pull harder for me

We are nothing but wires in tension
threatening to fall apart at the
slightest vibration
as we walk on parallel rail tracks
hand in hand
waiting for a train

Dear United States Postal Service,

I am writing to tell explain why I haven’t written lately. I am sorry. But not too terribly sorry. Each forty-eight cents that I save by not updating you on my life has gone into a wishful thinking fund. Once it gets big enough I plan on sending letters to everyone. To update the world and perhaps tell a few people that I love them. I don’t know yet who would receive love letters. The requirements for qualification are always gray and shifting. You see, USPS, I can love so easily. Except, as I am sure you now know, I can lose that love easily as well.

I started a list of love letter recipients: mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, grandpa, neighbor, roommate, co-worker from accounting, barista, maybe even the mailman… Where is that list supposed to stop USPS? It can’t go on forever.

I met a girl with neon hair and twenty-three piercings. Or maybe it’s twenty-four now. She is constantly changing and to be honest I never really notice her piercings in the first place. Or the tattoos for that matter. Just her smile and her eyes and her laugh and the four in the morning conversations when we both know we have to be to work by eight. They are contagious, icy gray, playful, and longing, in that order. In case you were wondering. Does she make the list USPS? At what point do you draw the line between who you care about and who you don’t? When does she stop becoming the latest stranger in my life?

I see no reason why you can’t love the next stranger you meet as well. Except I can only afford so many stamps USPS. Your rates are climbing every day. And my hand will get cramped from writing so many letters soon. Your suggestion of form love letters won’t cut it. They just don’t mean the same.

I’ll write again soon. I promise.

negatives, again:

i used your shampoo and my hair froze
the morning after we failed to read together
(i couldn’t sit silent next to you)
and my hands turned blue from the cold
while you lay oblivious to the digits
asleep in my flannel in bed
and i so badly wanted to spin and run
straight back upstairs
into your warmth and your stillness
to wrap my arms tight in yours
and whisper “i’m back” as you dreamt
of daisy fields bathed in summer sun
somehow i thought it would be so simple
and i tried my hardest to imagine
the ice on your windows melting
so that the morning sun would keep you warm
when I could not.

sometimes it slips out:

I know you are not about
poems and compliments
and that “gross” is a standard reply
to anything I say with a hint
of affection.
But my words are what got me this far and
I can’t imagine giving up on them now.
So instead we played Marco Polo in the mall
and I sat waiting for seven hours to
spare you a bus ride.
Because I have no other way to tell you
that even the way you exhale smoke from your lungs
knocks me the fuck out.

breakfast in bed:

The morning after I made waffles and you called my eyes evergreen I found you tight against me in the shower. Water streamed off of our eyelashes as we switched from childlike giggling to gasps, lips lined up. We let stories seep into the moment, each exploring and exposing in turn. We promised museums and mountains but never tomorrow, and that alone has kept me falling forward. You don’t understand that priority is synonymous with everything I have and that you have me right where I want me. Your eyes remind me of cold gray coasts, and I imagined a storm if I turned my back. But I never told you that. Instead I just let the water stream past and kissed you again.

marks are only allowed below the neck:

You told me not to over think it
as each second ended with a star burst
and your hair glowed nuclear green,
stealing my focus until dawn.
I wished I could love you the way
we were warned about.
Lusting after each other, like kids in a candy store.
Spinning you into the mist on an empty street
to race maple seeds in the gutters.
Instead you sucked on a sliced finger while making dinner,
then kissed me with blood stained teeth
and asked if I was nervous.

i kept using my hands as binoculars:

It was 52 degrees in December and
our city slowly filled with fog.
I stood on the balcony,
slowly getting stoned, and
let night creep up on me.
The U.S. Bank sign,
which was a mere three blocks
and four stories further up,
became lost in the haze.
Soon it was too dark and cold
to pretend you were standing
on your balcony,
slowly getting stoned,
and gazing through the fog
imagining me.

i scratched a 12″ too:

before you moved in
I painted a wall
orange and blue and red. bright triangles
I built a shrine around it to music
the vinyl topped by a tape deck
guitar in the corner
tandom ticket stubs acting as wallpaper
continuous loud, clear, music

after you moved out
I repainted the wall
primer and dover white. blank
the shrine was shifted to paint
and re-assembled
now the radio never has perfect reception
no matter how much I try
there is always background static

we slept under the stars:

the night you told me
you answered phone calls
from confused, desperate people
i slipped myself into the water
with thoughts of resolution
but the warm water was your voice
and the thin steel your teeth

realizing that the worst person
in my life gets scared sometimes too
gave me the courage to smile
at every left turn in my life
with fire in my eyes

the next morning thoughts poured in
on and on and on
remembering the night
i destroyed it all
you weren’t the worst
mistake I’ve ever made

now this city feels like a movie set
and if this is a scene
i just hope to be an extra

let me down easy:

I don’t mind your first cigarette in the morning.
I imagine it is unavoidable, akin to your grimace and
whispered “damn”, as you realize it is tomorrow

We recreated the night before, years ago maybe.
Sorting bits of our collected memories,
as if scrap-booking on the coffee table.
And I made pancakes.

Later I spent hours pretending I can box
with a bag downstairs, while you read
away the evening and reality.

We watch regular television with stolen
3-D glasses. Teeth grinding and eyes red,
with a casual mention of Suicide Saturdays
becoming a common theme these days.

Afterward, years later maybe, we
would both sit on the same couch.
Gloves in the corner,
books thick with dust,
wondering who the hell we thought were.