we’re lying on the edge of October
in thick cotton nests,
my place.

my thigh wrapped in burgundy nylon and your
loosening grip.
my chest holding the space between our
necks, our faces,
with stoicism, with
courage to let moments pass and
a revisionist past that kindly removed
the details of the ephemeral contract.
a fevered longing for binding shielded by my
tepid forecast.
I was drawn to your morbidity and
we had similar graves to tend.

handed me a handkerchief for my sneeze,
deepening cough,
fall allergies,
and didn’t notice the sudden softening in your fingers
where I reached and held gaze;
your eyes like fountains I sipped in my July dehydration,
a nourishing after months of asexual experimentation,
mouth the word queer to the mirror,
how to fuck yourself from different positions
and forget you ever came.

I thought autumn meant morning frost but it was
eight am and I was
deathly hot for it and you were
back facing me
reminding me of our agreement,
tying a shoe and I blew my nose,
handed you some andalusite to suggest
all healing is pragmatic but you
absorb organs,
pick one good one,
move on.
we had different ways of
saving ourselves.

I met you in skin and sun
and distant cicada sounds,
street jazz in the background.
you met me where I was:
and made no promise to keep me.
you unrolled your tongue
and the palm of your hand holding your girlfriends’
tiny waist and a note that I’ve read,
God, a thousand times before,
but still cuts through me like the first leaf falling
that said:
I know, but nothing hot lasts

you taught me about unsustainability as a relationship model;
how to rip nylons off with my teeth and
the orgasm of the shattered pieces
that you squeeze to fit into each crevice of weaning;
masochism as a finish line;
and me,
which all seems no better than the men but

so much softer in my



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