The World Needs Us Naked
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Notes From You : David Bernier

David and his foot.

"Notes From You" selects works of poetry, short story and essay, illustration, and cartooning that are submitted by you and your friends. To kick us off, we’re featuring two short pieces from friend and local poet, David Bernier, whose writing always leaves us with a certain grateful whimsy.

 

Submit your work for July to skinnydippermag@gmail.com with the subject line “Notes From You” by June 29th.

 

 

History textbook

Neighbors turned their satellite dishes around so they listened not above, but below—

Doctors, prone in their white, pressed their stethoscopes against the dirt—

The school board replaced the pledge of allegiance with a daily lesson on photosynthesis—

Fossil fuel CEOs scrubbed out oil barrels to catch rainwater for public gardens—

Engineers gave away generators that people charged by skipping stones—

National parks launched initiatives to bring trees’ morale to record highs—

Factory workers stopped making s

oda and instead made baby formula, free for mothers whose

breasts gave no milk—

Tourists quit taking photos of the Grand Canyon to preserve the nation’s sense of wonder—

Construction workers converted the last remaining prison into meadow—

We turned our

faces toward sunset—

We dried our clothes in sunset—

You found me—

Touch me butt

Touch me but not because I’m some sort of “ horn dog ” 

but because at the wedding reception your face

sometimes looked like you were doing long

division in your head and I admire that and

you hold my body so good both naked

and the other way and for you petting dogs

is prayer and you and I laid high

by the swamp and watched the scum grow

too slow to see but you were proud of it and

I was proud of you and your effort deserves

every gold medal I have infiltrated the olympic committee

I have tried to persuade to strongarm the olympic committee

into changing their policy from giving gold medals

to the winners of sporting competitions to

giving them all to you and I will have you know

they are motherfucking hardliners I promised

the rep from china overship of every single

chinatown and the rep from France the statue of liberty

and ten billion unfiltered cigarettes but 

their asking prices were even higher so here I sit

locked up charged with attempted bribery and

misguided unconsummated seduction waiting for you

waiting for magic waiting to smell cattails again

to touch honeysuckle and interpol may come

looking for you so be ready to answer the door in

your giant ass-kicking boots and remember that legally

you don’t owe them a thing

The music we make in may

will fill parts of us that didn’t exist last summer

 

Our only mutual friend visited today

 

They said the growth potion will be finished tonight

 

In one sleep from now I will see your giant and friendly face

bouncing pink light toward me off the sunrise when 

you pluck the roof off this prison with

your giant thumb and your giant forefinger

and you scoop me up

and off we go

Skinny Dipper Magazine 
exists to catalyze self-discovery and human connection through storytelling.

Be bold and act like we’re invited, so that when they open those velvet barriers we walk right in with a nod. Lose sleep over the music we have forgotten, and leave if there is neither beauty nor sadness. Ask questions over dinner that require pencil and paper to answer. Print. Less screens and thicker calluses. Practice our dance while doing the dishes, and stay out there late. Unbutton around corners and fall off the bike, but stay on the ground and admire the mark we made on the street. Full burritos and well-worn maps. Wonder who designs salad dressing labels because we have some ideas. Load our words into a new canon, curse traffic, and show up unannounced because we know our friends. Get a double and see it twice. Fetishisize the past and be aliens together. Find a new way home. Kick ourselves for missing, clap for caring. Go wild with our look because we aren’t there yet. Speak with the flight attendants and hope that the runway below is full so that we can circle above the clouds at golden hour. Remember Ivan Ilyich and the favorite books of our friends. Tug hard on the tension between absolute narcissism and crippling self-doubt and find your dream in the middle. Push through and search abroad to see if this is there too. Go simple, go solo, go now. The world or nothing. Because if just one piece of this works, then this is forever.