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CR Jun 27
I want you to tell me
the truth about my hands
and what they are worth to you

will you grant me clemency
when they blister and crack
when they redden, raw

up close, it’s no secret that
beneath the skin, there is something
roiling

and I want to know if I should
keep you at a distance
CR May 15
shrink the shapes down to fit in your hands
they are not legible like they used to be, there is no
beginning or end or denouement
there is just the dust that settles once you’ve forgotten for long enough

it’s not ever really long enough for your shoulders, though
they twist with knots you can’t visualize, so deep your
fingers stiffen and your eyes look hollow
remembering is harder

don’t breathe as you cross the street, you could catch it
you darkly note that it doesn’t really matter, he’s
already gone
what difference does a mask make

but you hope it does
and you haven’t yet let go of thinking when will it end

though more and more it’s met with
I can probably live like this
and whiskey
CR Oct 2018
to not know you takes me back

the year is 2004. the place is oval beach.
the wind is calm. the voices far away.

in a few days, I’ll twist my ankle
in a few drops I’ll forget when rain was warm
it wasn’t always like this

it wasn’t always like you
CR Jan 2017
I fell asleep last night dreaming of golden rings
of sunlight holding together quick inhalations
all over the floor of your room, letting them go
just fast enough, but only.

I wanted to write like you and breathe like you and
blink to the beat of your apocalyptic pulse
when you’ve spent the day stacking papers,
receipts of all the times you said okay

When it wasn’t. I fell for you behind closed doors,
imagining your aging memories of pain casting
you and me in the same bronze. But you,
instead, were buoyant gold-plated sturdy
forward-facing and I,
as ever, will find a way to keep you anyhow.
CR Nov 2016
the long-suffering fire
sputtered against my cracked knuckles,
still warm and blue when i
packed up and went.

the air, now, is still wet with memory,
spiders tangled in silk of their own making,
collected in corners,
hardly touching,
hardly touched.

one syllable once stretched across my artery,
small and forgettable,
until blood and letters
stopped in their tracks, and
i became myself in the silence after the sparks.

from far away you can’t hear the matte echo
in pupils small but deep
and skittish.
if you let in too much light,
it all looks gold.

if you let in too much light,
you’ll miss it.
CR Aug 2016
this is where we sat
my elbows bony
your mouth a hard line

some walls are painted yellow, some
lined in mirrors, yours
bare
i was

ancient
crude

drawn in eternal by words that mean
things that they don’t sound like, building
materials that belie their insides
lengths i’d never go to

we are both what we say we are
but you are more
CR Aug 2016
maybe it was on the dam, graffitied
by hummingbirds
where i counted red ants
and minutes
on the bridge of your nose
at close range

and where we said goodbye
shrugged our shoulders
and never came back

or maybe it was on the brown couch
opposite the copy machine
that covered my hands
blackened them while you were away
you might have been proud

maybe it was in the recesses of the library
where i drank too much coffee
and found the only thing that drives me

or maybe it was right here
where i made up a nightmare
and never could shake it after that
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