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a cold roast dinner

we will walk slightly further ahead and behind of each other
until people wonder whether we’re together at all.
i will hate you and you will hate me for that.
one dinner i will say ‘pass the salt’ and you will pause,
pass the salt and then complain at how i always say ‘pass the salt’
and never ‘please’. then, how i never appreciate the effort you make,
how you feel like there’s an ocean between us.
i will stand up, knock over my water and the glass will break.
you will scream, i will ignore you and leave.
i will walk down our street and through the park alone,
looking at leaves on the path
and pushing away tears because everything looks ugly.
everything looks like wasted opportunities,
wasted words, wasted life.
with trembling fingertips i will trace the lines on my face,
chest slowly pulling tighter under wasted skin.
my knees will hit the pavement first,
then my palms, flesh tearing like paper.
my breath will slow, becoming shallower and more desperate.
as my face presses into the concrete,
i will see my high-school graduation;
me sitting in the toilet cupping my face with my hands,
thinking of how to say, ‘i love you -
it doesn’t matter if you don’t love me...just let me love you.’
then i will see myself five years later
pushing through theatre doors,
struggling for air and fumbling for a cigarette,
loathing myself for not being able to move on,
loathing you for being who i have to drive home to.
i will close my eyes and feel the asphalt pressing into my pores,
feel you stroking my cheek on a Wisconsin beach.
blood will pulse through my head
and you will be standing beside our bed
with a hot water bottle and paracetamol
asking me if i need anything else.
everything will go dark slowly, like i’m falling asleep.
i will say, ‘there’s nothing’, and ask you to leave.
i will die alone, nauseous and cold,
knowing that my last breath won’t find your ears
to speak of what i will have just figured out.



Parallax

We rode bicycles over a mountainside made of cheap street crack and wine.
‘Michelangelo,’ she said. ‘these walls ain’t even half as tall as what we thought they
were. Look, you can see all of the sky tonight. Oh, you can see all of the sky!’
She asked for a statue, and I etched her out a marble portrait of the moon.
‘Baby,’ she spoke. ‘the moon?’
‘Without the sun to light it up, it’s just another rock.’
‘Let’s go.’ She sung.
We found shovels in our empty garden bed, and dug until we hit water.
‘We’re stuck,’ I cried. ‘we’re really fucking stuck.’
‘Close your eyes, we’re in a ship. Okay? And we’re sailing through a stream of
cement and bricks, and we’re not stuck, okay? Just close your eyes and paddle, like this.’
I cupped a hand against the sunlight. Her eyes were mirrors in a morning so bright.
There were birds dancing like kites strung up for a day parade,
And there were old trees and soft hills and low rolling meadows,
And for a moment the sun swung behind a cloud.
‘The moon never looked so alight.’
As she laughed I placed a frame around her neck and made her a masterpiece.