After the funeral we all took up hobbies. One of us would call
another of us and say My cereal tastes funny does your cereal taste funny?
and then we would all agree or disagree about whether the cereal
was poison from China and some of us had children with whom we were
increasingly humorless.
                                                     Don’t even play with me, some of us would say.

Others of us would remain alone, alone, and would stand in our kitchens,
hungry after a long day of being alive and would not be eating,
but would instead be writing poems that had to be written: Oh, Allison…

I was trying to record all of this with my camera.

When Allison left she was attached to a string that now pulled
many of our faces down in new ways, Oh Allison.

One of us was baptized at the YMCA and was given a new name that Allison
would have laughed at. Another of us also inched closer to religion,
lining his bird’s cage with scientology bulletins.

I don’t see spots, I see pulsating stripes,
one of us said on the phone with another. What does it mean
to not hear the alarm clock anymore?
I asked her.

It’s 7:30, the one of us who was in bed with me
                                                                                                    would sometimes helpfully say.

Those eggs are expired you won’t want to eat those, I would say to the one of us
who could smell nothing but disinfectant these days.

I wrote in a letter that day
that we were not the body of Christ,
                                                                             but we were some kind of body.

I lived for several months like Ok,
                                          no one trust the things I’m saying.

One friend calls
              to say that I’m a television show.

I apologize first, then try to be proud of myself
                                                                   for being so entertaining.

In the television show,
              everyone has decided
that the things animals want are worth
                                          devoting all weekends to.

My friends and I love animals,
              and love the other television show
where the animals,
                            with their plastic cups of beer,
              and their fights over
                            First with him, on the dance floor,
                            and now with me,
                                          in the parking lot?

              are only themselves
                            and only the most honest and innocent
spectacles of urge and acquisition.

I apologized to my friend for being the television show.

People love television, and people love friends,
                            but people will love their friends less
              if their friends behave like a television show
                            about a group of friends sharing an apartment
              who, in the span of a few drastic haircuts,
keep getting more and less

              friendly with one another.

It’s only when I see a friend from out of town
                            that she laughs and forms a kind opinion of me
              as our enchiladas arrive.

She has never owned a television
              and has never learned to hate
my stupid show
              like we do.

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