the catch

Catch my arm as we walk.
Make me turn
and see.
Catch me like the words
caught in your throat
late at night.
Catch me like you need me to see
you.
Like no one else will do.
Like this isn’t just a walk
and you aren’t just a man
holding the arm of a woman
looking at you.
Make me stop.

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Night

You aren’t here, and I know this,
but it doesn’t stop me from checking
your side of the bed
in the depths of night.

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[you’re my best reason to run]

My arms are always going slack at my sides near you.
It’s this tricky mixture
of shock and awe,
exhaustion and denial,
truth and lies.
I’m all lies, all eyes
on you.

I just can’t find the right way to hate,
to well up with enough feeling.
You’re my best reason to run.

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We’re Leaving

You look road-weary, my dear.
Worn out by the miles,
the miles that flew by under your feet.
I’d smile at you,
but you don’t need my smiles.
You need the pounding of the waves on sand,
the fourth day of sleeping in,
an iced tea.

I’ll lead you away from this party,
where we sit spinning
bottle caps in our palms.
Cling to the back of my shirt, or to my warm hand,
we’re leaving for home.

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To Break

Carefully
you counted
the thin bones of my ribcage,
one by one,
walking your fingers
gently down
to the points of my hipbones.

You’re going to break,
one of these days,
you said.

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Familiar

We’ve had
this conversation
before.
We’ve had all
the conversations
before.

I know your words,
my replies,
and the careful timing of it all.

We fall into the familiar rhythm
with eyes closed
and relish this ease, this flow, this us.

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I’m Closing My Eyes

With windows down the roar
of the freeway
filled our ears,
held our breath,
stole our words.

You asked me to close everything up,
I pretended not to see
your lips move
or the callouses on your hands.
I could barely look at you.

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A Ways Away

We were saturated in doubt, concern,
for one another
for no one but our selves
our lonely selves
wondering if we’d ever find
something to find.
The search.

Like sandpaper on our softest skin
our skins, our layers
our misguided right
our half-hearted attempts to feel
anything.

We ignored our ignorance
our impatient fingers and minds
we grew heavy with distrust
threw ourselves onto paved roads toward the city
mumbling something.

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Drowsy

Sky blue daydreams were no longer enough
on those drained empty days.
We draped ourselves on faded floral couches
and blew the bangs out of our eyes, too often.
The whole town was drowsy.

Only in the hours without the sun
did we finally live,
drifting down empty streets
and laughing with our mouths wide open.

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A Certain End

On the dark shoulder of the road,
we looked over the city
and felt the summer night-quiet.

I wanted to whisper
to you.
A few words.
“I’m not doing so well.”

I needed this,
but couldn’t watch the change
in your shining eyes.
I didn’t want your pitied expression
but needed your reassuring grip on my arms.

I couldn’t take it.
I couldn’t take much of anything.
Instead I wished
for the bottom of the dark valley
or anywhere with a certain end.

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