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Extra Letters

We go to Ikea and really Ikea is pretty empty. Empty as in lonely, lonely as in the news told us all to stay at home and on the freeways the traffic is moving perfectly. I say THE FREEWAY IS ANOTHER WAREHOUSE. You know how sometimes from high above you can see all the cars falling. How sometimes you want to move every brick yourself. How you want to stop your car and run up and down the lanes yelling YOU GO HERE AND YOU GO HERE. How when I do this I move all the purple cars to the shoulder and save them for you. I am lying again. Nothing purple belongs on the freeway and that’s why in Ikea there is nothing purple. We stand in an 800 square foot space for just a few moments. Everything is red and everything is shiny. On the wall above the bed I find the alphabet. I read each letter and at the end there are European letters. I say THEY ALL LOOK LIKE A’S TO ME. I say WHAT IS THE POINT OF EXTRA LETTERS. I say THIS IS SO FUCKING PERSONAL.


Paint Them Black

Our space is still a mess of bricks. We go to Ikea because we want something more beautiful. I get lost in the smell of it all. I follow you and for a moment you are an arrow. I think OUR MESS IS YOUR SUBTLE LINGERIE. I think THERE IS ALWAYS A SPACE THE SAME COLOR AS OUR SPACE. You find it and say INSTEAD OF HEARTS WE WILL A HANG A PICTURE OF HEARTS. There are 30 pictures and the 30 pictures are not really our hearts. We paint the wooden frames black and instead of a heart we hang the frames in a shape we can’t describe. We hang them early in the morning because the neighbors are asleep and we’re tired of their shit. You have a tack hammer in your hand and you say THIS IS NOT PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH. I want to be a larger hammer. I say IF ONLY EACH FRAME WAS A BRICK WE COULD PUT THROUGH THEIR WINDOWS. I say IF ONLY WE COULD BUILD THE PERFECT HEART and that night when I want to sleep I can only stand against the wall and shift the frames around so they will fall in a row and disappear.


Sometimes There’s a Skunk

On the way home we buy a newspaper and all the while I’m thinking NEWSPAPER IS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. You know why. We could spend all night reading newspapers and the neighbors would spend all night praying for god to smite us sinners, all the while a few blocks away on the corner there’s a party on the front lawn. They’re all drinking, burning newspapers. Our newspaper is in the trash. We lay thirty one-dollar picture frames out on top of it. I paint them black, all the while singing I BOUGHT A PICTURE FRAME AND I WANT IT PAINTED BLACK. You see how mad I get. How across the yard the neighbors are breathing very politely. How they shut the window and I go cursing like an animal. How late at night sometimes there’s a skunk out in the yard, rolling around in the grass, leaving person-sized shits. I’m worried that the skunk will dig up the ashes of your heart. I’m worried that I spent too much time inhaling fumes. That when we get to Ikea next time there won’t be any more one-dollar picture frames. I will say IRONICALLY FUCK MY LIFE. I will say I STILL CAN’T SMELL THE CINNAMON ROLLS.


Free from the Pet Shop

And even when we disappear for nights at a time I still think HOW MANY MIRROR MIRRORS ON THIS LITTLE WALL and I still catch myself looking through the aisles of oil stains and bushy rags screaming THIS IS THE LAST TIME I’LL DRAW YOUR FOOTPRINT IN THE SAND and the sand is Absorb-All and the Absorb-All is a dark brown bloody color that makes me sick in the morning when my mind is warped with pictures of yarn and eggs and animals set free from the pet shop across the street. You see my dreams are not dreams but walls and my walls are covered with mirrors of woven Ikea glass.  


Thomas Patrick Levy is author of I Don’t Mind if You're Feeling Alone (YesYes Books 2012) and Please Don’t Leave Me Scarlett Johansson (Vinyl 45s Chapbook Series 2011). A list of his publications can be found at thomaspatricklevy.com.