May 2013

You asked me for a love-lorn metaphor so I told you Georgia O’Keefe looked at my flower and out came a Picasso, your tongue is a Rorschach test to my ink-blot heart, I drew your legs around me like a spiral staircase to break my neck on. I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached to your confessionals, heart beating like a Kahlo self portrait of the artist’s anatomical: neither missteps nor mistakes but missions before sunrise. I asked you what you wanted (knowing the answer in my tonsil hockey fantasy league draft) dodger of past recruitment. Now give me your paci- fist. I miss the kind of fucking where we kiss at the end so I quit my games of teenage pretend and admit it: you’ve loved me as long as I’ve loved you. This is what we were never ready for and we’re still not really now but I want to smell your morning breath and see you without makeup on and find your toenail clippings on the bathroom floor, wonder what your mother thinks of me now, quickly spiral when you’re withholding and to cry when I miss you. I want all that pain right now, here, with you.



4:01 pm


apparently when i smoke

i tell janie she’s the person i love most in the world, forever, because she has a pure soul

and tell kiam he’s an angel and one of the most important people in my life

and clam up around logan because he’s so smart and funny i want to hear every word

and babble on and feel boring while dietz starts to look tired.


when i smoke

i feel my fire go out

my shoulders turn into rolled butts (i ash them)

i am smouldering tips

i am a pile of soot.

my arms are cigarettes.


grace rolls them tighter

pulls them out of no where

our joke is we don’t remember when she started being around

all the time

grace is surprised when i say she’s

one of my closest friends.


i save more money

not smoking

not turning into a wildfire

i see a fireman once a week

my insurance doesn’t cover fire damage


as a child i once thought pyromania quaint

sat under a table with a lighter

got so scared i pulled my head up to air

got my first and only black eye

there’s a picture of me from halloween that year

big black eye


i never got another black eye

but i got brother burns

we dug nicotine into our flesh

charlie likes pain

i fell into a snowdrift

my mom disapproved


my mom disapproves of smoking

she doesn’t know that i do

if she sees this poem

she will not know i mean my body

not a cigarette

until this stanza

this is less poetry and more

hickory smoked mar

aging and preserving.

my mom doesn’t know i smoke.