I liked your pressed shirts
best
kept on you.

End of day;
wrinkled, bleached,
sleeves rolled up past your elbow,
            I count four moles on your forearm
musk standing straight and
consumptive;
eating away at the fresh cotton scent
you sprayed in the air and
walked through  just before I
laid on my side,
let you come in from behind.
I was always craving the earlier temper
that had you so wet with sweat and mindful
reproach.
But I couldn’t face it.

You would re-enact shit:
yell at the floor and I would become it
to prove my loyalty
to soft barrage.
I assured you of my masochism
and we kept our plays
our little secret.
I would follow your bellow
to North Philadelphia.

I live in North Philadelphia.
I live in a daydream.
I live under a memory of a canopy of a
full fertile moon
that I painted my toenails under the night he said,
“I want to see you more.”
And my toes twinkled, zephyr of a July night,
and I agreed that would be a good thing
to do.

You say it freely now without meaning
but the word holds a bit of a sharp
weight to it;
like a knife when it’s oil-stoned, serrated
and facing you and you aren’t sure
how this is gonna play yet but you’re
trusting and palms out,
                      I count three cuts across your fists
like expectations you had on
yourself or someone else when you should have just
taken out the trash regularly
and not complained so much,
like a sudden accident when you needed
one more thing from the store that day
but there you are,
wounded and without the slivered almonds
on a bed of fresh greens.
It was pretentious and
you are concussing quietly.

I looked in my bag today and saw a bottle of blue polish
peeking out
and the train screeched to a halt
doors are opening
and I saw people tumble through the
exit signs.
I saw men that wanted to shred my spaghetti straps
with their pocket knives and abscond with the fabric
to prove their might to
absent wives.
I smiled to show them my canines,
remind them women are animals,
foxes, defensive and
all of the time.
I found a book of my old poems that someone
printed for me and
a nail file.
(Be creative, child.)
Are these signs
or are these shadows
that are chasing me?
doors are closing

I think this
unfolds,
bloody and
reversing.

“love”***

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