I don’t need another

like I had, I need 

that something that

makes me write like I have

peeled back my fingernails

to unclot the ink underneath. 

That’s how you know. 

I don’t need you

but I want you

and the wanting is so much better, anyway,

any of my home movies can tell you:

I had this script in my stomach

and all her lines were in my pancreas 

but I dizzied my body to death 

on sorrow and sorries. 

I retched bile onto my

clean-pressed love scheme. 

I am someone new now. 

This is a new body for you to hold. 

No one has ever met this man, did you know?

I love myself enough now to let me love you,

I am done with the saboteur in my ripe young age. 

You have that laugh that tastes like

melting marijuana,

you push your hair behind your ear when I

hold your gaze and you smirk and look away

and I still watch you from behind my glass,

good god. 

Put a penny in the well,

wishing you’d think of me. 

Lit a candle,

pushed my prayers out the door on a breeze to find where you worry. 

I am not waiting,

I wait,

I am not paused,

I am present. 

Save me a dance 

the next night of your life. 



carefully choose the narrative devices

before making any decision,

small as yes or no,

bigger than a why,

somewhere insignificant like

will you or won’t you. 


i. i wish i could stick to you like

artery plaque:

a slow, meaningless suffering

shuffled across your bedroom floor. 

were you to

choke on a gasp or

spin around too fast

i could be your 

last fresh breath or ankle carpet tangle,


ii. oh! what a sweet skull to be crowned with,

what a sweet skill to cloak:

a masterful unraveling 

of thread to tie you together

but we end up tied up, 

started with my red band of yarn

you wrapped around my ring finger;

pressed our praying palms into

a tapestry depicting

the fall of man. 

iii. and now!

my wrist veins are in your arm, we share

a liver,

and we are trapped in a glass dome 

with nothing to look at

as we sink into the dark sea. 

the pressure is pushing. 

i look for cracks in the glass

so close to my eyes

it has all blurred. 

iv. there are bubbles in the blood we share. 

don’t go to sleep if you’re stroking out. 

you don’t believe in doctors so we are 

heart surgeons, profound absurd prodigies

sanitizing my bedroom floor. 

white lights and penicillin are ambiance,

the scalpels sing “will you won’t you.” 

put a flower under your tongue and

wipe your brow, 

use your hands to break my ribs

and open me up. 

v. i have a distinct memory of

you as the sun

and never knowing

how my retinas burned,

forgetting to look

for a cure

when you developed a cough. 

the science of your skin. 

when i see skin

that looks like the skin

i traced sonnets into

summer mornings

on your back,

i feel it beneath my




you call lips,

you are pressed beneath

my palms

and in my nail beds;

all forensics is bunk science

but life is a theory

and this is a query 

into existing simultaneously

across the non-linear echoes of time. 

my sternum is a 

nuclear reactor,

i am a 

hazmat suit with soul. 

you left behind

barren wombs

and mutations. 

we are slowly vibrating

at an atomic level,

i am touching

your largest organ 

but never really touching

your largest organ. 

creationism would say

you came down to that garden 

with those scars;

i saw you crawl out of ooze 

and dig your own talons into

shoulder flesh. 

it is pain,

you are so accurate,

we are still learning of your kind. 

how many layers 

deep into dermis 

do you still feel me? 

what formula do you have

to calculate your fingerprints off my


why are your eyes causing

blood and blisters

and third-degree burns on me?

when did you decide to graft 

your sorrow onto 

my inner thighs?

always know your borders,

always wear breathable fabric. 

we can sweat through our skin. 


I am no revisionist,

I am a mediator

between rose colored glasses and 

raw red skin. 

When you ask me why I

make things up

she is in me, screaming. 

The good days have melted wax in my palms,

clocks behind my eyelids,

a deep waiting. 

The bad days have the return of

ringing ear drums 

and wondering why

I can’t do it right

like you told me to,

like you told me I don’t do it. 

Those clouds don’t drift off 

cause you wish rain rain go away. 

You don’t want to smile 

just cause you dad told you 

that it is required,

that you’ll really get it if

you don’t play nice. 

I am what I needed in my world,

a revelation 

of possibility

and betterment

and being



I think you’re like a calculator 

’cause you like things so neat,

rounded up at the end

for a summation

total to your parts

but you’re not a computer;

you’re a a mountain road

with a caution sign,

winding yourself up to worry on the edge. 

I think you may fall off sometimes but it’s really an avalanche

that does you in. 

You’ve got to forgive yourself for pretending to be a career criminal

when six months is all you put in

and you walked away a locksmith. 

(All the doors are unlocked.)

You used to fear

a marooned island travel

but that’s what you’ve got yourself here,

just a boat you built

and some water

and some might say

it’s not so bad once you see

the sun. 

Your future is

a flushed-cheek smile,

a warm embrace from behind,

the smell of salt seas,

a lock you can pick,

a broken calculator in a still ocean

thrown over the edge

once you realized

everything was already there. 


I think I held you so tightly 

in my sleep

to press the memory of your body

into my very being,

which is what keeps me awake at night now. 

To love someone so much

that one wishes their new


should be dropped into the 

deepest center

of the 

Atlantic or Pacific

(I am not picky)

is a terrible rage to keep living for. 

Your best revenge is knowing 

it would be the gravest of sins

to allow you my presence

so I pluck the petals off my years:

she must love me,

she loved me never,

she loved me most,

I’ll never sleep again. 


i stopped writing about you

when it became the amusing


for living a life

where things went right. 

where things went right:

i had hoped 

to dream

something achievable,

then i realized

I could do it all

so the weight became too great. 

worlds aren’t meant to bridge shoulder blades. 

now kept on a folded


organized and confined by limitations

of adult written language

but blossoming

from the fertilization 


(that me, with you,

needed to die).