Flash Fiction/Poetry Remix

New writing in the post-Valentine’s Day haze—Rose Groves’ flash fiction piece “To The Boy In the Jacket with The Pins,” and Sarah Cook’s poetic remix of it, “Hello, the name of this segment is a joke mid-leap, or rather”

To The Boy In The Jacket With The Pins

I loved you first back when we were in high school; you were a pervasive phantom, a platonic ideal that lighted from time to time in the bodies of real boys, a kind of mobile misery that loved particular concrete staples of reality: Sharpies and Converse the primary targets. I heard once that tornadoes will open locked trunks, take out the contents, and leave them still-folded in a field a hundred yards away. This seems to be a kind of tornado in-joke, just as you seem to like the same three or four pieces of clothing on any body you inhabit: the tattered Queen shirt, the black jeans with the rip on the knee, the dual wristbands; you’re a ghost with a sense of humor. The cigarette dangling from the lower lip. The pocketknife. The half-dead bookbag covered in patches and badges.

When you light in a body, you destroy it. So far: one suicide, one brain-killing overdose, one still-ongoing arc that I leaped from when I realized (I expect a phone call any day now, honestly) and you, my love. When you go I am not sure I will have the stomach for you next time; I get so attached to the bodies, even though I know you will be back, though I know you will be the same as you always are. I recognize you behind every face, and you make it so easy, too: same battered canvas jacket with a HELLO MY NAME IS sticker peeling off the breast pocket. Hello. It’s been a while.

Hello, the name of this segment is a joke mid-leap, or rather

    frafter R.G. & A.S.

you, pins and needles, turning around more than once,
a joke that inhabits your body by folding itself
into small mouths dangling, like keys—
this one is a kind of wristband
this one locks the door right around your chest

like two people interacting through patches of concrete

music tends to be a pervasive lost home,
la la la, i’d pour my body into something
real, swimming, a legitimate boy-body mold

like two phantoms attached at the hip
like somebody, any body, peeling days off of them

the platonic asylum of your own experience:
the lock is the boy body in conversion;
the folding, a tornado i once ignored.

i am not actually sure
if i can stomach
the arc of your face
when the arc
is the shape of already waiting
and my stomach is leaping, in particular


photo: k.f.


not outer, better.

not outer, better

not outer, better.

how do you make a desert bloom? i always wonder about that: when you don’t change [your name].
when they call you something [real]. in the movie. isn’t it confusing? or, how do you ever leave?
crazy amount of weather. he’s been up there three years. no, he says, i will be. he’s committed to it. oh,
he’s married. say it. astronaut. there is weight on your [chest]. there is food in your [mouth].

—poem + photo collaboration: by Sarah Cook and Kevin Cook