cigarette requests

brown corduroy button-ups, a bunch of sunflowers tied with red and white string, casting lines but not getting any back, an odd dream, pillow-printed skin, cigarette requests, fulfilling them but not telling, summer apartments, pantry shelves, hazelnuts, red wine, Taco Tuesdays, sleeping in, sleeping it off, sleeping the days away, ceiling fans, the fine line between receiving mixed signals and over analyzing everything, wanting to collapse that distinction, coping anyway, broken cups, broken blinds, broken hearts, a tiny tuft of laundry lint, borrowed tee shirts, mostly empty movie theaters, the cool cement leaf smell of literally every garage ever, the first frost, morning fog, panic attacks, bathtubs, bath-time, bathwater, a book terming Seneca’s suicide “a decision to open his veins.”

things to do instead of getting high:

write a list, write a poem, go for a run, cook something, play bananagrams, do readings, call your girlfriend, finish your lab, check Facebook, tag your girlfriend in strange memes, text her till you miss her, feel it hurt, make a to-do list, do something on that to-do list, masturbate, file your taxes, read one of those fiction books on the bedside table, ride your bike, make your bed, listen to love songs, do the laundry, clean the tub, take down the old christmas decorations, watch a show, organize your desk, call your siblings, call your mom, ask for pictures of the cat, daydream about summer, about a family.

dream ii: messy mix

i was looking for vegetables
with a sun stung nape
grubs and pillbugs and silverfish burrowed
and i uncovered
bones of confederates lying still and quiet
in the cool earth
split femurs and arms and vertebrae too
I plucked up the skull by its eyes
‘why hello’
well hello to you too sir

glow
glitter fish
fiddler crab pops
sheer dress
shear stress
cheekbones split air into vetiver fumes
I’ll keep my socks on
eat alphabet soup
trace finger stripes on a dusty table
inhale
repeat

i tucked a child into my jacket once when he was cold but he’s fine now
my dog pressed his cold pebble nose into my palm once but he’s dead now

you
you are the bruise shifting under my skin
roam my bones
eat me at the river mouth
delta delta
don’t you?
puncture veins with your egg tooth

gravity pushes you to pear
on that boat
and I
I write letters to you on gum wrappers
let her press my body into mattress springs
but all i want is you you you
cover me warmly
cut me deeply
leave me loudly

I hold your shirt hem
between my thumb and index
to remind myself that you’re here
that you’re real
and I could graft out a piece of you if I want

I took a fig once but no one saw
no revelation no truth (no sirens neither)
so i’ll stop the car
roadside
steal an ear of sweet corn
peel back the silk and bite white
taste chalk dust, drift.

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.

Highline highwrite

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)
and 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?

games

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,
the attack.
somewhere near,
tightening edges
careful sidesteps
loose and desperate lunges.
contact at last, and
a crowd,
roaring.

i sigh, turn my phone off,
and slide further under the blankets.