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Meryl Wisner May 2011
*** with you
is a workout.
Quick breaths and heavy heartbeats.
I love your sweat
and the way it makes your skin
stick to mine.

*** with you is a hurricane
violent winds strong enough
I’d blow away if I didn’t
grip the anchor of your hips.
I count seconds between
the lightning in your smile
and the thunder of your heartbeat
to know how close you are.
It is neuroscience.
Can you see the action potential
jump up the dendrites of my fingers
when I touch you?

It is a fistfight
it might end with
bruises and ****** lips
but it’s worth it for the adrenaline rush
behind the upper cut.
Later I can’t stop tonguing
the cut on the inside of my mouth.
I like the way you sting.

*** with you is a
wrinkle in time.
It’s the bottom of the ninth
2 outs, bases loaded
and time. just. stops.

It’s a SWAT team’s
flash bang.
The explosion leaves me dazed,
and I can’t hear anything but my pulse.
It’s any number of drugs.
Your tongue
tastes like moonshine
My body swirls
and my mouth rounds hollow
around the smoke in your kisses.
*** with you is
using all seven tiles in Scrabble
and landing on a triple word score.
For a moment,
I am invincible.

It is plate tectonics.
My body dips into the magma
of the negative space between your hips,
my favorite subduction zone.

*** with you is a math problem
It’s complicated and
it takes patience
but there’s not a word for the
satisfaction when my fingers
draw the last equal sign
and the red pen of your body
is silenced.

*** with you is like
I want to write our names in fire.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
Today I felt stagnant
so I hugged the sunshine
I rediscovered my belly button.
Today I felt stagnant
so I tattooed poetry
across the sky
I drank gasoline and
chased it with rainbows.
I ran until my lungs
spattering my chest cavity with ice water.
It’s amazing the things
you can do when you’re
Meryl Wisner May 2011
You make me self-destructive.
I want to live dangerously.
I might skin my knees but at least
I get to play with the big boys.

You, you’re like drinking balsamic vinegar.
A taste is good enough it
makes me forget that too much is a bad idea.

I’ll trade cancer for the smoke in your kisses
because we all die sometime.
I pick melanoma over a world without sun
any day.
I’ll take the crutches happily
when you run out of things to break and turn to my legs.
Broken bones hurt well when they
shatter in adventure.
Your smile’s pretty enough I didn’t
notice your teeth were sharpened.
****, I’d read Twilight for you.
(I’m not saying I’d be a fan,
I’ll only go so far.)

You make me want to play
hide and seek in a burning building.
I don’t like heights but you make me
want to climb things.
I want to tempt fate.

I want to study your catastrophes.
I’ll chase your tornado temper
across whichever state you feel like
destroying today.
The drought on my lips is only cured
by the wildfire of your kiss.
I’ll bask in your heat waves
and build my house on the slopes
of your volcanic personality.
I feel like mist next to your
hurricane winds.

You say this is either
the beginning of something great
or the apocalypse has come.
But who says they can’t be the same thing?
If nothing else, it’d certainly be something to see.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
I can clearly remember
the moment I realized my daddy wasn’t perfect.
We were in the kitchen,
and it was dark outside.
He said of course gay people should be allowed
to see their loved ones in the hospital and such,
but he wasn’t sure they should be allowed to get married.
It was disorienting in ways I can’t begin to describe.
You just expect things, think there are
things in life that are certain,
and then your dad isn’t sure gay people should be allowed to get married.
There is not a measurement
to explain how much my dad loves me,
It is without bounds.
I know that.
Of that, I am still certain.
But I’ll always have that memory of incomprehension,
when he separated people into an “us”
and a “them”
and I think maybe I was supposed to be in the them column.
We haven’t really talked about it since,
because if he still feels the same,
I’m not sure I can handle knowing that.
To this day,
that’s the only part of him that I’d change.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
I live in the words of other people.
I come alive as they come off the page.
I fall in love with fictional characters and
There are times when I only know how to feel in song lyrics.

I want to name my son
after a Weasley king.
I hope he inherits a penchant for trouble
and more heroism than he gets credit for.

Sometimes I feel like Sal Paradise,
and I have nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

I put girls on pedestals and
have too much of a tendency to
yearn for that green light of East Egg.

I fall for Capulets,
but I wasn’t built for tragedy.
I still believe in happily ever after.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
Corner booth
Your eyes just pools of black
in the dim red light.
Everything else seems so far away.
Candles flickering like distant stars on each table.
On Tuesdays the band never stops,
just melts from one song to the next.
We smoked two bowls on the streets of Portland before we came
and we’re melting, too,
our cells leeching into the leather booth.

You’re distracted clapping for a drum solo when
my fingers flow over your knee.
I compose music on the inside of your thighs,
and your pulse keeps pace with the bass.
I’m glad I cajoled you into wearing a dress.

I can’t tell where my skin ends and the air begins
but I can feel the boundary between our bodies.
I break it during a sax solo.
They don’t let people smoke in here anymore
but the whole room feels hazy.
You a ball of heat beside me,
your huff of breath lost in the horns
I make sure you and the trumpet crescendo at the same time.

You are syncopation, emphasis in unexpected places,
I want to study your chord progression.
You’re Billie Holiday, backphrasing,
but you catch up for the chorus.
Sometimes I feel like we’re bebop
with our quick complication
but here we’re the blues, soulful and
something like gentle.
Meryl Wisner May 2011
There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to move too fast
doesn’t want to tell you I could see myself loving you one day
doesn’t want to tell you I put the pillows with the blue cases
on what was only your side of the bed for a few nights.

There’s a boy and you don’t call him your boyfriend
but you let him hold your hand in public.
We never did that.
But I feel like we could someday.
Like if I play my cards right maybe I’ll get another shot.
Sometimes I feel like I hope too big,
but I don’t know how to stop.

I don’t have White Knight Syndrome,
because it’s not that I want to fix you.
I just want you to show you things
like how amazing you are
and how it’s okay to be scared.
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