Save Us

These are for you, flattened images of flowers he pressed with an ocean and I cleaned with care. Keep track of those lips, love, it’s the gift of trust that keeps us from fainting, without air, pressed glass sides pinned under the weight of what was, so tonight I won’t sleep and tomorrow I won’t either: my morbid nature compresses my lungs and your naive meanderings will lay me to discharged waste. These were his, the sighs of simplicity, and I understand history is a misnomer when I look at your slumber eyes so far. Taste the winter as if it were a moment, so tactile. I never was taught how to believe so I am deciphering Morse code in my lonely moments under a single bulb, you do not understand that your newness smells fresh on bared teeth of boys so be gentle with my chest cavity please.

S. R.

My skin won’t glisten on screens anymore, as I recall it was you who dictated rug burn thighs and left before I awoke. Every court needs a comedy so I have my teeth bared while you remember what it is you liked about his body so. So. Does she know she’s not the one I try to forget? Only two girls ever met my mama, and I drink my lunch in these romanticized memories like turpentine. Flutter like forgetting to forget, you are what you do and I am not seen because I am not your story, ten days later I can tell you’re no longer home. Will he know how the hair on your arms stands up in the summer breeze from the chill he makes come over you, sweat, yes? When he says he loves you, does he mean the bad parts too, the betrayal and the part where I am incredulous in your blasphemy? I don’t hear lyrics outside windows, I see your lips move to sad songs. Let me go, I don’t have backwards conversations post-conviction so you can leave once but the second time you are revoked like a name we took back on a torn page, erasure errata; deviation of the devil and omission of honor. I still smell your hair on the night I asked you to dance and you chose another, reaching back for me like space had a black hole made of matter from regret. I knew it was coming. I knew, I knew.

Cardboard

My mother told me she doesn’t want me to feel swallowed and I didn’t know how to tell her I’m already intestine-bound. I didn’t know how to tell my sister I am a spiral the universe created to keep us calm in the wintertime and survival is doing what hurts most some afternoons. I told my lover that energy finds energy, and when we die we ride the dragon dog until we find home. Most nights I put words to paper on bus lines I sleep through so I stay warm. Creation is destruction is life, and I am the god I longed for in a storybook storm.