at a house party, you hold your own head and you bite your lip
open until it bleeds. at a house party, you ask me what i say
about you behind your back. at a house party, you ask what i
thought about you before-
when i was a kid my parents paid painters to paint portraits of me
i have a whole gallery of them. a few in my room, a few on the
walls. and a too many in the hallway, above the glass bowls.
before i turned sixteen, i tried to burn the hallway down, i tried to
destroy my room with myself in it. if i’d had a portrait of you, i
would’ve let it burn too.
you are so much. you fill the image of you, and then you spill over
the edges. like a painting that doesn’t know how to stop, doesn’t
know how to sign off with its own name, or the right time to die.
[i thought i could control the image of myself at least, but i
couldn’t even do that. you ask what image i make of you-
but the portraits weren’t me and my words weren’t you either.]
watching you hold your own head and bite your lip open, tongue
darting to the side of your mouth like you’re not thinking at all. at
a house party, the sound crashing against the back of my head.
at a house party, you ask me what i say about you behind your
back, in the same voice you say ‘none of these people deserve
to live’, in the same voice you say all kinds of dry things with
only good things, i say. and then i shape my face until it laughs.
it’s a lie, i don’t talk about you at all, i say with smiling eyes.
it’s the truth, it’s the truth, and it’s still the truth when i drag my
fingers, hard, against the side of your mouth.
what was that for, you say. there was blood on you, i say back.
that’s what i’d say behind your back, if i did.
you have a laughing face too. you just never get the eyes right.
only good things (i don't talk about you at all i don't talk about you at all)