4 days off meds

i like to do my crying in hot bathwater,
to fill the tub with glassy blues and greens,
then me,
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,
dull-deaf roaring,
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.

triangle

your red dotted sandals
were on the grass
(i saw them before i saw you)
and i smiled because that
bright childish pattern is exactly  my type

i settled down a few yards away
(spread books and papers around me
to convince myself of worth)
then i looked up
and that
is when i saw you,

all square jaw and big eyes and
i haven’t seen you in three months
(but maybe you’ve seen me?
i’m not sure)

I try not to look, to play it cool,
but i can’t help to watch you laughing,
braiding your hair, shimmering confidence
in the hot sun

i imagine you kissing her lips
knotting your fingers in her hair
and i feel sad
but that’s okay
it won’t happen anymore

but i still want to forget
so i lock in on work
(prostitution in india, one hell of a bore)

and then i see feet.
i look up and it’s you

i’ve never heard your voice before now
and the tone sounds different than i imagined
a little lower and pitchy

you ask me to dinner
you have some things you need to say

i’m shocked and nervous
is this reconciliation?
perhaps.

so i say yes
tell you i hold no ill will
that it was brave for you to come over

you nod your head
(the braids move forward and back)
and blink at me with those wide eyes

you seem confused, teetering on some edge
looking back now,
i think you were seething

and
i’m not so sure i want to go to dinner anymore.

 

Introductions

It’s like when you walk into a room you’ve been in before
but now everything smells of lilac
and everything is bright and everything is brilliantly blue
like everything is a little bit better less bitter than before.

But you don’t know how and you don’t know why. So you wait.
Until she walks in. And you hear her voice and you know, you just know.

Her eyes are the blue of the room, you could go jump right into them. She has the kindest teeth, the smallest hands, and the cheeks that chirp hello. Her personality moves through you in the sharpest way, but god, she’s so soft, you yearn to hold her.

And in that moment you feel that little speck you may have felt once or twice before, settle into your soul and course through your veins and make you struggle to breathe.

You can see it –
holding her hand, her bags, her waist, her jacket when she’s tying her shoe.
Kissing her nose in the morning
and in the night.
Having her children, raising them, feeding them, finding them, losing them.

Growing old. Telling her no, sweetie, you don’t need  face lift. No sweetie, don’t dye your hair.

No sweetie, I’m fine. We’re fine. Fate exists, heaven is real.

You shake her hand and introduce yourself, choking on the scent of lilacs,
blinded by the blue.

pear

it’s hot
yellowing sheets from sweat
the outline of your body a flippant pear
how long till the screens bore holes in your eyes?

please just leave your room.

you used to have a square jaw but
you swelled from
binges
and lack of movement.

if only your shins didn’t splint, you say. it’d have been so different.

maybe it’s just inertia,
this island you’ve swum to,
alone, burnt, insides aching.
but once you’re there,
by god,
you can’t stop.

why wouldn’t you share your bed with me?

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.