Bloody Mary for you.
Mimosa for me.
Bartender asks for proof we are of age.
I hand over my ID and he scrutinizes it
Before peering up at me over his bifocals.
He smiles curtly and with a quick nod, hands it back.
You hand him yours,
Though I laugh inside because he hardly needs it;
Surely even he can see the grays poking through.
“What are you doin’ hangin’ out with this old guy?!”
Later, we are lying in your bed in comfortable silence.
“What are you—twenty-eight?”
“That’s like ten years.”
You hesitate again…
“I feel like I’m breaking you.”
I roll over to give you a kiss.
You hug me tighter.
And kiss me back gently.
I reach up to cradle your face in my hands
And press my lips more firmly against yours.
Soon we are passionately interlocked
And I bask in it, loving every bit of your attention.
“I feel like I am breaking you” runs on loop through my mind.
What I don’t say is:
The rising sun breaks over the edge of the Earth.
I wade into the ocean,
Far enough to get past the violent waves.
Far enough to relax in the undulating swells.
Far enough to float and gaze at the gorgeous sky.
I am safe, bobbing on the surface of the Earth’s womb.
I feel my own womb, 8 weeks along,
Feel the life inside me,
And feel at one with the rhythms of the universe.
Now, as I cradle myself in my bed,
The sunset peeking in through my half-closed blinds,
This baby should be around 12 weeks,
But is forever stuck at 11.
I feel my stomach;
And, inside me, all I feel is death.
Bruises like chains wrap around his wrists and ankles.
Proof that he loved her.
What can I do?
So I hold on as tight as I can,
And hope that I leave my mark.
I showed you a story I’d written once.
You loved one line in particular,
Exalting me as some sort of writing genius.
I couldn’t bear to tell you I’d stolen that line from a book.
I wrote a poem about you.
We’d only been dating a week,
But you inspired something inside of me
And the poem came bursting forth.
I called out verses as I drove down the highway.
I could not hold them back.
Now you won’t talk to me.
I lie in bed waiting for a call
That I know will never come
As I drink a beer that I know I will regret.
But something inside of me says
It was not a waste, for
At least you gave me a poem.
His poetry is delightful.
It makes me smile,
In an ironic sort of way,
About the fact that life
Really is that way,
Now isn’t it?
And it makes me want to write my own poem
About a sandwich
Or an apple
Or the burnt taste of a lover’s cigarette-flavored mouth.
But my words don’t seem to dance
Quite the way his do.
My words trip onto the page
Like an amateur baseball player
Who can’t move on to second base without
Hesitating too long.
The umpire calls-
I like the way my shampoo makes my hair feel, just like
I like the shape of my lips
When my mouth is set in neither a smile nor a frown,
And I’m just myself.
I used to like your lips too-
How they felt against my shoulder,
Up to my face
Where our beautiful lips would meet
And quickly become friends-
The kind of acquaintances that seem
To have known each other in
A past life.
But our lips were like strangers on a train,
Meeting for one brief journey together
On which we spilled our souls
And delved into our dreams.
Until we’d reached your stop.
And now I’m left on this train with no one but myself,
And the silence in which I must learn to love myself.
To create in the face of entropy—
Humanity’s greatest accomplishment.
Yearning to suffer,
So that the will might convert death
I stand amidst a valley of dry bones.
Pain is the prophet who calls to the winds
To fill these morbid corpses with breath.
The throes of mortality are as heaving inhalations.
So we gulp;
And spastic torment transforms to vitality.
As a pale green shoot amidst a charred landscape,
Quickly burgeoning into a forest.
Darkness may permeate this universe,
But light will not be abolished
In the cosmos of the mind.
Bookends of nonexistence
Prop up the volumes of my life.
Immortals do not treasure their time
As we do.
An apple is a curious thing—
Like the blood in a princess’s veins.
So I bite into it,
Like the vampire I am.
It satisfies my appetite
For a mere moment.
But once I finish,
The pangs return,
And I am hungrier than before