it is raining very softly at the tail end of may
and i don’t know what to say
you told me i’d come back to you if it’s worth it for me
and how can i agree
when i don’t know what i need
and you don’t know the first thing about writing songs
and i’m all sad and wrong
i promise you’d be tired of me after the first fucking week
but i kind of want to see
cuz that’s how you believe
and even with your teeth on my neck you have
such gentle lips such tender hands
these are things i don’t understand
and you are not a poet’s wet dream you have
no grace no sultry gold-flecked eyes
but you are soft, you seem to satisfy
and i think you would understand you have
loved the bottle and loved the songs
and hated both and known it’s wrong
and i don’t know if you could shake me you have
strength but not the will, the way
so i don’t know if i should stay
I tell everyone
“I’m happiest alone”
but the truth is,
I don’t know what it’s like
to not be.
I live in a less-than-one-bedroom apartment
and my phone doesn’t make a sound
during the day.
I’m always holding people too tight
and I don’t realize
my hands are around their neck
until they’re choking out
their last words
“I never really wanted you”
and I think you use
I love you
when you have run out of
other things to say.
i think i drank too much
because my shirt still smells like you and
i still smell like ethanol, i am
radioactive, skin sloughed off,
nothing more to say
i think i talked too much
because i felt like my skin went transparent and
you could see the dark center
all black and burnt,
you could read
the scars on my bones like
and you spoke my secrets out
into the air,
fluttered their sooty wings
with rum-coated breaths,
let them fly, let them burn up clean
in the heat from
your lamp in the corner
at two in the morning
as moths do.
i think i hid too much
because you cracked open my bloody ribs and
let all my black-winged demons
out after twenty years inside
i didn’t feel relieved, just
for three weeks i have only
been writing about shattered psyches and
not about someone i
kissed in the morning before
class and i am writing
about glass bottles not brown eyes
and mangling meter
but remembering rhymes
and punctuation passed on and we should
for every mistake, every misaligned priority
every love that’s lost to preoccupied minds
every woman who leaves
every man who says goodbye
my lungs are wet i took them out of my body while i was
asleep and left them in the rain
when i woke up my lungs were back in my body and i realized i’m
not any better than the dead animal i saw on the side of the road
you saw it too but you pretended you didn’t
i said i wasn’t sick but i am
it’s not your fault:
sometimes every arm just feels like a cage
and sometimes i forget
how to breathe deep,
how to do anything but push away
even the gentlest hands.
oh, baby, you think you know how to smile.
you’ve got all your secret sins
packed up tight between two lungs.
you think you’ve got it all under control.
you drink too much,
you talk too little.
but you kiss so damn sweet
they like to forget where your scars came from.
you’re not the moon, glowy and kind,
you’re just the summer dusk:
drunk with heat, full of fire,
give me a bottle and a bloody nose,
i’ll write you sonnets and songs and stories
until my fingers break.
give me your mouth,
i’ll give you every word i ever wrote:
all lost as heat, as short breaths spent, pooling in your sternum
like warm summer rain.
you said i was so soft and smooth and it’s not that i’m a cushion, it’s that i’m made of powdered glass: you break something up that finely, you get a billion billion shards that run miniscule cuts through your fingertips, you get the illusion of smoothness lacquered down and secret sharp, you get pain you don’t notice until it hits you all at once that you’re down to raw skin and you don’t want any sorts of touching anymore and everything hurts, hurts, hurts.
can’t you see i’m so damn sharp and sinful? they say the index finger has two thousand five hundred nerve endings per square centimeter and with all that can’t you read me like your favorite novel? but of course you grew up with eyes, and only the blind man sees the warning written across my hipbones.
i wish you could see it, since i can’t seem to find my voice.