The Boiler

Emily Blair

BALLAD

Your love’s got me looking so crazy right now, from the right, from the left and in close-up. If you only knew all the things that flow through my mind while I’m dancing in a desolate industrial district with only a flaming car for warmth. Turn around! I’m trashing your bathroom, I’m startling a dove, I’m smiling at your image projected on a curtain. Near far wherever you are, I’m part of you indefinitely, flying over tall buildings in a helicopter. Cause I am your lady and you are no one, no one, no one can get in the way of uh oh, uh oh, uh oh. I’m in love, sweet love, surrounded by a thousand tea-lights. I’m on a balcony in summer air; I’m fallin’ in and out of a convertible from some leftover teenage dream. I’ve got no shame instead I’ve got a model of the city and I’m burning it up, baby. There’s a ninja breaking crockery in my heart. Now I get, I get what I want — every now and then I get a little bit I-I-I-I — how do I get you alone? I had a vision of love and it was wearing a crown and dancing in circles under the stars, it was holding up traffic in both directions, it was leaning against a glass-block wall — And I can’t stop thinking about — do you believe in life after love? If so, how do I, how do I, how do I live?

THE ONE

In the midst of a dystopia, we shared a cigarette. You revealed your supernatural
abilities:  to  send  anything  aloft  using a rubber band, to ignore pop  songs  and 
unpleasant  people,  to  make  a  masterpiece from a pile of parts. Also, your face.
We set out on a long, long  road  trip  through  a devastated  American  landscape
full of car troubles,  android  doubles,  roommates,  red  states,  slumlords,  scare
chords,  flooded   basements,   cracked   pavements,  lattices  of  laser  beams  on
every   side,  and  explosions  unfolding  in  slow  motion  like  flowers.  Now  you
hide  your  x-ray  vision  with  eyeglasses  and  tons  of  stuff  I  thought had been
thrown  away  in  the  hallway  closet.  Do  you  like  my  cyborg  arm?  I  use  it to
slam  doors.  You  simply  dematerialize  when  you  disagree.  And  so  it took me
almost   twenty   years   to  realize  that  you  don’t  enjoy  the  countryside.  Sorry
for  all  the  camping  trips.  You  like  to  make  a  fire, even in the woods. And it’s
wonderful  how  you  can  move  furniture  with  your  mind—you’ve transformed
our   abandoned  subway  tunnel  into  a  cloud  palace,  but  this  lamp  should  go
right  back  on  the  street.  You  can  illuminate  this  place  with  your  hands, you
pyro, the same way you light up my life.

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Emily Blair’s work has appeared in Sixth Finch, Amethyst Arsenic, Blue Lyra, Stolen Island, WSQ, Cura Magazine and the Mississippi Review. In 2014, she received a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.