bathtub sonnet

still tonight she writes with words in water
a curl of blood as lonely as a soliloquy; even
shadow bends away from her light that is more
like a flicker of fiber optics rather than some
constant glow–she lifts lidless eyes to the moon
and asks for guidance but tonight the sky is full
of faraway answers that stray into questions dark
as eyelashes and full as the bathtub she stands
in, and each time she bends to scrub her skin
the water sinks into the drain and back again
where the starkness of a candle flame betrays
her in its hurricane lamp–she is left between
a memory and a moment, an evaporating stare,
a graceless hand and a fistful of air.


sonnenzio on a line from xxxiv

and so at last, you sleep, in the circle of my arms
i could always outlast you dreaming, and though
the last night we slept together was a time that
wanted to be blasted from my quartz-clear memory,
the experience outlasted the night and the dawn too.
at last we had some peace, finally we had some quiet
i say it as though it had some lasting effect,
the last chance we had to pull it together
and make something lasting as crystal we found
blasting through the quarries of the heart–
i always lagged behind, the last person out right
before detonation, like i could outlast even this,
and in this last-ditch effort i try to shake you awake,
and wonder who’s at last making the bigger mistake.

[i never mistook you…]

for shawn.

i never mistook you, but i miss taking you
to the edge of a murmur, rolling over the
precipice of sleep, lotus-eyed and dreaming.
we were young once. while you were dancing
in dark basements i was breaking into other
boys’ hearts, armed with nothing but
a flashlight and a roving hand. but now we
are here, and i think it strange that i never
noticed the bags under your eyes like
shadowed ocean floor. i want to lay awake
next to you just to see what you say in your
sleep, if your subconscious can speak
the glyphs written upon my heart,
if it will be more than just a murmur.


i. freeze

we were snow-blind with gray frost-bitten tongues
i tried to drown you in a frozen sea
but the ice was too thick so we lay there
unable to say what we really meant
(i wanted you to tell me you loved me)

ii. thaw

i pushed you under the icy water
held you until you said what i wanted
your blood pumped thickly and clogged up your veins
your tears were lumps of ice that could not speak
my heart was so hot it melted glaciers.

[our love was a dwindling myth…]

our love was a dwindling myth
passed down by tired mouths
and the time for snipped threads
was fast approaching. hearts
like signal fires lit the way
even though we knew we
couldn’t hide. leaving gifts
of broken watches for the gods,
we kissed gently but not without
urgency as the scissor blades
flashed. we were mostly frayed ends
anyway. i would have slipped
you a pomegranate seed if i
thought it would make you stay.


i. open up like a moon-blooming flower

crossing statelines at midnight, i picked up a guy who told me
that if you eat enough marigolds, you turn into the sun, hovering
above an ocean that gleams like the sweat-soaked small of a back
where we could hear the chanting of om off in the distance
like the moment between dreaming and waking.

ii. fuck like phospherescence

it’s okay, you can hurt me, i want to tell him. he cups
my chin in his hands like an egg in a spoon. he kisses me and his
eyes are the color of lit televisions. he would never hurt me.
i graffiti myself on the ceiling afterwards, a glow-in-the-dark
picture of what could have been.

iii. close the world like a light

i will fold my hands into a brown bird to create an eclipse that will
shadow your heart, and feed you marigolds that will still shine
in the darkness. we will craft our own hallucinations out of glowing
filaments of loneliness and find each other there at the edge
of the world, keeping our eyes open as we fall into the universe.