I’ve been feeling a bit like a racehorse missing a leg
asked to run the most laps in my life
I’m a stupid fuck, trying to race when I can’t even walk
and dredging up words is such a chore when
I know there’s been something dark and creeping
nested under my ribs since birth
that I have failed to name
Churning away time, walking through dusk
Up dusty double track to the new subdivision
Great owl took flight from a fencepost
My dog straining to catch so many desert scents
Light drains from the sky, one pinprick star
Neighborhood kids pedal glow stick bikes
So tell me about everything in this town
Winding down School Street, your childhood home
Feet heavy with dew from cutting through yards
Sandals pad driveways, gravelly steps
I stall outside my house and linger
Ponder how to stretch the night longer
Let your silhouette recede under the streetlamp
Knowing sleep will elude me tonight
I walked through the neighborhood before dusk
A lilac breeze blowing enough to wonder about a jacket, so
I tucked into myself a little tighter
Thinking isn’t it funny how I invite the natural world into my house
With my plants, my pets, my own body and all its strange/perfect biology
Into this place considered not-nature
Yet out here crows fly toting sticks for nests,
Poppies flourish in a violent orange,
Frost creeps through the grass even in June,
Tufts of cotton float through the sky,
as I shift between outside/inside
i didn’t want to lie
but i also didn’t tell you
as he was on me breathing
horrible decay on my cheek
i easily dissociated
to the mexican restaurant on main st.
where you told me you were adopted
and i folded my napkin into a million triangles
we studied each other with smiles
to communicate what words lacked
my throat choked with-love??
but it was much too early to say that
bundled cozy by the holiday lights w/ soft sweet chai
to heat my snowy heart — me & my dog
running thru the falling flakes
can’t outrun my problems tho —
my heartache remained after we thawed
out in the Honda backseat, dog tired
her lil head bobbing into sleep
i always thought the doves were morning
and then there was U
now i know why they cry
I still walk by your little pink house
especially after dusk when
your landlord won’t see me
and get to wondering
why that girl is hanging around again
Also I still daydream about our kiss
in your living room
with the heater roaring blissfully
ice melting into your whiskey
you stroking my hair
Now I nurse my anger
as if training a fighting dog
to keep you back if you come around
or if I try to come around
he will maul me too
If I saw him sauntering down the street by the university
I wonder which impulse would overwhelm me first:
to wrap him in my arms as if covering a sick child
in a sentimental blanket, and press his slender
warm torso to mine and pull my palms along
the knobs of his spine?
As if to engulf or consume him
or to grab his lovely, sun-kissed neck
with one open hand and smother him slowly
against a wall, connecting my fist with his
perfect cheekbone, savoring each wince.
Rage and desire wrap so tightly in my twisting heart
and they are both about his body.
So I don’t visit that town anymore.
I won’t let myself see what could happen
The Earth has created a long circle
around the Sun since we last touched
and yet I still can’t meet your eyes
when they hold so little guilt.
I didn’t mean to hurt you
If you say that, are you absolved
of all blame? Your summer came early
and left me cold in June. I shivered
from these burns that still ache in the sun.
Warmth will return
as I tip slowly on my axis to face
a new direction, and it will not be you
that thaws this ice.
I do need to keep some bitterness wrapped in my heart,
lest I spend too long staring at your jawline and cheekbones
and begin to forgive you.
There will always be a hard pebble of resentment lodged in my stomach
so I do not begin to fall in love with you.
You protected yourself by pretending to want me
when you still loved someone else.
I will protect myself by swallowing a few seeds of hatred
that will grow into a creeping tangled vine.