Everest

I tore down mountains for you
if they don’t move my hands do
all the dirty work
kept my soul so covered in soot
my body is no box
but slips of paper get stuck in
these two by fours I call sides
complaints and love notes
by the end they said the same thing
all boxes might hold dynamite
at this point
people joke about caring too much
not knowing that means you get to a point
where your hands are bloody
from ripping up stones

valentines

in 2014 i forgot

about conceptualization until

a hallmark eyesore

they told me they’d just get me

a potato

(that’s not a metaphor, for the record,

i was offered a spud)

and we haven’t talked since

they groped me drunk in a club

and i said stop

and i got too sad to say no

to a friend i have

never written a poem for

(twice)

so i told them in the snow i’d like to

take them to dinner

and never did

and heard from amanda i’m a tease.

but back on topic

i think the year before

was the year

she (the usual she)

asked me what i’d like to do to her

and i said i’m just a furnace

all i do is eat coal

i heat up houses

don’t touch me

and she showed up with flowers

and i always say i wouldn’t change a thing

but maybe that day

so where can i take you now

that i read you so many grave markers?

i can string up lights

and pretend i’m not the kind of person

whose enjoyment is bitter

knowing i’m losing you before we began

i get so sick of myself

syrup of ipecac eyes

because one day i’ll have been dead a hundred years

and no one will think of my favorite flower

and this might just be a rock, not a planet

so what’s the worth of the weight of my hand

in human years?

what about the bad days?

i could break solitude

like a geode i suppose

for the way you

smirk and look at your coffee cup

and say it’s sweet the way

i circle the same block three times

just to walk you back

from walking me home.

i am open to being surprised.

i didn’t know how this poem would end

when i started.

a childhood bathing suit.

sunlight-warm pools

and you

picking at a wedgie

while trotting

from ladder to

springboard

again.

wave.

heights.

there is always one second

I’m not sure if I’m coming back up.

what if I’m just not strong enough?

what if I only almost make it?

start to panic

kick wildly.

flailing is probably the right word,

propelling up,

subjective,

I saw a picture of the earth’s geography

from space, with love,

and we forgot we’re not perfectly round.

we forgot we got mountains

and you don’t just find

diamonds like that

you chisel ’em

rougher around the edges.

I wanna not be afraid to try

I want to be awake today

you wanna be brave.

open your eyes underwater.

you might as well.

you’ll be back at the ladder soon.