I liked your pressed shirts
best
kept on you.

end of day;
wrinkled, faint bleach smell,
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,
urged you to 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
you whipped me,
guilt-free.
I spent hours in the mirror,
counting each mark.
I followed your bellow all the way to
North Philadelphia.

I’m stuck in North Philadelphia.
I’m stuck in a daydream.
I’m stuck in 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 portentous
July night.
You say it freely now, without meaning,
but the word holds a bit of a sharp weight;
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,
counted blessings,
hushed,
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
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.
doors are opening
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 slowly:
a little bloody,
a little timidly,
and suddenly,
we switched places.

“love”

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