I look for you beneath my fingernails sometimes,
Seeing if somehow there’s anything left of you.
I search frantically,
Scraping and clawing beneath them.
I don’t know what I expect,
The only thing I ever find is blood.
In the bathtub the dead skin upon my fingertips bulges.
why can’t i forgive you
if you ever get tired of being unforgivable
i’ll forgive you.
i’ll wipe the vomit from your lips
with my bare fingertips
and i’ll tell you that it’s okay.
i’ll know you didn’t want to hurt me
and i’ll forgive you because
you won’t be hurting me anymore.
you won’t need to say sorry
because that part will be over.
we’ll be past all the apologies
we’ll be past this.
i won’t tell you what you did wrong.
i won’t scream or cry.
i’ll just tell you it’s okay,
even though it isn’t
because it’s been four years
and i still can’t figure out how to just
when all you do is
blank pictures and bedsheets
you send me blank pictures
of blankets, and i can’t help
but realize i’ve never slept
in your bed. i’ve only sat
uncomfortably on the couch
because your house didn’t feel
like home and that felt wrong
but i guess it was right.
sometimes i can’t stop myself
from wondering if she’s just out of
frame. she has to be. where else
would she sleep? she’s laying
next to you and you’re laying
next to her and i’m staring
at a blank photo wondering
why i don’t know what color
your bedsheets are.
just a drink
sometime i imagine my skin
slick with citrus.
a boy with frail wings
drinks just to drink.
lips pressed against mine,
cool and sweet,
thin tongue searching
the crevices of me
his skin is transparent,
with little whirring lights.
it’s a simple thing.
he doesn’t speak
he only swallows,
iridescent wings shivering.
lips are locked together
but eyes are open,
swirling with something primal.
something that goes beyond
soft hips and pursed lips.
beyond the need to do something
this isn’t for anyone else.
no seed will be planted,
and nothing will grow or die.
the only thing that matters
is that he’s thirsty
and i am something
your skin is dark and i remember
the way your knee used to press against mine
in spanish class when the lights were off.
sometimes you appear out of the blue
just to speak to me and i’ve never
understood why. we were never close
enough to justify a random phone call
or a text. you flashed me your skin for a few
months and we kept joking until neither
of us were laughing. then you stopped.
you came to my house on new years
and i thought maybe that night
would be different but you slept on the futon
and flirted with my sister and it wasn’t.
here you are, taunting me, teasing me
and i feel like a string pulled taut.
if you don’t want to do this i’ll tell you what
i told the last pretty boy.
all you have to do is
i have boundaries
sometimes i answer calls and sometimes
i feel the ring and it sinks like a weight
into the depths of my pocket.
you can’t just show up because sometimes
there isn’t any of me to see.
i need time to become myself again,
to cocoon within blankets and bathtubs
until i don’t like i’m suffocating anymore.
so please don’t surprise me with a phone call or a visit,
because i’ll say i’m sorry and i slept through the whole thing
when really i bit my lip and tapped my foot
hoping to god you’d leave before i collapsed.
i can’t face it
you died and the coroner said we couldn’t see you because you didn’t have a face.
i wanted to scream and vomit.
your mom held your hand through a body bag,
she saw the scrap of your tattooed chest,
and then they burned you.
endings were met with endings.
we buried my brother
and then they put you in a little vase,
and now some days i pretend you never died
and that you kept your face.
you kept those pretty blue eyes
and that sweet smile.
when in reality the only thing we kept
this isn’t fair
we used to stare at the carnie all night long.
once he caved and gave us a free ride.
back then we’d wander around the fair
and the lights would blink and swirl
until my head ached.
back then the leather seats of the zipper
were stained with pink and blue swirls,
cotton candy vomit dripping from your lips.
now you stand where the ferris wheel used to be,
it’s ghost spins in your eyes.
you don’t speak,
you just stare.
blinks, big and slow.
sorry, deja vu, you say
and that’s all you say.
so many versions of us have stood here before,
waiting for another ride,
but i guess we’re out of tickets
and the carnie doesn’t feel like giving freebies