May 2012

the things I will not be given include

a name for the ways 

I have tried to matter 

and the words to tell you why I’m gone.


my voice dies young,

stays free,

lies forgotten,

it gets to be the best of me.


at three in the morning 

with pants around ankles 

and sweat in our mouths.


in a too bright room

with someone we’ve forgotten

is a stranger.


in the backseat 

of a tiny foreign car

reeking of whiskey.


outside a favorite bar

a hand up a favorite skirt

and one against heavy breath.



winning just means not knowing enough

to walk away.



Diffused light and a desire to make him see. Any him. Anything. Anything that matters. Anything that’s true. Anything you wish was true. Anything that matters. That’s all you’re feeling here.

There’s a vague awareness of a thrust and grind, a question in his eyes, answer yes, say yes, whatever makes it end quickly. He won’t see. Anything that matters. Anything that’s true. Just say yes.

That’s what got you here. Yes. A lack of no. It turns out that not saying no is the same thing as saying yes, anyway. Even if there isn’t a word for no in the only language you’ve learned, a lack of no is the same as the presence of yes. You’re deaf and numb and blind, it doesn’t matter to you. Take off your clothes; yes. Lie down; yes. Spread your legs; yes. Lock them behind his back; yes. Look at him as if you had eyes; yes. Make that noise, say his name; yes. Roll to the side. Was it good; yes. Are you okay; yes. I’ll call you; yes. Early meeting; yes.

He won’t call and if he does it won’t change anything. You saw all you needed to see from him, felt every absence he would always represent in one night. He’s never going to mean anything to you. It’s true that maybe that’s because you’re never going to mean anything to him, but in the end it doesn’t make any difference. You’re looking for a different answer, and with him you saw the same future you’re always seeing.

It’s probably your fault.

You’ve got all this nothing caught up in your veins and it leaks out sometimes, it shows through the cracks in your aging skin and falls out of your mouth, lands on these possibilities and converts them to the church inside you.