what do field engineers know about love

goddamn field engineers get me every time–

his cheekbones are chiseled and his eyes darker, but there is still
the point where i want to tear him open to see if you are hiding inside,
underneath all that tanned skin and weekend insobriety. i don’t even
know what a field engineer does–only that you go to topeka or omaha
or some other place i only know because a favorite musician is from
there, that you prefer girls with dark hair but that mine is too dark,
that you prefer short thin girls and i was never thin enough–my body
dragged over itself despite the apparently nimble way i could pick
up a dozen library books on the floor in a minute, the way you showed
me how you far up you could jump down from the nonfiction staircase,
the way you turned me with your bright green cat eyes and how i could
swear that when i would see you last november that your english was
less accented and that somehow made me sad. i slept in a cold room next
to yours on a mattress covered with cat’s hair and wished i could at
least see your breath in the air like we were in russia, or cold like
i think russia is all the time. i thought about your lean, hairless chest
while you prepared smoke in a jar for us to share, how we can never go
back there. when the new guy speaks to me i jump in the air, clinging
to the florescent lighting, convinced i have seen a ghost. but ghosts
don’t stick around unless love has been lost, and how can we lose what
we never had?

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rummaging

the inquiries into the physics of your body
softer than collision, softer than impact,
softer than all things i had grown to know
as being a part of myself, like this living
of everydayness in split light, one brighter
than the other, but i couldn’t quite say
which one was which. you picked through me,
didn’t rummage, and i loved you for that.
carefully you laid out my origins
a barren petri-dish, film cut into squares
a block of nostalgia from which i was formed
so that i missed what i didn’t even know i
was missing. and then it was too late.
as a sapling i dreamed in black and white
and maybe even sometimes an emerald green
so vivid it almost hurt to look at it.
my hands, as it would be, weathered first,
and then my face, which you found lying
on the ground among the oak leaves
and picked up and kissed. we would count
stars in the viridian sky and the light
and darkness soothed my eyes like poultices,
like the bunch of rag and lavender you held
to my gaping heart. you never rummaged,
only held me in your hands with love so
bright beneath the dark that could not,
would not, take me from you.