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  2h Evan Stephens
noise curves
small, sleep stirs
neon stars

sifted laugh, broken sigh
bed swapped for silent floor

duvet nest familiar, slick peace
sticky dream

hope & fear
bicker sick between blue-lines

chaste moon flickers red

town’s painted crimson
painted warning

it’s fine
it’s fine

cramp & pink
it’s time

wall for balance - tide
coats fingers, plasters thighs

cramp & heat
cramp & fire

cramp & cramp
& cries
I packed it away for the fourth
or fifth time tonight, moving it
between the boxes, cotton cherries
spilling in hands, thinking about the selfie
you sent from the dressing room,
like an audition. You needn't've:
you already had what you wanted.
Now I send the dress back to Dublin
with your other things, because
I don't think you're coming back here.
That thought comes out hard - touches
some places that don't like touching.
I'm wracked long, long into the evening.
Please, come back for this dress -
wear it and come out with me,
we'll go back to our secret square,
just like years ago you can tell me
about the snow brothel again,
I'll eat all your pheromones
& make little moves towards you
in your lover's skin -
white dress with cherries.
Burnt sugar spangles
checker a green wall
the morning I'm on
an emergency call
with my former therapist,
who calls you my
major adult relationship,
& she is right.
Of course it hurts,
to lose that.
There's her, and then
there's everyone else,
& it doesn't feel close,
does it?

We're in a strange place.
I'd give anything I own
to board the next flight
from Dulles to Dublin
& nestle into the crook
of your arm over coffee
& almonds.
You put everything
you had into this one...

Instead I'm selling
this condo so full of you
that I can scarcely breathe,
moving back downtown
where the whitish blots
dip back and forth,
& waiting, waiting,
for something to change,
You just have to be patient
until she is ready
for one thing or the other.

& then it's noon,
& the call is over,
& the bobbin of sun
riffles back its little coins.
One thing, or the other.
Or the other.
When I am gone, the cat settles in
by the door, among the shoes,
guaranteed to see me first
when I've returned.

When you are away too long,
(& you have been away so long)
I dig in among all our words,
waiting for the sound of keys.
  1d Evan Stephens
neon stars, oak moon  
tarmac tilts &

music drifts on fumes

enough now it’s time
blue-lines stretch with seasons -

sick & full & fire

cramp & rust
it’s time

town’s painted blood
it’s fine

spine on string
vine-legs hung without sensation

black & bruise & red bleed
behind blue screen

it’s fine
it’s fine

anonymous - red sleep
comes hard & strong

it’s fine
in my sleep it cries
  2d Evan Stephens
fire flick
crimson alley - ***** nails
wall for balance

slick oblivion, hard & quick -

dries sticky

not my name  I’m sorry
I’m sorry

town’s painted red

not my name
not my name

slick oblivion - dries sticky
dries sickly

sickly - sick sick

time scribbled in blue-lines cramps
dead on bedding -

coats fingers, plasters thighs

I’m sorry
I’m sorry

town’s painted blood
painted hollow
Your old card,
"You're My Person"
creases in my hand.

The note is so sweet
it ruins me; my nose
spots blood, I cry so hard.

Even if I put it down
& only touch it
with my mind

it wrecks the afternoon,
a hammer-handle
between the eyes.  

Yet I can't even file it away,
still less remove the pastel
from the black chess mantel.

It's part of me,
stowed deep in the heart,
like a blade the doctors
are afraid to remove.

I also sent cards,
filled with adoring scrawl,
Turkish slices,
raw pianissimos of love.  

I wonder if they split you, too.
I don't know what we are,
only how I feel -

you are the root
of gladness.
My hair still burns

when I think of you.
I am committed to the dark
chancels of your thoughts.

I may be shackled to the white blot
of Washington, but the blood
specking whorl and loop
erupts from Dublin.

Consider this, then,
another card,
sent to you across
cerulean cavity

all the way to your
necklace of river.  
You're my person.

As always, my honey,
I close with
kisses and hugs,

knots and crosses:
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