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if i make it through this winter
then i can learn to live alone
my tea grows cold while i hold it
talking to your ghost
hurt past the point of healing
comfortably numb, but always bleeding
i’d swallow my tongue to keep from speaking
living with your ghost
count your lucky stars
before they’re plucked from the skies
like ships capsizing in the night
like astray cat’s eyes
as we careen from green hills
with purpose and pride
driving through the night
diving into rising tides
count your lucky scars
if you live long enough to heal them
before you’ve even noticed
you’ve outgrown your bed of roses
you’re holding onto omens
keys to doors that never open
you place faith in the wrong gods
black cats hold mass in your street
you let strangers steal your faces
you hear cracks in concrete speak
cross your heart and hope to die
or count your lucky stars
i wish i could be buried in the winter
with the bones of the old hounds
below the broken windowsill
in the garden of my old house
where we grew sunflowers
where i lay through the summers
beneath the swaying branches
wishing i were someone else
home is a hell you keep to yourself
home is a hell you carry
you keep the key to hell on your belt
and you meet me here after work
it’s cold so we sleep with our clothes on
i say mean things until the conversations ends
we sit in silence and wish i were dead

you place your vases neatly on the lower shelves
i let the flowers arrange themselves
we talk over coffee as if we’re old friends
we sit in silence and wish i were dead
  Mar 2018 oliver g wilikers
gmb
i left her on the side of the road near the rookery in southern indiana. her body was still warm, not as warm as the time she told me she wished she had a thousand teeth but not yet as cold as the time she grew them all at once and stuck them in me. she taught me many things, like how to forget and how to see through the cataracts and necrosis. she kissed my face and told me i was beautiful and boiled me in a metal bin inside the barn and watched as my skin separated from my bones as easily as slicing butter. she assured me i looked prettier this way, all bones and flaying meat and a thousand little exposed teeth i had no idea were in me.
biting, split, bleeding, brisk
cracked lipped kisses with our
vicious morning breath
enamour me, as if the words burn
on the tip of my blistering tongue
i'm so full of stifling love i've begun
bursting at the seams,
i want to be back between those
freezing cold sweat soaked bedsheets
with frostbitten feet, chattering teeth,
cold hives the size of icebergs,
i find it hard to breathe
in the sweltering heat because
you make me blush
so much.
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