24.

i will cry into tea towels in the kitchen

in a pajama set covered in blue sheep

while you eat frozen greek yogurt, sitting on the kitchen counter

wearing that stupid fake brand tee shirt

and tell me everything is actually great

any night of the week.

everything is actually great.

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working at it

i am entombed to your body, tethered to dry dirt roads and sunburnt sweats, i am that bondage rope you’ve sewn into skin, monuments akin to these dust mite jaws you battered. i was the san francisco summer dream on the tip of your eardrum one june, the north carolina sunset picnic nap on your fingernail moon, i am abject fear that comes from truly loving someone’s ugly parts, that’s why my sentences are fragments,

i am fragmented. i am just parts without you. and you know it. and you are too, but you are resolved to be a glued hand mirror, and i am left to shard. i am too weak without your love some days, but god sits in my muscles to move me toward the dead darkness with a chin held high and a regulated breathing rate,

so i do as told as i tell to myself as am told by myself as comes outta nowhere through myself outta my mind with myself myself and i me myself where are you no you nowhere me myself and i only trust me and myself not i

and myself is the kind that cries but has lost all fear of an epilogued tongue so the myself is tired of using dewey decimal to decode where you found me, drowned me, all the corny rhymed up fucks to fucking say you swallowed my soul on a steak,

i want to cocoon and return to feeling like i was alive, now i just feel awake to be a viewer of the show. i felt too much about how i feel too little, i am still thawing from the kind of sad that kills you for a second, my body’s just a hollow hospital, i got a heart monitor to monitor me and his name is not-broke unlike my palindrome. they sing me to sleep, you don’t know, and i’d feel less embarrassed to talk to you.

do you miss the talking? i do. i’m embarrassed to admit that yours is still the number i expect to see, but we don’t want to be numbers, and we don’t want to be watchmen, so we split up.

i am learning to swim in a deep end but in the way that doesn’t ask you for help or pity or flotation devices, just a watchful eye and a sideline cheer, i must have my ears underwater because they swear they’re there but i feel the rote lines are memorized and well acted some nights on stage, maybe i just miss the surprise of your improvisation.

one room is dedicated to me and you in a house i don’t own anymore, with white paint on white walls that reads, “i always love you more than air, enough to say we stay separate until the settle-down. my heart’s gotta settle down.” so get settlin’.