There is no rush to continue / existing but I miss you / like an early page.
Describing the lighthouse to you
went on for months in hopes
that it would stay lit by existing
in your mind. Joy, what happens
when I stop existing
in your mind? I don’t have
any secrets. I have ice cream
in my hair. I was late
to your birthday party
and then the house collapsed.
In all the pictures from the party
I am in the background crying
trying to eat vegetables and rice
from a paper cup. Somehow
the boy named Delusion squeezed
past me on his way out and now
I do not have a ride home.
I’ll just walk home, it’s not so far.
As in, I will never be able to tell you
how much I have loved you.
It is like Pleistocene megafauna:
enduring, immense, terrifying,
with fragile yet perpetual
evidence, perhaps even covered
in gorgeous feathers, like those
that Roxxxy Andrews wore
one last time. That one time
on your porch, reading you Tim’s
long poem— I wanted to tell you
this is how I want to die
but I do not write poems like that
anymore. You would grab my hand
to kiss it while we sat by the carrots
and I cannot even tell anyone about it
because I am trying
to be mature and professional.
I don’t want to walk. I want
to walk with you. I hate this part
of the song. How could I be right
after such a long run of being left?
You will leave too. I retract everything
I have ever said during the month
of November. I must excise
my own hippocampus. I must pour
this sesame oil down the drain.
Symone must win this season
of Drag Race. I cannot stop
playing out new scenarios of you
leaving while a strange boy rakes
my leaves. My chest is covered
in semen. I must appear white.
I am posed like a Renaissance portrait
showered in unsparing light
as the boy who is not you grabs a towel.
Suddenly, I remember when
we texted each other pictures
of kimchi at the exact same time.
Do you still want me
to tell you what I had for dinner
or will no one ever comprehend
my unconscionable bok choy?
You love soup. I hate
that I will have to remember you
whenever there is soup,
like at a party. No, there is never soup
at parties. We never even went to a party
together that wasn’t yours. Ho hum,
how exciting, last year’s alcohol.
Bitterness, peel off. Light, promise me
you will stop reflecting in the pool
of gasoline. Joy, I had promised
to send you a picture of my coffee
every morning. I cannot stop
taking these pictures
so now I must shove them all
into a small jar labeled Home
then bury the jar before I break it
with my enormous hands. Yesterday
you sent me a picture of your backyard
on fire. Wish you were here : )
Today I saw a rare bird. The pharmacist
hugged me. The river was pure white.
You will have to take my word for it.
I am always worried about burning
my tongue but I want
something warm inside of me.
Can you blame me? Ok, do it.
You always said I walk too fast
but I was sitting when you met me.
I spent weeks trying to catch up
to you. I cannot bear you a son.
I can only promise to send you
a picture of the sun every evening.
When your voice fell out, so did
all the pigeons from the sky.
I love you. Stop dying. Stop leaving
like the sun every evening.
Be the sky. Be the pigeon
fed by the bodega owner
so it returns day after day.
It wasn’t the co-op snacks
you brought me that hurt but rather
every meal we spent apart
when you would send me pictures
of what you were eating
and say how you wished I was there.
My body lies in the bed. I lie
to myself like light on white walls.
There is no rush to continue
existing but I miss you
like an early page. We always said
we would unfold simply until the paper
was flat. Ok, fine, there was never
any paper. Don’t you believe
in being gracious? Give me
a quarter. I need to call home. I miss
my losing dogs. I miss Rob.
I am forgetting all of our times.
The closeness I held close closes.
The worst part of sleeping
is that I don’t get to kiss you.
Joy, you said that to me.
Kuya, he literally said that to me.
Hey, stop screaming so loud.
My thumbprint was replaced
by yours but only for a day.
Your arms remain so striated.
Oh, those are my arms.
The formal innovation astounds.
Everybody cheers. I trust Adam.
I trust Gabbie and Genevieve
and every other friend
who has assured me that the sky
above us is real. I should rearrange
my room. Make space for your absence.
I want to stop me. Hope, forgive me.
How gauche, to hold out hope.
I spoon gouache into my mouth
to spin and wash the spans
of our limitless attentionlessness.
How I talk too long. How I long
to talk to you again, for you
to pay attention. I’ll pay
for the coffees this time.
I’ll put the camera down.