this town is running out of spaces that aren’t
stained with vignettes of you. there's bruises in my vision
everywhere i look:
the first kiss between the pillars,
your old school field,
our makeshift lovers’ lane in a gravel turnout.
i try to keep you at bay but you are always there
on the backs of my eyelids
your face is a slit to my throat, your laugh a razor blade
leaves me folding into myself like origami until i can’t get any smaller
the most important thing i’ve learned in twenty-one years:
sunrises are bullshit,
that people always say it’s new beginnings, but i’ve been around long
enough to know this is more like an old ending.
if i pray loud enough do you think God will let me turn off the daylight?
it’s just that the last time we kissed we were soaked in pitch black,
your piano fingers planted candles in the cracks of my spine,
so now i prefer light that i can kill with my own breath
(sorry Father i’m up so late but after this i’ll practise staying asleep)
you were an exercise in:
shutting off our hearts
letting our hands do the talking
waiting for the other to exhale first while the room turned blue around us
didn't we promise to be transparent? the day you became indian ink,
i fumbled through the dark until a nail drove through my flesh.
had you known the smokier the poetry, the harder it is to fall out of love?
is that why you forgot to say goodbye? how can you
have a clean break when you’ve broken your fingers
making something fake feel real?
this is how I know i’m caught out at sea again:
body torn open by salt water grating on my soaked-paper skin, and
none of the waves are breaking in the right direction, and
i try paddling back to shore, but i’m kicking and kicking, and
all the water does is just stay still.