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  Aug 2 gravygod
Tom Leveille
whenever i hear a wind chime i think of your voice. i wonder what it's like to be your bedsheets. what it would really be like to understand the jargon in your head. i ******* want to kiss you sometimes and then others i really do want concrete between your hands & my skin. i can't think straight all the time so i wonder if it benefits me at all to explain what it means that i don't want or expect anything from you but if we accidentally liked eachother in that middle school "sort of way" then i wouldn't say no. i want to really understand what you mean when you say "stay" to me in our texts. i wonder if your sleeping pills do to you what they do to me. i'm thinking again about "stay" and maybe i'm choked up on you leaving for school up north but i'll never tell you because get the **** out of here and don't look back especially not for me. stay. your smile, genuine or not tears me in two. i wish every face on the planet had your smile and i am ******* afraid of you wearing lipstick. i'm terrified of your bare skin and goodbyes. i hate farewells and see you laters. i knew the first time i saw you interact on your phone while drinking coffee the way you text people and how i now do the same thing. i get around read receipts. i sometimes want to hear you say you want.. not so much me, maybe me, but my company. theres a park near my house where i've imagined us paddle boating. i got written up at work once for daydreaming about it. what the **** is in a friendship anyway, decency in a human isn't biological. i get hung up on knee jerks and gut reactions. i want to know what the ******* are thinking about when i look up and you are looking right at me. but then again, i don't. as long as i'm wondering. as long as the door might swing open or closed. stay. go. run. **** your collarbones. **** your chest and skin and lips and everything i hate but crave and might like about you without say so. stay. sit down and explain to me why it is that i care anyway. i am afraid that if i say i want to *******, you'll think i mean *******, and not "*******". i wanna know if any of this sounds familiar and i here i am back to wondering what the **** is going on and why you're looking at me. the hair on my neck stands on end when you do and another thing... **** poetry. i cloud my feelings for you & anything else with the abstract so you'll never really know if i ******* hit rock bottom or not over the fact that i know we will never kiss. somebody just said "**** buddy" on tv and i think sometimes symmetry between irony & circumstance. i have harbored some of these thoughts since the night you said hello to me. i'm sorry i had to get over the fact that once upon a time i wanted to save somebody, and you weren't going to let it be you. i do sometimes think my hands might break you, that you spend your day painting a picket fence in your head that you can't get on one side or the other on. i felt like you didn't want to get up from dinner and i rushed it out the door because i am afraid to start a sentence with so. so stay. i am sorry my words often wear brass knuckles. your smile shoots to **** and if i ever die while you still remember my name i want you to read this or read something at my funeral. i don't know if these butterflies are waiting for me to jump or sit down but they speak up when my phone lights up & it's you.
  Aug 2 gravygod
Tom Leveille
i can feel you
distancing yourself from me
i can feel continental drift
i wonder, do the shoes
you wear to run from me
have holes in them?
or do you go barefoot
careful not to make a sound
in your retreat. "cover your tracks & don't look back" i imagine
your demons whisper daily
as you are growing fond of me
i wonder if your heart puts up a fight when you want to see me
or if it's a massacre
& the demons dance
on dreams you have
of us holding hands
do you wander to your car
only to find yourself back in bed?
do you put your makeup on
just to take if off again?  
is your imagination of me
a graveyard, or a pair of open arms
that are inches away
but just out of reach?
you see, what i've been so afraid
to tell you for so long,
why i feign sometimes
before speaking
careful not to tell you
all my unspoken promises,
it has to do with the night you had your head on my chest and confessed you never thought my heart
could beat like hummingbird wings:
i apologize for my silence
what i've been trying to say
is that my heart hasn't slowed down
since the day we drank coffee together
continents apart
  Aug 2 gravygod
Tom Leveille
okay so i’m beginning to believe i was born asleep and still haven’t woken up, or caught in a day dream where my name is the answer to all your security questions. okay. a thousand years of wondering and all i can come up with is that you fell in love with me at a picnic in my imagination. the lemonade we always talk about swimming in sugar and tiny handmade sandwiches from my kitchen, your favorite, extra pickle. don’t forget about the pickles. of course the clouds march in stomping out the sunshine, of course. it was dark and there was lightning so much lightning. don’t be scared just now darling don’t be scared. in the middle of the night we only talk about your version of the story. how i’d ask you to stay, asking you to tell me what’s real asking you with my hands asking you with maps, a country called please listen to me, you should know by now that it is an island too far to sail to according to you. i know i know, who dared name an ocean lonely when all the ships are sinking. we can go back we can turn around where the sky is the gentlest shade lavender, we can go back and have a conversation that has never happened before. when everything is the color of day old bruises i won’t let you down. i promise when i get home i will count every freckle every one. when i get home can we open one of those mason jars full of fresh air because i can’t breathe. i remember that day, although i pretend it was more recent than it was. you were there in a swell of green grass in a dress that makes me blush, and there i was blushing. i’m not sure how i made it out alive, skipping the part in the song where you, long gone come busting through a doorway, through the well air conditioned living room and and across the kitchen tile, to the refrigerator where just like in elementary school, my fourth grade heart wrote all your favorite things on flash cards in the blackest magic marker so i could memorize the things that made you happiest. and you turning around in slow motion to see my face, or where my face should be, the only expression i can make anymore, realizing that you realized that i only ever wanted to be something that made you happy. suddenly you’re tired, and i’m tired too, goodnight goodnight, i’m falling asleep because it’s the only thing that doesn’t burn. i’m falling asleep to go back again. everything glitches and i’m underneath your perfect teeth. you say “i would never hurt you” and i say “just like that?” and the layer starts over again, always back to the moment i asked you in my bravest of voices if i could hold your hand. you probably don’t remember that moment, or maybe you do but don’t particularly share the same sentiment over its importance. you see, i’m always fine until the part where i have to say it out loud, and then time stops. i have always wanted to tell you that something happened inside me that night and now i’m not the same me as i was before. so if you ever cross a bridge. if you ever get my voicemail, if you need me, i’ll be sketching up the dramatic parts in my head and they’ll happen just the way i imagined just you wait you wait. the last scene the very last one, the bottom layer, knee deep in mud knee deep in i told you so, you say “i would never hurt you” and instead of saying “just like that” i reach up to kiss you and the room evaporates. so if you want lemonade and bedtime stories, if i can make a believer out of you, if you want bucketfuls of november if you want grace if you want the courage it takes to ask for grace, you’re over the train tracks you’re almost home you’re almost there. what else can you say besides “okay pumpkin okay sweetheart, in my head everything was beautiful" the doorway now filled with people who send you birthday cards saying welcome back welcome home we’ve missed you, hello. hello. the time spent waiting, chorus of rain, i only invited you over so we could make perfect sense. i only gave my hands away because you didn’t want them anymore. and days later a man with a shark tooth necklace asked if i was okay and i lost it i just lost it. all the little red bricks with their little names carved into them, how they don’t feel comfortable under your feet, how there were hundreds of flowers but somehow we took a picture of the same one the very same one, and how we can’t talk about things like that anymore, how i was sitting on a bench and i didn’t hear you call my name, shaking hands on accident with your parents hello sir hello mam, your daughter is my favorite ghost.
my book "down with the ship" is availible for purchase at sanfransiscobaypress.com / Amazon.com
  Aug 2 gravygod
berry
this is a poem about how you sleep,
how your body grew cold like a corpse in a mortuary.
how it felt wrong to reach out and touch you.
did you know that you turned away from me
every time i tried to face you?
did you do it on purpose?
maybe you were afraid i would be able to see
you were dreaming of her,
that i would read it on your face.
lines by your mouth like obituary,
like roadmap, her bedroom,
the destination, mine, a pitstop.
loving you was like attending a funeral service for myself
and sitting in the front row. no.
loving you was like watching you pick out a casket
and call it practice. ****.
i know how sensitive you are about death.
i know it still hurts.
i know how everything hurts.
i am sorry for just being another thing that hurts.
i think i'm afraid to let you forget that you used to want me.
like if i can somehow dig deep enough,
wound you into remembering me.
i keep weapons-grade nostalgia in my back pocket
for the days i can feel myself slipping from your consciousness.  
i was born with scar tissue where skin should've been.
but this isn't about me.
this is about the way you sleep
like you're waiting for someone to close the lid,
cover you in dirt, and read a psalm.
this is about the way i tried to sing your pieces back together,
and the way my voice gives out
when i read the things you write for anyone other than me.
lover, friend, stranger,
i just wanted to show you how to love your darker parts.
i never meant to become one.
i am so ******* selfish.
but i swear i am trying to unlearn the steps.
and you used to think my two left feet were charming.
i am out of time in more ways than one.
i keep stepping on your toes.
i can't seem to stop tripping you up,
hoping that you'll fall back into whatever this was.

- m.f.
"i am always dying in places where you fell asleep." - K.L.
gravygod Dec 2018
i'm not sure what to do with all the distance
it's been months that have felt like years
i can remember when you came into my life in the winter
and I can remember when you left in the summer
arrival and departure
the distinct difference between the two
i'm only at the thin line of division
the way my emotions don't add up
like miscalculated algebra
all to your advantage
i kept your love letter
the letter where you plagiarized a novel
because i wasn't good enough for your own words
that was my only closure
i wanted desperately to burn the stuffed bears from the carnival
i could only part with one
when i hold it close to me
i feel like how a child would
expecting prizes only in fabric and cotton stuffing
not words of affirmation or love
i almost drove by your house
but i knew i would only go mad thinking
of who has been touching your new furniture that i helped pick out
leaving their fingerprints in place of mine
i miss my t-shirts that you still have
i hope when and if you wear them
you can feel me close
my heart beating where yours is
sometimes i feel like i miss you enough for you to show up
as if my pain could teleport
the craving of a complete closure
one where i don't need liquor or a lighter
others bring up your name
as if i'm not in the process of misplacing the letters
or dismissing the syllables
i've been trying to forget your face
your face of sharp bones
flaring nostrils
and nostalgic lips

i've been trying to imagine if that night would have never happened
when that veteran couldn't take himself anymore
he chose you to be his last interaction
it was all in hints
he was screaming for help without making a sound
how were we supposed to know
i still wonder where that blue jay is that he buried behind the building
i just couldn't bare to see it
now i wish i made a map
X marks the spot where our love died
i remember when you had to bury your own blue jay
you never saw it coming
you took the wrong step and it was under your foot
just like he said his bluejay was
fidgeting and fighting for life
i'd like to think it was a sign from him
to let you know it's possible to move on and forward
so you did
you moved on to scabbed skin and worn-out lungs
i moved on to scholarly headaches and false pretenses
back then i could never fathom my days without you
now i find it difficult to recall how we were
it feels like our romance was a dream
because it only felt real when i was asleep
gravygod May 2017
This is going to end so badly, I can just taste it when I kiss her.
  May 2017 gravygod
Tom Leveille
do you ever wonder
about the difference between
looking at something
and the hallucination created
when looking past it?
if you look at your hand
it's all you can see
but if you look past your hand
there are now two of them
sometimes it's hard for me
to remember which is real
it gets me thinking
about how my father
used to wake me up
in the morning by rubbing
his stubble across my face
i spent my 11th birthday
under the assumption
that he might come back
if i drank his aftershave
like maybe if i could turn blue
if i could be his favorite color
on our bathroom floor
he would forget why he left
the paramedics were all sobing
as they pumped memories
out of my stomach
i coughed up the day the post-it note with your new address on it
burned a hole in our refrigerator
coughed up the day
the divorce papers came
and my mother
took a baseball bat to the mailbox
i've been choking on the splinters
for 17 years
it's been 17 years
since the last dinner plate
exploded on our dining room wall
17 years since my mother
started accidentally setting your place at the dinner table
17 years since italian night
at the restaurant on the corner
where the juke box
spat tired music
and like so many other things
it stopped working when you left
i guess it's no coincidence
since the juke box went quiet
that the cds in my car
only skip on "i miss you"
i've been hemorrhaging memories
for so long
and now that i'm looking back
i can no longer tell
the mirage from the truth
sometimes i swear
you showed up to my graduation
and last time
i was at your apartment
i can't remember
if the imprints of my hands
are in clay hanging on your wall
or if they were left in the mud
the day god had the audacity
to let it rain
or maybe it's like the time
i saw someone crying on a bridge
now that i think about it
i can't remember if it was me
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