O—

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WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE CONSTELLATIONS
I shouted, yes, on top of the yellow bus
The dusk approaching
Pretending I was some person
Behind the smoke-belching crowd

I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE
You screamed
Red-faced

IT DOESN’T MATTER
I tiptoed, thinking
I would eventually reach your sky
To grab you by the wrist
And say:

COME WITH ME
I whispered more to myself because
You had already turned your back

GOODBYE
I didn’t hear you say
But I believed it so
I squinted my eyes
And saw
Your shoulders were horizons
For the setting sun

Voyeur

He was standing underneath the shower head, his hands covering his ears, whispering “it hurts, it hurts” hoping that with every repetition, the hurt would outright leave his body. But what it did was the opposite. Every word coursed through his veins like fire as it ran from his head to the length of his spine until the tips of his fingers and toes. He burned like candlelight.

for thomas

first of all, it wasn’t my fault
you got kicked out of your own apartment
it was the rats, i swear

it took me days to decide whether
to write to you or not
because the last time we met you told me
“don’t write! save a tree!”
and laughed the hardest
but see there’s something about paper
and the grip of a pen
that got me thinking

remember when i pointed to the sky
and i told you
the universe was constantly expanding
“see those stars might not be there tomorrow”
i blinked and you threw your sandwich at me
but told me don’t worry
because all your life they haven’t moved an inch
well let me ask you then
thomas
why you haven’t moved an inch
since you came back
because every time i look up
i see the stars move farther and farther

November

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You came in like November wind
Chilly and soft
And smelled like Christmas
With the rolling snow on the porch
My stomach grumbled
For cookies and milk

So I put on my jacket
And went out the driveway
To find out that:
The late July rains
Have chased the snow down the pavement

I forget
That you were only November
As I took down the Christmas wreath
On a ladder I took down
The red lights, the green bulbs
Along with that store-bought tree
And stored them in a box
You swept them all
Out the door
Including my hunger

6/30/11/25

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I.
You were my first and
I did not know what to do
Besides run away

II.
I told you my scars
And how disfigured they were
Yet you kissed each one

III.
I hated you so
Because the way my heart buckled
Was terrifying

IV.
Your touch was wildfire
And I watched my body burn
Beneath your fingers

V.
Every day I think
You were the last one but God
Was I wrong each time

Thunder

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When I told you I loved you, I meant it. I did. But not the way you told me that you loved me. It didn’t match the intensity, not so quite. My love was something lighter, softer to the touch. A bit loftier and hazy. It floated in the wind and danced in the air. It was the rain that tickled your noise, the first shower of September. Your love was stoic and full. It fell down like thunder, powerful and alarming as it woke up entire streets with its ferocity. It left people vulnerable with awe and terror. It lumbered with the sheer weight of its meaning.

I never thought I would write about you.

When I told you I liked you that night, the trees towered like giants. The air was still and the moon hid behind purple clouds. There were people, I remember, but suddenly we were sucked into a vacuum where we could only hear ourselves. I was scared and excited. I thought my heart was racing from the immensity of my confession but in reality it was only the adrenaline running through my veins. I fooled myself into thinking that rejection was a painful possibility. I mean that’s how it happens in the movies, right? But there wasn’t really any other outcome because you had said it first. In fact, you wrote it first.

When I told you I loved you underneath the dim lights, the room collapsed on us. The air was stale and there were no windows for us to see the sun. There were people, I remember, but we didn’t know any of them. We were strangers in a familiar place, faceless and wanton. I felt paralyzed and weak. My tongue caught in my throat. Your black eyes bore into my soul and my heart was racing because I thought you would finally see the truth. You grasped my arm. When I looked back at your earnest face and your confident smile that tapered to uncertainty at the ends, I knew I couldn’t do it. But there wasn’t really any other choice because you had said it first.

I never thought I would write about you because I was terrified of what I would discover. Thinking about it made me feel out of place. I didn’t want to go back. All this time I’ve been telling myself, “it’s done, it’s finished, there’s nothing left.”

When I told you I didn’t love you, the steel spoon rattled on the marble floor. The air was fragrant from the baking bread a few tables away from us. The sun shone brightly through the windows that stretched from the floor to the ceiling. There were people, I remember, but none of them mattered. It was after you gave me my birthday gift. My heart was racing from the courage it took to say those words. You allowed your face to crumple for a few seconds then rebuilt it again. You tried to smile, but only managed to stifle a tear. I didn’t expect to feel hollow but I did. I tried to find something to say but I couldn’t. There wasn’t anything left.

When you told me you didn’t love me on that day of March, the bell was pealing to signal the end of classes. The air was dry from the emerging summer heat and the clouds hid the furious sun. I don’t remember if there were any people because you were standing right in front of me. The words fell on top of one another on the ground. I hesitantly picked them up and you were still there. My heart was racing from uncertainty. You looked at me directly and I felt naked, exposed and vulnerable. There were so many things I wanted to say, so many loose ends I needed to tie. But none of them escaped my choked throat. I wanted to take everything back but that would be a lie. This was the inevitable truth. There wasn’t really any other way because this time I had said it first.

I never thought I would write about you because I couldn’t believe someone would love me the way you thunderously did.

Tide

tumblr_ml6t7cFMNe1r3x96uo1_500Yellow sun hot skin
Bright lights blinds and shades of blue
Summer gone by

Fingers laced with thought
Arms length wide
Legs the River Seine

On an armistice
Both of us took turns writing
Sweet apologies

Faults as deep as canyons
Words as sharp as cliffs
Your eyes still green as the ocean

I took your hand
Jagged and soft
Pale beneath the ceiling lights

You held my sunburned arm
Bruised and hopeful
And let go

Between stifled breaths
And hoarse voices
And the door opened

I watched the ocean
Ebb

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Taken from American ApparelI’d find you by accident. You’ll be hiding by the white paneled walls, away from the too big crowd on New Year’s Eve. You wish you could paint the town red with that smug face of yours. Sometimes it’s me who says hi first. Then we meet eye-to-eye and laugh at the sheer coincidence. We’d never known it would be under the pale moon. You take the drink I’ve been holding too long and take a swig. It was cold outside but not anymore.Half-baked we’ll lay ourselves on the ground and cover the dark grass.

It’ll take a while for us to get up. Time’s too short anyway as we doze around, pointing stars and making wishes. It’ll surprise both of us when we realize that we don’t even know each other’s name. But it doesn’t matter, I suppose. Beneath the blaring music, the jostling bodies, and the intoxication of the night, we didn’t need names to know each other. When I close my eyes, everything stops and I feel as if the entire universe centers itself. But when I open them, you’d be gone.

I’d scream at the top of my lungs, louder than the stereo. People will join in but they can’t mirror the anguish in my eyes. It’s almost as if I’d drowned right there and then. I couldn’t stop the itchiness, the wrongness, the betrayal. I couldn’t stop anything. And as I shout every imaginable thing, it finally dawns on me. It takes me a good five minutes to calm down. When I do, I finally see you back at the crowd while I’m here by the white paneled roof thinking. Did I really find you? Or did you find me?

Suburbia

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Polka dot walls
Half-opened bags of Doritos
Laughing
Laughing
Laughing
Three strikes and you’re out

Running
We were running

Drawings nailed on the fridge
Pockmarked by magnets from
Vietnam, Spain, Germany
Just to name a few
A trail of strawberry ice cream
So sweet

Cross the narrow path
Of houses identical to ours
Green trees on each lawn
Mowers
Flamingoes
But ours had a hammock

Running
We were running

When we crossed the rickety old bridge
Where we tacked our selves
On each leaf, magnificent that day
We found every other person’s name
Above ours

We stood there like flamingoes
You screamed into my ear
But I didn’t hear a word you said

Cliff

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You will be beautiful like a cliff
I will walk to your stony edge
And peer down and see the deep
Deep, deep ocean
A ravine unknown and unsullied

I long for the jump into
the great vastness
and wait till wind engulfs me
As I plummet
Body first splayed out
in an embrace for the rushing water

And I look back and see you
Stoic
battered by the tides
Chipped and missing some pieces
before I know it my breath stops
and all time stops
and the ocean takes me
to the icy depths