Tree-Houses


Cody Deitz

            The best of life is but intoxication. 

                                     –– Lord Byron

 

Now it’s all smoke and climbing high

into the tree-houses of the unconscious,

 

tip-toeing onto the longest branches

and peering down at the turquoise  swimming pools

 

and the girls that lounge beside them.

It’s more than turning on a light – it’s becoming

 

the bulb and the switch and the finger

sliding over the wall and the static: something

 

about serotonin I’d like to remember,

red and blue orbs shooting gaps in textbooks

 

and cartoons from anti-drug programs. 

It’s not a model for us, though, it’s vibration.

 

Going out is always leaving so we can return,

always the hero’s journey compressed:

 

drives out to the desert where we can breathe,

inhale the sparkling snuff of night,

 

out past the last dirt-covered asphalt strip

and buzzing streetlamp orange.  We are horses

 

to be broken, cars to be revved red and raced

into the damp suburban dark and now,

 

we are still together and have no way of knowing

I’ve got one foot over the fence

 

and you’ll be stuck, held down by the weight

of your body soaked in chemical.  Denial is still

 

a sitcom joke, addiction just the smell of cigarettes.

Rehab is a reality show, celebrities from the 80s

 

squabbling over couch cushions and group time.

From the truck, I watch you walk back

 

in the brush, across trails dotted by tumbleweeds

like diodes across resistors, your shadow etched  

 

against the black, not wondering why,

though it’s all so delicate, we don’t come crashing down.

 About the Writer
Split Lip Magazine

Cody Deitz resides in Los Angeles where he is a Master's candidate at California State University, Northridge. There, he studies poetry and teaches first-year composition.  He believes ardently in the capacity of the poem to generate empathy and effect change. When not working, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife.  His poetry has been published in various literary journals including Ellipsis, Chaparral, the Northridge Review, and others.  He is currently at work on a full-length poetry collection.