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florida lay there before us swollen this driver and me rolling into a sure ghetto neon jacksonville ghetto to get a car taxi was rattling smoke shot up with seats ripped we rolled into the lot and streetlamp-outlined men standing up in a row braced each on a corner body language loud saying listen they had it firearms street pharmaceuticals and when our eyes met palms blurred smokeburns electrical fires sky ripping those whitecotton clouds up in some deep-ass blue the too-deep sea never-going-to-see-land-again deep sky lost-at-sea deep sky blur just over there that i could see total anger moans calm rage lamps without shades drywall tears a history of night hours and in that moment some clenched fists they broke my bones like a light falling off a night table and like the rats we all are florida florida spat me out but i kept my breath slow a little girl at the bottom of the stairs scowled surrounded by night shade shadow wall bricks hidden in a mossy stale funk in a row on the second floor landing in the cement block apartment rise some half-dressed bodies lit up christmas trees these men were streetlamp damp sweating hard guns near in the nightpools she stared through me like i was meat she held a plastic uzi in a room staring like they were eating through my skin and without a nod without a tip we slid very quietly into the butterscotch grand prix the driver and me under the moons screaming inside maybe inside the rooms with television blurs circling us and circling it that car all armor-alled up and smelling like grease and like bad stuff or like something like forget it we got in all of a sudden he stopped asking me about the money which was scary he knew i knew he knew i had that money and in your mind you go bloody feet barely alive screaming for your neighborhood life out of that place but she called and he answered and something pulled him triggered his heart click guiding him smiling to the freeway no taxi his nephew's car butterscotch grand prix and off the highway in a fast food parking lot the driver pulled me in hands over my shrugging sides delivered me like a wish as i forked over a little more than bargained forgot about landing in the wrong city that airport dry rotting forgot about meeting her father her father so decent his grill smoking forgot about the mosquito bites pine halls those castle walls of wood forgot about myself and i was just happy to be home i was happy to remember who i really was and you know i see that sky still it reminds me of a dishrag rolled with heavy dew and palmettos exploding oranges that florida sky emitting total life and total death and me on the fresh steps to dropping all the bags arms out receiving my destiny and hope in several phases of doubts colored somehow with love
once in coins subwayesque we paid all the way uptown back in the skeleton-eye like, "hey hey hey gotta keep up now" somebody would shout sweating beautiful on the shitty rushing chinatown streets glistening bodies yellow mash sunrocked those days ... but now we are old and in us drugs rot like we are dirty like our insides are paying for our sins and not us our insides like a cross fruit-rotting sun-diving we are eagles now beautiful and we we feast on what we like lucky ones so so lucky so lucky imagine if one of us, um, found out one of our best friends had died overdose-cop-call on an empty bed or worse all of us lied more some of us got free on the dust falling out of the bags meant for a sick sunday or one of us betrayed the animals let loose in the disco metal farm we are lucky count-your-wishes-and-stars lucky now we are old and going for more we are dirty like our insides went to work for us for every night we spent in the throws throwing up diamonds and trust funds our souls eternal for those nights and we felt it a real disco polaroid famous wasted eternal buzz so rocked but inside it was all a joke hahahahaha and we we were a joke just all sped up and neon and ugly like sharks in shiny dresses minus leeches us, and our bowls of fruit fruitcake-dreaming but full of disco-lies and fucking each other disgusting our souls shining hard in valhalla but inside we were lying and while we were not busy with the snake or the unicorn-rainbow hallucinations if we sat down for even one moment we knew once we got home our insides they would pay for our sins while we sat on the window-bed-nook under a peach-rind quilt suffering a loss we was bright and alive once we was was but now now; just steeped in self juice and balloon-popped yellow-yucked and fucked up white-wine dinnered and disgusting crossworded all of us totally sucking and stuck our insides like a cross sun-diving and fruit-rotting
Excerpted from HELLOSUNSHINE by Ryan Adams Copyright © 2009 by Ryan Adams. Excerpted by permission.
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