loving new

give me your undivided attention
your eyes your mouth your ears, give
your reasons your excuses your pathetic
avenues, twisting yourself out of
all, giving me lie after calculated truth
give me your undivided affection
your fingertips your elbows your blood and
curve, isn’t that what you’ve always
longed for, a way to breathe into someone
else and give them a glimpse of you, give me
a peek of you unadulterated, a part of you you’ve
never wanted, give me the sharp parts you’ve
forgotten and buried shallow, give me your soft edges
let’s break
them wide open, give me and take
from me, take what I’ve always wanted to build, take
from me the memories I can’t say with certainty
without wondering where we all and it all began
give me your empty and I’ll fill it ever full with
my regrets and my glass body, so easy to crack
I’ll give you my undivided
isn’t that what they’ve
told us, they’ve always
told us

february fourteenth, twenty thirteen.

kiss me, skin prickling, lips cracked but now moistened,
lead me to the table and we’ll exhaust ourselves and exhaustingly
exhaust all topics of conversation until we’re bled dry of talk and our
throats are sore from giggling over wine glasses of crimson acid,
taking no extra breaths than needed, devouring each other
with our minds and our thoughts and our eyes until
we leave a tip with the check and escape
into the cool whisper of the winter wind.
my feet are aching in these high heels I wore
just to be near your height – so up I go,
into your warm arms, carrying me
across the street and up stairs
key unlocking the door with a soft
click click, thud behind us.
you cough, your chest heaving
you’re handsome, even when
you’re sick as all hell,
and I love you for
taking me out
when you
have the
flu.

12

I want to taste the poison on your tongue
I want to feel your breath upon my neck
warming me against the bitter cold
that threatens to destroy us limb from limb.
Tell me that the world will never end,
Tell me that forever we will be.
I will stay if the demons come to call
and be with you until my dying eve.
But kisses are not shields
and the world is not a home,
but a radical existence of
bone against bone.

Trifecta challenge week 42: write at least 33 words based on the third definition of the word radical: a : very different from the usual or traditional : extremeb : favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutionsc : associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme changed : advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs <the radical right>

11

breaking the silence

with your words

You know nothing of suffering.

you shift your weight

turning to me

blessing me with the sight

of your marble eyes.

they glisten like the blood of warriors

but I only imagine them red

because your eyes

are the color of aged leather –

fierce and calculating,

warm and rugged,

you have me shaking to my core

and I’m falling, falling

from grace, into

the splendor that is

your eyes.

 

You know nothing of suffering.

And I know nothing of you.

preface to the ending

this is the moment

before the clock strikes

before the cock crows

before the sun sets.

they say beginnings are born

from endings, but I –

I am born from the ashes

when the pain ebbs

when the blood drips

when the marks fade

and fade

and fade

and fad

and fa

and f

and

an

a

an

and

I am born

I am new

I am the end

and the beginning

and I slough the ashes off

and I can feel

so very clearly

what life is

who I am

who I must become

“that’s not all right, man. that’s not all right.”

the air stank of stale tobacco and petrichor

and the rain kept falling, falling.

and he stood there, naked before us

and he wept his salt and blood

because she would have been twenty-six today

if she hadn’t drank so much

and took her Ambien.

she never woke up.

 

you could feel her in the air that night

she was with us

in the drinks we poured

in the breaths we took

and in the rain that

fell

and fell

and fell.

 

 

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10

the dark musky theater was hardly the right backdrop
to set the scene for our hormonal-driven ecstasy
as we found ourselves, quite alone, on the couch reeking
of sweat and mildew. and it was there, in the quiet black
of that theater, that old high school theater,
we didn’t talk at all, we only felt
and kissed and were ourselves, plainly.

three years later, here we are again,
that same theater with the backdrops newly painted.
the couch is gone, replaced by other props like
a wooden cow, Rapunzel’s tower, a basket of fake loaves of bread –
things that mean absolutely nothing to us,
since we had left that life behind.
I haven’t talked to you since then.
you’re looking dapper in your suit and tie
and you smile and give me a stiff hug
and gruffly walk away
as if we had never
kissed at all.

it is not because

it is not because we can lay naked together and just enjoy the heat of the day and the lame movie on the screen. it is not because we have both unwittingly adopted each other’s  idiosyncracies so well that it is almost like we were born that way. it is not because we move in sync to our surroundings. it is not because we sing so loud in the car we drown the rest of the world out. it is not because we miss each other’s skin and bones whenever there is distance between us. it is not because we find each other’s jokes hilarious when no one else finds them funny. it is not because we listen so completely to one another that we never forget a single unimportant thing. it is not because we complete each other. it is not because of any of those things. it is because of all of them, and more, every untold and unknown and forgotten and remembered and heartfelt and sickening. it is because you are me and I am you, and love has everything and nothing to do with it. it is fact and fiction, it is real and imaginary, it is and it is not. we are separate but not. we are us. we are love.