I haven’t heard your voice for
four days. It’s less than a week, I know,
but it feels like a lifetime of breathing
in sawdust from the wood I have
fashioned into new bones for myself.
You’re finally home after four days.
It’s less than a week, I know,
but four days will turn into four weeks
just as summer casually turns into
autumn, and the dead leaves fall
to the ground as mere memories of
their own emerald glory.
It is the fifth day.
You are home with me, but
I still don’t hear your voice.
I gave you my last minute,
knowing that it was my last minute,
but also knowing that I don’t need
a single minute without you.
I collect spare change from the couches of
yesterday and people I haven’t met yet,
going without food and dreams for days because
I can live off of the way you light up my
bones and breathe life into my absent smile,
but your time will always be too rich for my blood.
There are dozens of bodies in your back room.
You try to keep the door closed, but sometimes
their memories pry the barriers open and climb into
your bed and your brain, just like they used to.
I wonder where they came from, but simultaneously
try not to imagine anything at all.
I wonder if you murmured the same scarlet words
under cover of covers and velvety blackness.
I wonder if your skin met theirs in just that way,
creating an electricity that I believed was just for me.
I wonder if I’ll just become another body in the back room.
I buy expensive plane tickets to
the far corners of the earth, thinking
maybe if I have enough plane tickets
and pictures and souvenirs I will
be able to paste my skin back together
and my scars will be consumed
by the life I have built around me.
I broke all of my ribs today.
See, I thought if I could let you see
my heart stutter beating and my lungs
swelling with the air between us,
we could swallow the stardust
in the atmosphere and become
another heavenly body above the world.
I broke all of my fingers today.
See, I thought I could twist
the words into what I needed them
to say, but they remained impossibly immobile,
falling to the ground with every stolen exhale.
I broke my legs today.
See, I thought I could run endlessly
from the ethereal shadow that seeped under
the door in the middle of the night,
but I tripped just like I always do,
and I’m still tethered by my own
tenebrosity like I always have been.
I woke with ice behind my eyes
and dust beneath my tongue
and pebbles in my bones.
The bitterness of the morning seeped
into my mouth and agonizingly dragged
itself down my efflorescing throat.
I reached over to borrow some oxygen
from you, but found only sharpened
icicles and cobwebs long since abandoned.
I’ve danced nakedly in the light of the moon,
basking in the illusion that I’ve created for myself.
My skin is marble, milky and smoothed after
years of exposure to the elements,
now taken in to be used as a decoration
for a life it’s not really a part of.
They say the grass is greener on the other side,
but your grass would be just as green if you could
just remember to turn on the sprinklers.
I am breathless with the effort of this masquerade.
I drink in the moon and hide from the sun,
pretending I never did need to breathe.
Death-masked daydreams skitter before reddened
eyelids, throwing a lavender fantasy into sharp relief.
I can bury myself in a sex-scented reverie, but
I’ll still be trying to burrow into the blackened earth.
A pale kiss never could solidify this illusion.
A red poppy nightmare bleeds against darkened eyes.
Subtle doubt creeps into broken thunder strikes,
fading imperceptibly into dank silence. The perfect
kiss is suddenly filled with cinnamon betrayal and
wild gravity pulls forgotten tears from your eyes.