stitches loosen into notes.

I want to take a bath of notes. I want to loofah my legs with B-flats

and slide As down my stomach to a place

that in teen movies is secret and sacred.

But I want you to know me entirely. I want you to record music on my skin.

I want to play your eyelashes, your toes,

your fingernails, the hoarseness of your voice.

I want us to be louder than the radio.

Lauren Kirshner lives in Dufferin Grove. She recently was named Toronto’s best emerging author by Now. Her debut novel, Where We Have to Go (M. & S., 2009), was short-listed for the 2010 Toronto Book Award, has been translated into German and Dutch, and soon will be published in the U.S. Recently, she was appointed the writer-in-residence for the County of Brant Public Library, and is at work on her second novel. Last updated Christmas, 2011.