i asked her rub my back instead
nails dug through skin rage
sat up she fell slammed
head on bed frame
still, we dated
three more months because
resistance takes time.
every canyon shaped a river, once
some say you have to see the poison
snake to drop it i held on to
marvel, maybe, purpling blue
fist circled malignant fingers
until i let the whole hand
an army is useless in empty land
called as she left
car broke down
the valley midnight
street poison i
turned off my phone.
a wall can’t keep out what doesn’t want in
i am a fleeting idea
a good one, i hope, so
i traded fist body name
to call myself crusader
raised open arm to
constant marching sky
every beach is a cliff the rest is sea
you’ll find me swimming nameless
in your whisper ear look
it’s poison, look
falling through time
pretending to stand
the day we turned red
I’m no stranger to broken glass or to turned tables, and you aren’t either. Us feral beasts know how to tiptoe and keep quiet; when to starve panic. So the day you picked me up in that bright red car and told me to peel off the snake skin I just imagined the day I’d be picking through glass to find you eviscerated because:
we’re no strangers to scalpels.
So you picked me up in your bright red car. Your Wife called and you put Her on speaker; I laughed like a harmonica; you said shut the fuck up because She didn’t know I was in your hand, but I kept laughing; we popped painkillers that tasted like California poppies and ate the cold sea and resurfaced
with foam forming parentheses around our lips.
I used to wake up with ghosts and bruises; you used to sleep bleeding; now we’re free of adam and eve; free of the rotten fruit and it’s gnawing sour. There’s nothing to build; nothing to wait for.
Air mixed with air; no touch; just glitter.
Survival looks like me driving a rundown old red station wagon with a depressed blue velvet bench down the 405 freeway at rush hour.
Abuse sounds like her on all fours on the bench beside me, facing me, screaming through my eardrum. She played alto sax for 10 years so her lung capacity is limitless. She’s fucking loud, and her voice is like a blade.
I cross four congested lanes and pull over. She opens the door and runs. My inner ear rings for days.
Survival looks like me going to all her shows, regardless. People come up to me every night and ask, “isn’t she amazing?” and every time I say:
“Of course,” grinning.