rosy armed graces

There was this way you coughed
Before you’d laugh
That would let me know
You didn’t want to

Where has your furniture gone?
Did you leave it at your last apartment?
You couldn’t fit it in the van?
Did you move here by yourself?

Your friends haven’t heard from you
In one year
Three months
Five days

Why didn’t you tell anyone?
Was that really an accident?
Where did that car come from?
Were you waiting for it?

I remember when you told me
You could hear your name everywhere
When you’d been dumping
And filling for one week straight

What was that?
Do you feel your heart giving out?
Has the bile dripped into your words yet?
Are they watching you?

You were pretty when you
Smoked Gudang Garam and
Waited for me in the snow and
Nearly froze to death

Who were you?

You were porcelain.
Sunken like your cheeks.
Perfect on film,
And I almost captured you.

Inhaler


You have inspired me
to burn sage in
the palm of my 
hand, only then to
drop the half
smoldered into a 
Sterling silver
cup with my 
name on
it, reminding me
of Union
Square, where we
used to live almost
together, where I’d
chainsmoke and
wonder why
I couldn’t see
my breath.

Operetta

You forgot how to play the cello
not to learn anything else
but to lurk in esoteric silence.

It was despair you felt falling 
in love, never being, because
you needed to learn how to share.

Though you could play with
Patience, Gilbert and Sullivan
were far too fanciful for you.

I will not miss you waiting 
outside my door just to watch
me walk inside without you.

temporary stationary

thank you for pulling me away
from homes that did not care for me
then pushing me toward the familial warmth that never left

thank you for keeping a globe in your living room
as a subtle reminder
that you travel a boundless, divergent path

thank you thank you thank you
for keeping me up past 3 am
for pulling apart these temporal lobes
for whisking memory past frothy dream
into the panna cotta present, a savored sweet

thank you for the moment
thank you for consistency
thank you for staying private
so you could win in secrecy