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10th.Dec.08 | 12.18 am


I keep the clutter on the floor
because it makes the place seem full,
and I track in the mud from the sidewalk,
and I let the brackish ice melt off my wheels.

I often wake in the middle of the night
and fall over my desk chair, grasping
for the bathroom, for the sink, for a drink.

My eyes cannot adjust again.
I am left alone with my work.


I should not let the cat play with
the strip of elastic he found under
the refrigerator.

That's how these things die.


I'm not sure what I'd say to you if I saw you.

Maybe that I had to get going, to go
drop off a letter at the post office,
or there were dishes in the sink that needed doing,
or I had a very important meeting,
I'll see you later, of course?

I like pretending to be an adult as
a kind of therapy -- wake early, run
the errands, cook your own meals, don't take a nap,
watch television from six to eight, drink
a glass of Scotch before bed.
(Of course it's never that easy.)

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i never wrote a love poem

8th.Dec.08 | 09.30 am

i never wrote a love poem for you.

we went to a lake in the seething darkness
of summer, and the moon was on the water,
and i could see your shape there, silver and slender.
but the water was cold, even when we swam
to the middle, your head disrupting the
dark-dark-light on the still surface of the lake.

i wrapped you in my towel.

the whole drive home you were quiet.

i sang to the radio, to you,
because i could never write you a love poem,
because every word i ever said has never been my own.

and i thought you might know everything i would say anyway
because we were so cinematic,
because we were geniuses of love.

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i told you i loved you a week after i told you that it was too much.

11th.Aug.08 | 08.28 pm

there is a certain way that
we watch ourselves in the mirror,
when the light in your room is silver
from the streetlight that's been replaced.
i like to glance at our shoulders when
i roll onto my back, and
your body still shakes
when i mention that night.

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i spent so much time missing you

20th.Jun.08 | 08.12 pm

i spent so much time missing you
i lost the actual you in there, somewhere;
and as i was busy bridging the distance,
you were busy tunneling to your escape.

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I miss all the old songs

20th.Apr.08 | 04.40 pm

I miss all the old songs
we played with angular awkward fingers
on the second floor of his parents'
1950s Royal Oak single-family home.
I miss the morse-code messages
to the pretty girls we liked then,
practicing my parts unamplified on my hundred-dollar
bass guitar. And leaning into a microphone
in the basement of the dorm, sighing
the words of songs we almost could call our own.

It is just the small sound she makes
when I tell her about these times, and admit,
sheepishly, that we borrowed other bands' songs,
that I crooned someone else's lyrics to
another girl in those days, and they were simple,
and it was good. She tells me she would have
had a crush on me in high school. But look,
I'm not so different now as I was then:
tired, jaded, caught in the low light of evening,
tight pants and white tee, half-drunk,
and being sucked into the same sort-of love I've
been trying to sing away for all these years.

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