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 Jul 2015 Nic
Xander Duncan
 Jul 2015 Nic
Xander Duncan
He is a book that was recommended to me just after I passed the shelf on which he was displayed
When I said I hadn’t been reading much lately
Life gave me a chapter full of pictures to begin with
And told me that one page at a time is still progress
In fact, one page at a time is the only way to make progress
He’s a well-read book with new words for every reader
And instead of leaving paper cuts on my hands he leaves ink stains
There are golden letters on his spine that I’ve taken to tracing absentmindedly every time I re-read a phrase
And dog eared pages that I’m not sure I have the authority unfold
He’s captivating
And quickly becoming my favorite story
He is English as a second language and still teaching me more about my tongue than I ever knew
Translating fears into excitement and confusion into intrigue
I didn’t know my skin was cryptic until he decided to decode me
But now I’m fascinated with hunting for the hieroglyphics in his neurons
Listening to tales spun by our own curiosity
Story time trumps bed time whenever possible
And when we decide that language itself is sometimes a ****** up means of communication
We try for morse code heartbeats and braille necklines and bizarre entanglements of hands
And when we decide that sometimes language itself is the best thing in the world
We talk the hours of the clock down to ticking hands and hourglass sand
Or get distracted and I’ll decide that I could travel the world in one night using the roadmaps in his veins
Where I’ll get lost and ask for directions and go through the same streets again anyway
Because I didn’t see everything the first time around and I really enjoy the journey
He is a pronoun that sounds good between my teeth and tastes like learning how to whisper before you learn how to speak
One of those words that I was never sure I was pronouncing right because I learned it by reading alone and deciphering based on context and roots
But he’s also one of those words where once you learn it you start hearing it all the time
And you swear that the whole world acquired this new term with you at once
He is nostalgia in a new experience
Nostalgia-- roots meaning home, or to return home, and a pain or sickness
He’s a homesickness that draws me to him every night
And he is a wanderlust that draws me away from the home I’ve known
Convincing me that comfort zones need exploring the same way tropical zones do
He is an encyclopedia on staying warm in Michigan winters
An atlas from desert countries
And a topographical map that makes me think
I could learn to like geography
Or cartography because he knows that the best way to record new terrain is to explore it first
And I’m content to be a notebook full of scribbles detailing the peaks and valleys and abandoned alleys
And arrhythmic patterns of wind set to traverse through tracheas, reaching lungs only when necessary
He’s the breath I forgot to take when a cliffhanger was resolved
And I don’t always know if I’m a page-turner or just a bookmark within one
But he’s a genre that’s meant to be read under the covers with a booklight until the sun comes up and reminds you that time isn’t as frozen as you hoped it was
And even when I don’t know if we’re on the same page
He tells me that there’s a reason that books have more than one
And I’ve never been good at guessing how stories are going to end
But I'd like to spend some more time reading
 Jul 2015 Nic
How the **** do you go from calling me
Baby girl to
Keep your soft kisses to yourself
Even when the thought of my hips
Let's you whisper in my ear
All the things
You'd love to see.
I was yours only as long as
Your smile was wide enough to let me fly
Even cages of gold are still metal enough
To damage the wings of a butterfly.
I made myself vulnerable to you.
You grasped my trust by the neck and
Carelessly let your fingers tighten.
And yet...
I was the problem,
After you forced me to my knees with shame and
Promises that could never be and
The flush in my cheeks when you said how you'd touch me -
I was the one who smothered your heart
When you held your arms over my head so
All I could see was your scars,
And I cried for you
Apparently that makes me abusive,
Telling you to respect my body after I
Let you see the parts of me that inspire
All of my fear and shame
Makes me unstable.
Tell can you go from
Loving my eyes to hating the truth in them
When we stare through the doorway to
A future I shut and locked the window on -
Don't give me the key.
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