bath.

cold tile, candles

running water and all

you can consider is the

possibility i might

get out.

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great lakes

can you swim?

i have uttered my minimalist replies

the footnotes in leatherbound books:

i used to smell the pages of

his entire library.

never let me take books out but

didn’t realize i was locked in ’til the last chapter anyway.

i’m trying to keep it dry here

in the reading room

but you have an ocean swelling

of dismissed plaintiffs.

let the court rise! like the tide

let the record show like a shoreline

let the wreckage sit in my sea

the pages washed away

all smoked out

rolled up into a neat bottle

you can throw

you got a good arm

go ahead

part of me’s waiting.

i know how much just saying that’d upset you,

but i left it in so you’d know i’m ready to be alone

slightly defeatist

don’t think you really learned how to swim

much less read all these books in a day

or a thousand.

i just miss knowing he’d never leave

and feeling understood,

mermaid problems

both fictitious and autobiographical.

i’m sure you’ve stopped reading by now.

you just get more mad when i bring up how sad i am.

you’re not the first or last.

guess you didn’t know i was all

surfboarding and archie comics

not sorry to disappoint

was always taught only to say sorry

when my body feels sorrow

it feels more like a tide pool.

liquor

i love you like a bottle

so glass and clear

hard and heavy

in dark bars and bedrooms

leading to stalled

emotional vomit on this white dress

we danced drunk in your kitchen once

listened to bright eyes in the dark

and you cried

cause you didn’t want me to leave if we broke

but you throw out those bottles

i said

we got separate bins for recyclables, too,

but we know i don’t sort, that baby-bathwater combo seems like a done deal.

i burn down houses with whiskey

and lighters

even though i know glass don’t burn.

i love you like scotch,

neat and strict,

so biting, and we all know it’s not good for you,

i keep drinking the despondence,

the cadence of my gulps brings your exasperation,

i’m hung over too, love.

you’re a martini, the dirtier the better

so your hands taste like other people’s salt, tell me dearest

did you know alcohol can keep you up at night?

i’ve got shot glasses i look through,

fired a round of those promises i want you to make

cause when you’re drunk once you told me it was forever

to stop a fight.

that was towards the end.

we got a love like liquor

cause we’re quicker

than most to hit the rocks, right?

that’s why this flows so smooth in your glass?

reflexology.

when you wake up in a brand new bed

does your arm

reach

across too? i miss the smells of you coming home

like the sound of church bells

from under my tombstone.

never even seen that movie,

can you believe it?

you’re an agnostic lover and know it,

so unsure of assurances.

got no insurance

still broke

got no life savings

when did I get saved

got no plans

you told me god would laugh in my face.

i am a shy guy, standing in the corner when we got to heaven

waiting for seraphim to approach me first

waiting for saints to make small talk.

i broke my bed with a pick axe

sawed off the legs and bleached my sheets

cleaned my soul holy

and used my money to buy my friends beer.

called my mom from a payphone

to tell her things are still fine

i didn’t tell her

how much better it’s all getting.