three times we pressed the rose quartz
back you twice I just the once
because you did the cheap adhesive the only stone
what wouldn’t stay
nighttime she drops a final click
and I leave her be
off the charts
like she wants
D says letting it be
means to work at it
the stink of wealth, or blood
you are a freshly-minted dollar,
your copperhead eyes, the stink
of wealth, or blood;
Osho was obsessed with toads and
the sound of clear springwater.
I am obsessed with lying
about poets I barely know.
you taste like lily-pads feel.
cool and glabrous.
nice things that can be said about you:
your mottled lips are hairless.
your body is
mostly devoid of scales.
you breathe like mud and
daybreak dappled across old trees.
amphibian means you live
in both the dry land of my longing
and the puddled wet of desperation
the clammy eel-wet feel of disappointment
WE MISTOLERATE YOU! THE THINGS YOU
PUT US THROUGH TASTE LIKE EQUAL PARTS
COUGH SYRUP AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE!
WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH, OUR BELLIES FULL TO
BURSTING WITH HACKNEYED APOLOGIES,
SLIGHTS OF NEGLECT, DEEP-SET LONGING!
WE FAIL TO SEE THE SENSE IN BEDDING DOWN
ANY LONGER WITH THAT WHICH WE DO NOT
TRUST! WE FAIL TO SEE THE SENSE OF RIDING
(THOUGH YOUR HIPS BE AS COMELY AS ANY)
A HORSE DEAD FROM THE BEGINNING! WE ARE
LIKE TO TRUST NONE AFTER YOU HAVE HAD
YOUR USE OF US, YOUR SORRY TALES OF NOT-
GOOD-ENOUGH SITTING IN OUR CRAWS LIKE
A FISHBONE WITH NO COMMON COURTESY!
HOWEVERMUCH YOU LINE YOUR EYES WITH
THE VERY NIGHT IS IMMATERIAL! HOWEVER
SWEET YOUR WORDS, YOUR SYCOPHANTIC
NATURE, THE BEGUILING TOUCH OF YOUR
SLEEVE! WE ARE GRANTED NO REPRIEVE
FROM THE CLAMMY EEL-WET FEEL OF YOUR
ONE HAS TO LEARN. ONE NEEDS TO CLASP
THEMSELVES CLOSE IN ORDER NOT TO LOSE
THEIR WAY. ONE NEEDS TO LOSE YOU, AND
QUICKLY. THIS IS THE STRENGTH FOR WHICH
WE ARE WEEPING. THIS IS THE NIGHT FROM
WHICH WE MARCH.
a shaft with no elevator
you scare me, dearest:
because you produce terrorist jokes
like the bombs you are supposed to make
about your Arab lineage
because you keep late nights and
later replies and failure to respond
can mean at best someone’s dropped
your phone in vodka
because falling for you is
a shaft with no elevator—
is opening my front door and discovering
that concrete sidewalk has been replaced
with deep abyssal void
but still I ride you like roller-coaster,
strapped to my scares,
because nothing bad can happen to a writer.
(you bring me places I’ve only been
in the shadowed alleys of bookshelves)
with you terror
is what we paid for.
a scalding riot of jitter
sunday night we are—
unlike the christ—
we are elbows on knees
you tell me in one breath
how you are depressed
because you need to fuck,
eyeball a passing girl you charmingly
sketch as a ‘bag of bones’ and
‘just your type’,
your attentions alternately
whimpering and coercive
I point out how the water is
a scalding riot of jitter
and say we should go dancing.
you say we should go dancing
and have sex after.
happy four-twenty, you
murmur loudly to no one
in particular, watching for
we are prowling
for parishoners looking to go
to chemical church, or
females willing to overlook
a bedroom that smells
like the aftermath of a forest fire.
we look for strangers with
which to touch souls, or hands,
the better to convince ourselves
we are not riddled
gorgeous, but exacting
Gorgeous, but exacting. Admired for your self-sufficiency. Full of lightning storms and breezy conversation by turn. Hot by any standard—almost sweltering. By turns garish and endearing. Likes to adorn self with neon and glitter in the night. Never sleeps. Smells like my grandmother might still be alive. Tastes even better. One of the least violent people I know. Holds me like
home, home, home.
A child. Reads too much. Too anxious to leave.
Too eager to regret.
I only truly once saw you. You tilted your face up to meet me but
by then you were just a cartographer’s dream. A window seat is
not a keepsake. The stale cabin air was harder to breathe than
on your stillest afternoon. I’m not sure escape
was not a mistake.
mounting the twin peaks of pretentiousness and climax
I’ve always wondered how other
people sext. it’s become a slight
obsession for me; I want to know
because I’m one of those degenerate
poets and I’m pretty sure other people don’t
try to mount the twin peaks
of pretentiousness and climax
at the same time. I’m the sort of
person who will call your low-slung
carriage of hips my cradle of desire
your pelvic cage an armoured truck
your breastbone a fortress just for
wearing clothes that are more difficult
to get off than mine
but with me more difficult to get off
than you are
I don’t know who the loser is—
or what kind of scrambled signal
my messages are sending