E- Chap – Alexis Stolis

All my lovers have given me music
July 24, 2013

Table of Contents

The Bartender

The Actress

The One Night Stand

The Waitress

The Optimist

The Revolutionary

The Idealist

The Punk Rocker

The Bird Lover

The One

The Bartender=Leonard Cohen & Arctic Monkeys

broad strokes
of red
her mouth close
to my nipple
air crowding
into my lungs
I’m parched
There was her kid’s first day of school, the safety
of her grandmother’s house. There was a Father,
Son and Holy Ghost breathing down my neck.
We were straight up and straight down, knocked
out loaded and ready to roll.
The Actress=Kate Bush & Johnny Cash
bold slashes
of spring
cramped bellowed
wings that beat
in time
with the tick tick
tick of grandfather’s
her eyelashes
flutter on my cheek
and I bleed
For her birthday we did it in a church. We weren’t
who we wanted to be. We weren’t where we thought
we’d be. We lived in a storybook house on a fairytale
street; it was easy. There was a subtle shift in gravity,
a void so pillow-soft we could sleep forever.

The One Night Stand=The Pretenders & The National

long-legged dreams
black duffel-ed
into highways
under tunnels
hoarse from making love
always thirsty
from the sweet
and salt of her
She’s a double locked door, a secret agent and I wanted
her sex so badly the guilt stuck to the back of my throat.
She said she needed it slow, like a honeyed cloud breaking
up in the sky. We delude each other. We ended the way
we began; anonymous and blurred.

The Waitress=Dylan & U2

I’m lit up
she’s lipsticked
armed dangerously
as leaves float
waver into
the trees cover
our escape
We used to be simple, second nature, like sucking in your
breath at sub-zero temps or falling in love with the wrong
person. We definitely needed to not see each other anytime
soon. We never forgot where we were. The grass stopped
growing; it was lonely in the shower that morning.

The Optimist=Ike Reilly & The Kinks

we’re fading &
unsteady fixtures
made of wax
filled with
bones & rag
going nowhere
believing anyone
but this moment
We never got it quite right. The way things used to be.
No going back to that last moment, the one that counted
for nothing. She was lying next to me, all mine, she said.
Unsheathed, pale white in the first hour before it became
light. I got up, opened the shade; waited for thunder.

The Revolutionary=The Clash & Big Star

we’re marked
& willing
to fall & get up
again & again
she kisses
she’s silent
she’s everywhere
but here
We were flammable and combustible. Strung out and hard
wired to implode with a moment’s notice. Back then it was
folk songs and green fields, bright leaves and ripe fruit on
the ground. We created bedtime stories to tell our fortune,
washed our past clean in the hollow glow of sinful flesh.

The Idealist=Aimee Mann & The Jayhawks

gravel roads
her hair
in my eyes
winter frost
her shoulder
on my cheek
a red barn
her breasts
against my back
yellow fields
her lips
to my ear
We belonged to whatever emptiness happened along. We were
a carnival, she was the knife-throwers wife; I sawed her in half
to prove my worth. We were stone out of luck, sobered and all
ready to hit the road. We knew how it was; bitter, complicated,
we needed a pinch of regret to soften the blow.
The Punk Rocker=Sinatra & Miles Davis
she was a loaded
gun-shy girl
she was an every
time always girl
car-bombed &
she kisses
me kisses me
now or
maybe then
her hair shorn
stranded me
We called it an awakening, a quickening, so frighteningly
unreal it had to have been real. Two hemispheres worth
of stars collected at the bottom of the earth. We attributed
our sins to misfortune; if only we had the right translation
we could have become heaven-bound and free.

The Bird Lover=Billie Holiday & Death Cab for Cutie

one two
no one
could know
three four
we keep hidden
& unforeseeable
five six
the last time
we met
seven eight
she was on
my side &
now it will
never be
There was a shine to the highway; a red-tail hawk perched
atop the exit sign; an abandoned Cadillac marked the left
turn. She was a suicide girl, a runaway kite in a gust of wind.
She told me there is more to a picture than words. I wanted
to save her but it would’ve been saving her from me.

The One=The Replacements & Nick Cave

I want to
you whole
feel you
I want to
see you
taste you
wake to
the cruelly
soft crush
of never
The bed is unmade, we are undone; you break silence
with a breath and become the sky, dark blue and even,
smooth against rough clouds. The bedspread is forgotten
on the floor, leg shifts over leg and every new touch turns
into another prayer. We feel the weight of knowing.

Alex lives in Minneapolis


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