The Northville Review
an online literary journal
On the Failure of Language To Comfort You Following the Death of Your Pet Rock, Pebble Without A Cause

Matthew Burnside

there are tender things to say to you on this occasion
I know there are
but I can’t think of them now
the words get all dumb in my throat
I wish I could say what I feel

girl, your Sega Genesis heart is so precious
I want to suck all the splinters out of your hands
be the spoon of sugar to your hiccup
I wish I could give you a P-Wing to bypass all the bullshit
hover above the clouds toes unperturbed, feet scraping cirrus
I would be your tanooki suit whenever it’s hurting
turn you to stone until those bad turtles pass
booby trap your house to withstand the grief like
Macaulay Culkin, when you’re feeling Home Alone
girl, let me Shamwow your worry, Slapchop your pain
double bag those tears so they don’t spill out onto the pavement
I will send you a thousand auto-tuned kitty videos a day
until you forget how to frown, & death is a word you no
longer know. deflect all the rain with tiny cocktail umbrellas
let me be your heart-Snuggie tonight while the wind wilds
outside your window. Winter May Be Coming but I’m your
Jon Snow. if loneliness were paper I would fold origami
swans out of all that flat sadness, lick the paper cuts inside
you closed. unkey your sleek exterior & Tokyo Drift you
to sleep, until the highway feels like home again
until the word No exits your vocabulary I’ll sing Yes into
your ear, Banksy the gray city of your sorrow with
graffiti in the dead of night, while the rude rats break-dance
in the gutters & skyscrapers slowly sway to the beat
girl, I’ll call you girl until the ache melts through your skin
gather the puddles into a horcrux & smash it like a zit
until you remember what it’s like to laugh until you throw up
I’ll “like” every Facebook status, hold your hand &
tell you how cute those freckles are swimming on your face
I’ll sit with you until after the credits, after everyone has already
filed out, until the lights come up & then go down again
& we watch that chick flick you like so much with what’shisface
for the third time, eating popcorn with too much butter & me
being ok with you sighing every time the glory that is
Ryan Gosling graces the screen

About the author

Matthew pays tribute to the old gods & the new by writing poems about Ryan Gosling.