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Jesse Osborne Apr 2016
A time zone separation of 3 hours, in reality,
is nearly impossible.
When the soft sun is lifting your eyes in morning, I’ve already been up.
When I’m sleeping,
you’re still perched brightly on the cheek of the night sky,
etching love letters into its velvet.

I wish there was a way to yank back the clock’s hands,
peel at the skin of its fingertips
so we could live in a single minute
counting the music of seconds,
like blood
rushing through our entwined arteries.

There was a time when we sat
on a dusky mountain face
and watched the moon rise.
You told me to find the comfort in
the fact that it’s always the same moon
no matter the distance.
Last night, the sky was too dark to tell.

Maybe there will come a day
when you’re not in L.A.
and I’m sick of New York
and we reconvene in Paris,
or Tokyo,
or maybe, a small meadow,
as the grass dances red
in the sun’s final hours,
where time
is antiquated
and we measure the passing of days
with the songs of sparrows.

Until then,
we’ll send our love through telephone wires
and call it
if it takes me 2 weeks to get back to you.
Jesse Osborne Apr 2016
I love Brooklyn in the morning
because you’re always in the kitchen,
while your mother sleeps
and we drink coffee
to the hum of garbage trucks
and city birds
as the sun creeps its way into spring.

If we were birds,
you might an egret.
Maybe I’d be a finch.
Mockingbirds for mothers.
Bluejay fathers.

Let’s fly to the mountains
where the air allows us to think,
and take peyote on a dusky moonrise.
Cry with the sinking stars.

For now, we must satisfy ourselves
with telephone wires and call it even.
Cousins, but these days
and in the morning,
coffee drinkers.

The other day
when you were walking down the street
I thought you might be growing wings.
I keep pulling hairs from my chin
and wishing they were feathers.
But maybe, that's just another form
of preening.
Jesse Osborne Apr 2016
As a little girl,
I used to think my backyard
was the Garden of Eden.
When I turned 14
I had *** with a boy for the first time
behind the peonies bushes
because they were my mother’s favorite.
She didn’t notice.
Neither did the sky.

Hannah told me that when she has *** with her boyfriend,
she wants to live inside him.
I’ve always wondered what it would be like
to inhabit someone else’s body.
Less as rib, but more
as flesh, or breath.

Nobody ever asked Eve
if she liked ***.
Maybe she was just using Adam for his *****.
I’ve been trying to convince myself
that ******* boys with my shirt on is feminist.

A boy named Adam once fell in love with me
but I never let him touch me after he came.
I still feel this way most days, but
sometimes I wish the inside of my skin
knew what it felt like
to be held.
Jesse Osborne Mar 2016
I ask Trevor why he carries around his passport
from when he was 14
as his only form of government I.D.
It's for cigarettes
he says with a shrug,
and takes a drag from the passenger seat
of my car.
He reminds me of someone
who shouldn't be in this era, a misplaced Kerouac,
and at any moment
would hop a freight train
or subway car
to pass through someone else's life
in the time it takes to turn breath
into carbon.
Trevor, I say,
you know you can't get out of the country with that. It's expired.
I know,
he smirks.
I just like the illusion that
I'm going somewhere.
There's a sad sweetness in the way
he keeps his heart
in a list of area codes;
that home is synonymous
with an expired ability to leave
the way a seagull takes to ocean breeze.
I don't know what he'd do if he actually had the chance.

Trevor's passport
is nearly filled with other worlds
he prefers,
and other lives he's lived,
in only a leather jacket
and a pair of scuffed up Adidas.
I keep wondering
about the day he'll turn us
into stamps to include in the rest of his collection,
squeezed into one of the few blank spaces left
in a crowded itinerary,
and then
he'll renew his passport.
Jesse Osborne Mar 2016
Sent: Wednesday, Mar. 23rd, 2016. 8:35 a.m.*

I thought of you for the first time today in
3 years, and I think
you know why.
That song about the River
that always brings me back to
your palms.
Winter's cracked mine to ruin,
ancient in its destruction, but
in some ways
I can see my veins
without consequence.
I've always been fascinated with

Vermont is too far from Chicago.
But probably a little closer to you,
somewhere off in the cheek of a mountain,
or the lips of a brook trout.
I've haven't eaten fish since you died;
the day after your funeral,
I bought a book on

You are more migration
than memory.
I used to say I saw Mississippi in your eyes.
Nose as delta.
Mouth made of sea.
I hope you're still swimming,
with broad shoulders as fins,
and hands probing the riverbed, softly,
searching for fossils.
Jesse Osborne Mar 2016
It was impossible to differentiate
between the slices of limes
scattered on the floor
and the rings of your eyes,
or maybe the morning moon;
object permanence
is a lie.

All I’ve been thinking about
are your lips whispering
into a half-empty bottle.
Seashell eyes.
Windy smile.
**** the Beatles
but I think you’re more Ocean
than Human.
Let’s go for a swim sometime.

It’s starting to get warmer,
and I’d love to drink gin & tonics with you
on some shoreline.
Or dorm room.
But first
I need to buy more limes.
Jesse Osborne Mar 2016
by Jesse Osborne*

To feel something into entirety
is to die 1000 continuous deaths
and hope one of them
is a birth.
You’re a reincarnation of time
and rugged lip.
I’m a sphinx,
or a gladiator.
Whichever came first.
******* is not your answer.  
Nor did you discover it.
Don’t **** him for the fun of it.
Appreciate the way water runs
down your bare skin in the early morning hours
when only the street vendors
are awake.
Breathe their souls as your own.
Choose touch
before word.
Use flesh as a surrogate.
Climb up into your heart
and experience what it means to
be inside your body again.
To come down
simply means
to awaken.
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