i shook you off to spin you out into the empty air where even
molecules of oxygen shunned you, breathing my own atmosphere
and exhaling carbon dioxide for the sake of the trees. trees
you could leave, trade in for the city swallowing my footsteps,
rattling me like tin can bones through windshield catastrophe.
but who would want to do that. you were not what your paperwork
said you were, and i have no time for shredding documented lies.
the trees cannot hate like i do and i cannot die each year like
the trees do. i will ignite the air and burn the memory of you
so that it may not rise again to steal my breath.
you cannot hear the echo if there is nothing
for the sound to bounce off of
look for divinity in starvation
when the rib cage fails to emerge
xylophonic resonance within the skull
starkness of body across a white desert
(pluck out my eyes, they weigh too much)
eschew colors like cream and chocolate
stick to nude and shadow
(for it weighs nothing)
we were force-fed ourselves
and filled up on emptiness
yet were heavier still.
if you’re sleeping with one eye open, you’re being cautious
if you’re sleeping with both eyes open, you’re probably dead
but i’m not paranoid. i know exactly where i stand: on empty air
i’m supposed to be straight but i’d be lying
if i said i wasn’t queer for you
which is to say
i think you’re a little strange
but i’m sick of being strangers
and my heart feels the strangest
when i look at you sleeping with your eyes closed
and know you can
because you’re by my side.
but this is not a love poem. this is a like poem.
i like when you chew on my lower lip
like it’s marshmallow candy
i like when you suck the marrow
out of my words
and chew on some silly thought that i had
and probably didn’t mean
but i mean this:
when my breath presses on your eyelashes like they are piano keys
when the chorus is a sigh, over and over again,
i will make sure to write down every name you breathe in your sleep
even though it is not mine.
a bite you pretended not to notice
an angry blister of words
a rash of accusations
an itch for something you can’t have
you’ve said her name eight times in the last ten minutes
a word of caution to ward against poison:
don’t feel sorry for the widowed spiders.
they’re alone for a reason.
i swallowed the sun
at the nape of your neck
to save you from being hanged at midday.
go to the sea with its wordless singing
and from there
we will give up our tongues to the birds
and be sifted out from the sand
our lies heavy enough to sink to the bottom.