Jan 13

When the height starts to hurt

Jan 06

To the Boy Who Danced in the Cafeteria Before the Bell

I am often not who I think I am. 
When I was in 6th grade I counted birds
out of the bus window on my way to school. 
I dreamed about flying as much as falling from high places. 

Today the lunch lady smiled back
when I said: "thank you". 

Today, the music resonated from the cardboard speakers
like a tired bee
and became little more than my miracle. 

He is a flash of wild hair and flailing arms
and freedom that washes away down the white hallway,
flooding every imprisoned brick with electric orange. 

If he was a paint color his name would be "Awake". 

I wanted to join him. 
I wanted to find joy in simplicities,
like cafeteria music on a Monday afternoon.  

He probably used to count birds too. 
He has already become my lighthouse. 

Dec 31

When the seatbelt light turns off on the airplane and the sound reminds me of your smile

I can't count my eyelashes.
I'm nervous around his hands 
and arms and eyes.

The interstate illuminates 
our broken footpath 
and the way he stumbles up it,
cropped blond hair and glass-spider legs.

The sun sets early and rises even earlier.
The ocean can only be seen
when the light is low or split apart
or chewed on. 

The cat's claws are either 
between my eyes or toe nails. 

Sometimes, when it rains,
I wake in the night with my fingers in my mouth 
and my head twisted sideways,
window panes in my peripheral vision.  

It's hard to know the difference between
bee stings and his lips. 




 

Nov 20

6:05 pm, Tuesday: The Start of What Must Be the End

The vacant high school lobby
knows nothing but her index finger 
and the way it hurriedly traces the second hand
around the face of her watch.

She only needs more time. 
She only has the window glass 
as her ocean.

She calculates the jagged loops
of her echoing voice into exhaustion:
"How much sleep can a person get when they only know how not to sing?"

She is kerosene 
for the flame;
breaths for the ideas that start moments.
She is aware of her mute contribution.
She sits feebly
in the center of the lobby and closes her eyes
like the world no longer wants to see them. 
 
Nov 17

Yellow

He is a river
and the moment when the crayon
on the sidewalk melts under the pressure
of the sun. 

He has never told me so
but I am aware that he sings
and follows trains down their receding
tracks. He chases after whatever possibility
taps him on the shoulder. 

"There is never too much laughter." 
I'm not sure it's true
because my striped socks start to peel
at the edges when I can't breathe during math class
and the quiet girl who sits behind her past friend on the bus 
rarely similes when the radio turns on. 

His eyes in the morning are golden.
They make me long for toast with honey
and a westward facing window with no curtains. 
Nov 13

The Way the Flood Rises

You used to collect chasms in glass jars and verses under your bed. You used to smile at me. You were phosphorescence and I couldn't wash you off; I didn't want to. For all the times I refused to talk you never gave into writing on the walls with crayons or charcoal or your own tears. I used to stand in front of a mirror and hold myself, just to see what it looked like. I never saw you do the same but I dreamed about it- the way your hands curled around your shoulders, the way your forehead tucked helplessly into the nook of your elbows, the way your eyelashes became damp with the possibility of ocean dust. You are the inexplicable boy I leave poetry for. You are the person I am asked about by familiar strangers in the refrigerated section of the grocery store: "Who is he and why did you let him go?". I wonder what would've happened if you'd told me, that day on the riverbank, that you write let-go letters too.
Sep 10

Another

I want you
on nights when the sky 
catches up with the morning moon
and my hands are weak 
from prying your words
out of the doorjamb. 

I awoke last night
with the mist of your fingers on my wrist. 
I only remembered your smile. 

You ignited me. 
You looked at me
and didn't turn away
and I wasn't afraid. 

“Whatever you are doing 
is the most beautiful thing.” 

Someone finished painting
the hallways white last summer. 
Maybe they are your excuse. 

Did you forget? 
Do you want to?
Is my name still written
in the dust
behind your house? 

Do you still hide poems 
in your palm before the bell? 

When was the last time 
I kissed you in a dream? 


 
Sep 05

The Clockwork of High School

Are we all one burning torch?

Is my head just a shell for their money? 
Is the sky a hole? 

Am I another cog in the wheel of time?
Stuck as another piece in the repetitive
puzzled cycle of knowledge,
pressure, and ignorance?

My mind is a kettle
and you are boiling it over. 

Come. Remove your heat from underneath. 
I have started to wail. 

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