i like to do my crying in hot bathwater,
to fill the tub with glassy blues and greens,
all questions and itches and bloodrush fantasies.
like when i see people,
i’m obsessed with what they think of me:
my legs and my broken arm and my humor,
those flailing comments in recitation,
why i like glasses and hate skirts,
why i have a ‘pager’ on my belt,
why i don’t wear makeup,
why i like girls but not boys,
why i got with her,
why i broke up with her,
why i got with the next one,
why i started smoking,
why i stopped,
why i take medicine to numb up,
why it kinda makes sense that i avoid people these days.
does everyone think i’m an asshole?
my roommate tells me he does.
i’m insecure but i’m trying.
does anyone see that?
i’m dying to know.
like sometimes i think i know what
death in a plane crash feels like.
the crush of bodies and bones and seatbelts,
an even flare of warmth,
then snap-dissolve to white.
but those are just dreams, i think.
i’d rather die in this bath anyway, so
i shave and try not to cut myself,
though a nick here and another there
have me bleeding into the wet.
i wonder if i’m fucking insane
or just another narcissist.
maybe not. maybe both.
i’m thinking about the time i was asleep on your floor,
and you got out of bed
and crawled under the blanket with me
and took my face between your palms
and kissed me slow,
hands up under pajama shirts.
i pulled your hair and you moaned–
i laughed, because
all your succulents were watching us.
we didn’t talk at all,
laying there in the moonstripes.
instead we listened.
everyone around us judging judging judging
turning their sides and their mouths forming ohs
chitter of cell phone conversations,
gentle foreign langue drifting up up up from a call home and
the whirr of air conditioners and
clack-slap-smick of shoes slapping traps on the wood walk.
the flick of their heads then eyes then brains:
you draw them in sharp-like, blue.
necks snap and I just wonder if it’ll ever calm down,
if you’ll stop.
then warm press of lips and cheek
tastes of salt and bug spray and flowers,
cattails thick wildflower blooded mauve
rasp behind us, side by side on the bench.
you use that false high voice when marketing light-up shoes to strangers
but can you even see what you’re doing
when you’re running like that?
when the whole world collapses and chooses you as center of mass
and a bloodflood rush (it all comes to you)
you are the funnel, the universal bottom.
energy pours in, anxious and ruby, passing through you to somewhere:
but you’re not sure where, are you?
i feel sad,
and the blankets
crumpled at my knees
are cozy and serious.
yesterday was my birthday.
she’s back in the ring of things,
gloves off, ready to fight.
is she crying? or is it sweat?
i never could tell
except for up close.
i hate watching
her feel it,
loose and desperate lunges.
contact at last, and
i sigh, turn my phone off,
and slide further under the blankets.