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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
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.
we play cat’s cradle
with the red strings
tied around our fingertips
and think maybe they got tangled
in the branches of the sycamore trees
that line the street you grew up on
or got caught in a knot of tin can telephone
wires that wind from windowsill to
windowsill across the avenues you
learned to ride a bike on.
if we lift the pinky strings
to our ears, i pray we’ll hear
the same kids whispering
whatever secrets and rumours
they’ve picked up from bathroom stalls.
i don’t believe the hearsay, or ghost stories
there’s no such thing as destiny
but i wish i could trace this red string
tied around my fingertips
and find you on the other end.
the brisk north winds have me
standing on a bench in the bus shelter
with my hands held up to the space heater
hot air rises and i imagine
all the angels in heaven burning
and their ashes are white like snow
i imagine i’m ankle deep in angel dust
and my cold urticaria doesn’t hurt
and i imagine an endless slumber
induced by the cries of the dying cherubim
and my last breath is a discernible
cry for help
from my car in motion i saw
some shivering silhouette
with a soft glow like
the last drop of sunlight
breaking on the horizon
or a black cloud with a silver lining
head in hands, weeping into their palms
on the opposite end of a short tunnel
for a fraction of a second
and i was green with envy
over all of their emotion.
sick to my stomach of the apathetic
reluctancy to feel anything worthy of tears
if i could throw it all up,
and let it cover my skin
like a sick filled spit fountain
or acid rain
then at least i’d feel disgusted.
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