My parents when they slept they slept with snakes.
My parents when they slept they died, every night, in cycles, like monthly blood:
the first time I got my period I was 12 years old and wearing jeans
newly stained and thought that I’d killed a man.
There are still times when I think that I’m killing men, or boys, by accident,
because of all the milk swirling around inside of my collarbones
(there are still times when I think that I’ve killed you)
When you sleep you whisper to your parents. Did you already know that?
Have you already told somebody else about the way
your body looks when you sleep, all stretched out like the legs of a newborn?
You’re a boy with hair as red as emergencies,
a boy who belongs best on subways, with your body lanky,
with your hands like skies gripping onto the metal pole.
Later after dinner I am that metal pole, only with a larger stomach. My stomach
is always largest after eating dinner. Your hands are always the most over a girl’s body – your hands the most like skies – after dinner: this is the worst horror movie:
my stomach popping like a mountain or an ear high in the sky (or, worse,
my stomach never pops, it is always there).
In November we are in a parking lot
(it is late
it is full of rain) and you don’t know my voice, a voice sounding
like ****** up broken jewelry.
For my birthday you gave me a bracelet you found in your mother’s bedroom
and it broke two days later, beneath a softly lit streetlamp.
Somewhere in the middle of a sidewalk somewhere near the east river I am holding the bracelet and crying water from littered water bottles but nobody sees me (or:
it’s all a dream, and it happens over and over again, cyclical, the way my parents used to sleep, used to die).
The two times that you’ve rejected me:
once: my parents with banged up bruised bodies in the hospital // when I saw them lying in between sheets cotton like your t-shirts I fainted
twice: the funeral is back home. I fly there and my ears won’t stop popping,
like a mountain, like a too full stomach. At the funeral I forget hands
like skies at the funeral I fall in love with everybody I see at the funeral I forget that
I am no longer in the city (I can trust people)
I see you now as a ghost: when two ghosts **** we are horizon over a snaky river when two ghosts **** we are flying back to the state of my birth
when two ghosts **** (in ghost parents’ bed) we sound like car crashes