I. In the past you were stale and sticky like old beer and I could not peel your hands from my hips. I know I couldn't look at you when you kissed me, but neither could I close my eyes.
II. Sometimes now you are a black hole that pulls me in at the top of the steps. Your shirt is two sizes too big and my hands pull it close around your waist, calming the air and closing a vacuum.
III. When you put your knuckles to your mouth to laugh, when your sleeves are rolled up just above your elbows, music is peeking out of your corners like light under a doorway and your eyes are a robin's egg on the sidewalk, cracked open to spill a feeling that has no name or ending.
Wondering where it came from, this obsession with threes and trinities,
And there you were,
My third deity,
My third sainted portrait,
The halo around your hips:
A new Orion’s Belt of dark blue current that spills from this night
This night that looks so much warmer than it feels
And feels so much closer than it looks
I remember that the grass was damp
And besides that I’d kicked off my borrowed shoes.
And there were hands on my waist,
Hands in my hair,
And the smell of summer idiocy on my fingers and lips.
This bright red coal in the night
Against you, dressed all in black.
I can still see my breath ringed out
Around the dome of the church
As I held my wasted money between *******
And wound two more through your belt loop
I remember the two of us laughing
At the emotional lives of our friends,
But even as I’m modestly filling out
My libertine’s title,
We have to admit that we have our own problems,
Even if we refuse to name them.
Sometimes I think all my problems are etymological.
And whatever there is in the attack,
I can’t help but miss it in the retreat;
Maybe it’s the way we refuse to let go.
I want to live with you in a shotgun house
open the doors and let the breeze roll
I want to lie with you on a bed of clean
and trace the contour of your skin
against the reflected light
I want to hear your bare feet pad softly
on dark wooden floors
I want to pass the night with you in front
of open windows
and talk about the patterns of human
emotions and the naming of things
I want to build a fire on a beach with you
and burn driftwood with old memories
all good things will end, like the morning
light that grew to light our
bodies, hip to hip
and you told me you wouldn't say goodbye
the way an overhead fan blows stray hairs across your cheeks
you offer a bite of something to a friend with occupied hands, and you
accidentally press your finger to their lips
you are pale and purple-eyed in computer screen-light on a tuesday
midnight but the reasons in favor of going to sleep have suddenly vanished
one of your knuckles cracks louder than all the others
you are ashamed to admit that mistreatment simply fails to stir your anger
you wanted to make origami boxes out of huge sheets of newspaper at 4am
but you were alone and couldn't think of anyone who would appreciate the
the hand on the small of your back is barely reassuring
you wished you could speak slowly but all your thoughts are flitting flashes of
still-lifes, bursting with inconsistent voice
your touch makes my skin bristle and I want to own you, if just for one
linoleum-floored, whiskey-strange moment
across the table
eyes on my neck
and I was
still ******* the switchblade in my pocket.
of slight stature
your shoulders are beautiful in the sunlight
you couldn’t not know that
your eyes are dull as gold is dull
and green reflected by the grass
if you are tired as I am tired
of vampires and che guevara and parkour and girls
in going out skirts, of movies you forget the plot of
and new architecture, of streets with sidewalks on
only one side
if you are tired as I am tired
along the top of the wooden cabinet
a large carpenter bee
left feathered imprints of its legs
in a layer of white insecticidal foam snow
made tickmarks as it wandered back and forth and slowly