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the past
is such a complicated beast
our history holds our tongues
and ghosts still linger on our lips

I'm not the type
you're not the type
to fetter the future when we know
one of us would have to give up
something of ourselves

I think we're dancing with danger here
more than we ever have
with the burn of her name still fresh on your heart
and the brush of her breath still vivid in my soul

tell that to the heart that leaps in my chest
when you're close enough to hear it

we have choices to make here
I don't think we can stay on this cliff's edge forever

back to safety, forward into the terrifying rushing air
(who knows if there's water catch us)
(if there is, we still could drown)

just tell me
which way do you want to jump?
I'm not a poet, I
only write because I need
to release the heat
you built up in my heart
to bleed it out in ink
hot and fresh and raw, I
breathe you in and out
like oxygen

I'm not a poet, I
only write to tell you all the things
I'm never brave enough to say aloud

I'm not a poet, I
only write for love of you
I only write for lack of you
put my fingertips to better use
or swing me silent with your hips
and bring a stop
to this train of thought
with your lips
Feb 11 2016
I willingly bear
the heavy weight of this love
to my grave for you
I can even
how tenderly I look at you

I can only imagine
what it must look like
to everyone else
I only ever write about


I only ever write about

would you turn away if
I crumbled in your arms to dust?
I fall apart around you.

and yet, it is only
in the humid darkness
with the sound of our hearts beating
against sleep
that I feel
I don't remember summers before I was
at least five or six but I'd
from the VHS tapes stacked on one side of the TV stand
with names like "July '97"
that it was hot
like no air conditioning on the third floor of a tiny house
and it was sweet
like the juice from a strawberry
all over a tiny
chubby-cheeked face

the first summers I do remember
were long and full of
bugs and soccer and
library books

and the smell of pine needles

fast forward to when they changed
from freedom to
in a world where I had never felt
so simultaneously old
and far too young
but still it was
cold water and cold mornings and
warm afternoons in a field
talking about nothing
that seemed like everything

and then it was sea-breeze and bus rides and
fidgeting through the morning just to be
barely able to stay awake in the afternoons
and the best field trips I'll ever have
54 hearts at the edge of the world
young and
utterly convinced of our own brilliance

and then?
too long
running and reading and breaking and
barely putting myself back together

and then it was four months
of the hardest work I've ever done
in my entire life
four months of pain and a deadline
I for once didn't know if I could make but
I had to, for you
work I still don't talk about
even in the place just before sleep takes over
when you feel like words
are just a cotton-candy haze
and you could say anything
and let your future self deal with it in the morning
(some things
are locked away too deeply
to be unintentionally spoken)
(this is the summer
I only talk about
in bold one-liners
not meeting your eyes
because the only way I can face anyone
with this in plain view
is if I am wearing it
like armor)

and last summer?
last summer was long days of the best work
and long nights with the best company
when I didn't care how sleep-deprived I was
I only cared about
the amount of time I spent with you
I was
(I am)
willing to push back sleep
push open my eyelids
for another moment
watching you fight the same battle

last summer smells like
the ocean
it looks like a dimly lit bar, cheap beer and
a cheap dress, a clean white shirt
glowing slightly in the light
of the neon sign
it sounds like
music loud enough and close enough
that we can barely hear ourselves
screaming the words,
breathless and
dancing like we may never get the chance again
(it sounds like singing off-key and
a playlist that
hasn't ended yet)

I'm finally learning
to like summer
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