“We have loved different people, knelt at different graves,
prayed at different altars.”

I described my most recent
bout of obsession.
“Tell me what happened,”
she said. I breathed.
I understand confession.
I’m Catholic.
The  girl in the corner with the
cloak, the new dye job, the medicinal
fingers curved into claws,
the gun draw.
My eyes are big and brown and dead set
on yours.
The chewed straw in my hand;
my most glaring tic,
the polish, the heart that reaches
across blocks to grab what is mine,
the public  psychotic break I had been
asking God for so I could just own
my predilection for chasing ghosts,
the way I see your thoughts,
and shrinking at my own grandiosity.
I thought I was bigger than this.
I’m sensitive.
The one that finally took me.

“What a fertile experience you are having,”
was all she could say through the receiver
after I told her I demanded public humiliation
for what I demand.
I’m Catholic.
I’d rather have the
stuff
you seem to be having,
I shot back, my anger
misguided again:
drifting cottonwood blossoms,
a joyous, sober experience,
abundance of “cheer,”
decaf Earl Grey,
mountains in the viewfinder,
a paying job you
studied for,
no guilt about needs,
and generally good
advice for others that you
take without scowl.
Confidence.
What I have:

three apology letters
for making love worse
that we all know I’m bound to
howl across town
in pithy titles or
rhetorical questions
in a way that makes no sound,
a new boyfriend in the clip
to give me something to fuck with
so I can move past one slip
that left me shaking in my
ignominious song,
echoes of absence,
nothing of my exes,
and
impregnable hurts that I birth,
covet,
like sons to show off
when I run into you this summer
and you’re still not ready for words.

Is love the short space between
two wants? Is that space
us? Do we ever get to
hold it?

We all agree I will not wait another minute
for this.

“howl”

 

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