Animal Instinct

Every boy who has
kissed me first
has also left me.
And maybe that says something about
me,
how my mouth is bear trap,
whereas ankles are normally trapped
my lips work as snare,
confine others’ because
it’s the only way I know how to beg,
it’s the only way I can convey “stay”.

So,
I want but
never ask first.
One never does when the question leads
to abandonment;
why even bother the claws to break skin?

When you don’t have a chance of holding
what’s meant to leave you.
When mouths meeting are a different kind of speaking,
a “goodbye” tasted, instead of said.

Somnia

I fall in love at twilight.
Broad statement.
Revision:
I fall in love with the way
your voice sometimes
lives in the place between awake
and dreaming,
where you talk to me
in an octave far more hushed
than normal,
where your head meets
my shoulder.

It’s like a fogged glass
memory of September,
my fingers running over your hair,
“Drive” playing off the radio;
your cheek pressed to the lining of my jacket,
body shifted from driver’s seat to
lap of passenger,
to a girl who believes for a few moments,
a half hour,
she will be all you need.
Lack-luster friend,
semblance of rest.

When you wake,
you tend to hold people a little tighter.
Your hand brushes theirs in a dimly lit bar
and for once, you eat a whole dinner.

I fall in love with the way
the rain raced down your windows,
“I Will Possess Your Heart” on the radio,
singing softly to your somnia.
Waiting for your voice to fill with sleep,
for your eyes to lift up and meet
mine,
to hear your voice clogged with something
other than a lonely girl’s dream:
to watch your tongue fold over itself with silence,
to watch you break the planes of slumber.

Listening still,
after all this time.
Holding out
for a whisper.

Heartbreaks and Earthquakes (A Different Kind of Break Up)

I needed you

more.

I needed you to just shut up
and listen
and not shake or
stress or bumble
your way about a few missed texts.

I needed you
to be there for me
like I had been there for you
countless times before.

And you weren’t.

You were at this mental precipice
of rethinking your last kiss
with some girl
who is only your lover.

Not to stain her name anymore,
but you can’t date because of rules
of “the Father”.

I agree;
your soul can’t be saved.

Not when you’re hung up
about a girl leaving you
lonely
for another nth amount of years.

I talk you away
from the edge of the world,
back to a booth
where my heart resembles a fissure in
the earths crust,
but my hands grab yours;
unspoken promises
that I will be there
yet again
to keep you steady,
even when I’m quaking
at the core.

Another Round for 4

We are ostracized by a table
half the size of the dining room
and I am looking at you
and you are laughing.

And I am watching you
and you don’t look at me;

and this is why I don’t believe you
when you say I’m ‘pretty’,
when you like ‘my personality’.

I see the way you’re smiling,
the way your eyes are glinting,
and maybe you’ve finally fooled me.

But in those moment, I swear
you look, you seem
genuinely happy.

And maybe that lessens the blow
of the lie:
that I know you never watch me
when I’m having a good time.

So the next time we are at a table
and this time, I’m at your side,
I’ll still cherish that smile,

But won’t confuse it for your validity
of my ‘pretty’
or ‘personality’.
No, without you,
without it, I’m still me,
and regardless,
I’ve been doing just fine.

Satisfaction Guaranteed (A Poem You Don’t Deserve)

And this is ‘what I want’:
Sitting on my knees,
on top of your bunched up sheets,
mine & your fingers twining,
messy hair & baggy T’s,
backdrop of ‘Fight Club’ &
the glow of your TV.

I’m holding my body like a cell tower,
watching your eyes flicker at surface level;
wishing my veins were wires
so I could possibly connect with—
trick myself into believing
we are something worth
being tangled together

& not just our tongues
or our legs,
but the look shared
when I tell you it’s okay
if I’m a pit stop, because
I love listening to you at rest.

& I’m sorry this is not a
sext or a CD
or skin brushing skin,
but rather stitches being
ripped.

Here’s ‘what I want’:
Banana custard,
to be laughing,
to have you look at me
like I’m made of poetry
& the aftertaste of tragedy.
That something isn’t pretty
unless some part of it
is cracking at the seams.

So I’m sitting on my knees,
looking at you across a
bed full of everything
we’re going to leave unsaid,
& waiting for your turn to
break me,
bend me,
until every pore is oozing,
honesty,
until there is nothing left,
but messy.
Until we are exposing the
grievances between our
teeth, until our palms
are touching because we
need to make peace with
something & between the
two of us, I don’t want
to be another thing that
simply fizzles out,
another failure to our generation.

Between the two of us,
I want to be the thing
you cling to when the wind
is howling & there are
branches scratching at your
window & some plane of
sanity is the only thing
you’re seeking.
I want you to come to me
& I don’t mean
just fucking.
I want you to read
this poem & understand
what I’m saying.
That all words written
are bled through lead instead
of breaking skin.
Instead of tearing at some
animal instinct in my veins
that says I’m only ‘good’
when the moon is waning.

When you, of all people, ask
me ‘what I want’:
I want you to get it.
I want to watch ‘Fight Club’
& have silence not feel
like it’s strangling.
I want to feel like all
inner demons will fall away
with something as simple
as two palms kissing.

I want to make love to your
lonely,
& I want you to hold mine
through the night.

God, I want to.

It is me saying,
“Hey, I miss you”
when I really mean
“Hey, I love you”
when I thought about kissing you
yesterday because I have missed someone enjoying the feel
of my nails on their neck.

“Hey, what are you up to?”
Hey, I love you.
God, I want to love you.
And I am holding you close because
I know I have to let you go,
but I’m so so selfish,
so cling to me.
Don’t let go until I’m the one
pulling away.

“Hey, thank God for you.”
Hey, I love you.
I want to love you.

But I can’t give you what you deserve,
and I am certainly not what you need.

“Hey,
I (wish I could)
love you.”

Kiddo

I will always be a child to you.
I may never get the responsibilities laid upon your shoulders
and my back will never be strong enough to carry them for you.

Once,
in the fall,
the sun beating on our backs,
and with the weight of fifteen pounds on my shoulders alone,
I asked you to carry me.
You said okay,
but I’d have to leave my bookbag behind.

I am sorry
that all this time,
I was the biggest burden of all.

I am sorry
that I have let you live as a personal burden
not on my back,
but rooted in my soul;
nourished by false hope and heart-wrenching dreams.

Despite what I’ve seen,
I am always forcing you to walk beside me.

You never came back to
(let alone for)
me.