weather could be a problem in Florida
tomorrow, but pollen is streaming
through my windows all evening. and
i wonder, what does it smell like
in space? do moon rocks change
scent with the prolonged darkness or
the sudden decaying burn of re-entry?

i want to read to you inside
the nostril of a rocket. the rain
will clear our sinuses before we
are set ablaze.

072005 // revised 012023


on the vernal equinox, 6.36am eastern
daylight time, the sun will pass
the equator. draw a line through the
day and there will

be equal halves. hemispheres
of sound and light, birth, renewal,
death, and something silently
stirring in my mind. one part fire,
one part water, two parts sun
and the squeak of a mattress spring

as i roll out of bed to start
it all over again on a circle, a
bicycle spoke, an engine droning
in the suburbs that maybe will wake
the neighbors, but nobody
knows my name these days.

and sometimes i cannot hold
myself together, can’t quite shake
off the sleep, can’t find the ignition
and my mind trips on the details. balance

is a plaid thermos of black coffee when
the dawn barely catches you, and
someone is waiting
on the other side.

so here i am driving down route 17, and
i know you’re at JFK again, waiting
for me again, absolutely cursing under
your breath because i never could
get up on time. that flight is always
murky in my memory. still dark on the
plane, recycled air standing at a halt,
the city lights seem dull from
the window seat.

is there a name for the time of day when
the sky sits there expectantly? is there
a word like dusk that describes the
darkness when it knows, yearns for,
and is terrified that light will come to
give it absolution?

two equal halves, balance. Justice holds
the scales, and synonyms seem to
outweigh antonyms. She is tipping
because She cannot find a word to tell
you what i am, when all i can do
is tell you what i am not. so i coast
down 17 and know about the sun, think
about the months, about the way the
world and our lives circle, and
we’re stuck on a loop
doomed to repeat this moment, as
i drive. driving, morning, coffee,
waiting, wanting. again

and again, and whoever said there was
nothing new on this earth, they were
right; but of course they were not
the first to say it. our lives are spherical—

cut a line through the middle. we might
be equal halves, but i want the bigger
half. the paradoxical half.

032005 // revised 012023

2010 to 2023, lessons.

I went on a lacklustre date last night and then you texted and asked (again) whether I would drive down to your place. Start our days with coffee, end with you fixing drinks. Booze on the stoop, forever. I feel myself pull towards Yes, but then I remember why it will always be No when it comes to you and I.

Before she died, my mother laid it out to me in the form of brass tacks; there are people in your life who are going to love you for all of the wrong reasons. They will love you for the prettiest part of your face, the ideal part of your naked body, your best mood on your best day, the greatest heart-wrenching story you ever wrote, the most gorgeous dress you ever wore.

They are going to miss the burn mark on your right forearm from the first time you made gingerbread from scratch. They’ll miss the scar on your finger, when you sliced it open while cutting a paper snowflake at 7 years old. They’ll notice that you have great tits, but they’ll miss that your thumb tucks into their palm when you’re walking together, you steal glances at the bar, and that your eyes have darker circles when a migraine is coming.

(They won’t know you get migraines.)

They won’t ask where the story you wrote came from, so they’ll never know that it was true. They’ll simply love it because it feels real to them in a way they cannot discern. They’ll miss knowing the hoodie full of holes that they criticised you for wearing once was your mom’s, remarking that you looked unusually “dressed down”. You might tell them some of these things along the way in an attempt to reveal the real you, but they will choose to remember the Best things instead.

They will adore your good moods, your charisma, your sense of humour, but miss that you never turn to them, but rather to a shower or a pillow or the driver’s seat to shed tears. They won’t ever consider you strong.

When the parts that aren’t your best come out, they will shield their eyes as if you had just forced them to stare at the fucking sun for hours on end. They’ll silently make you promise to never show them that again, the rough edges, the imperfections. Those things are not to be shown. Be at your best so I can love you. I would love you more if only you never show me those things.

And you do not marry those people. You do not sit and sleepily drink coffee with those people. You leave those people and you remind yourself that they missed the better parts of you, and you fucking get on with it.

logan, 2007.

“I want to see how we fit together. Get on the couch,” he ordered, pushing me down onto said couch as he climbed on top of me. Who am I to argue?

It’s the dead of winter, those endless dark days and nights of February. I’ve got a vodka rocks in my hand, his long gone and then some. The apartment I’m in has absolute shit heat and a pair of those fake leather couches that are even colder than the dirty floor.

At that time I had (very) casually started seeing Logan; an incredibly smart manic type with a penchant for pornography of any genre. Long dark hair, piercing laugh and dark eyes. We met at a townie bar with a karaoke night, as one does. After exchanging numbers, we had been on some very nonchalant dates, but I was raring to get in his pants by this point. Was there chemistry? Was there throwdown?

We’re drunk, all over each other, feeling each other out for the first time and loving it. He’s aggressive like I am, his hands all over me, frantically pulling at my dress zipper. It’s so goddamned late, but it doesn’t matter. Time flies and the fit is perfect. He kisses my neck and I scratch him up a little right then and there, his big hardon digging into me as he thrust on my hip. I pull his hair and yelp a little in ecstasy as he bites my shoulder, leaving a mark.

I wish I didn’t have to leave so soon, but it was fucking 5am and my sister had already called twice.

Logan is an excellent kisser, deep and raw and passionate. The type of kiss that stays with you, deep in your bones. He doesn’t fuck around. Vicious making out, complete with groping my tits and grabbing his ass, him slowly removing my clothes and throwing his pants into the other room as if they had committed an offense. I go to grab his cock, and my damned phone buzzes insistently.

My sister, once again succeeding in killing the mood. Fucking hell… way too drunk to drive, I walked home from the neighbouring town in the bitter cold and was delighted to receive a string of lewd text messages to pass the time.

“You’re going to get punished the next time I see you.”

“I should have had you naked here. I want to cum in your mouth.”

“I’m going to fuck you like you deserve, like the slut you are.”

Watching the sun rise as I amble up to my house, I received a far more bland text from my boyfriend, whom I was set on breaking things off with later on that day. I am fucking exhausted by it all, but totally wired on that buzzing sexual energy only a good hookup can provide. There’s more to this story.

paul, 2004.

It was a fucking frigid night, in the midst of that ostensively vast stretch of time between Christmas and New Year’s. I was out at a diner with Paul, a guy I now cannot recall exactly how we met. I think it was through friends of friends, or MySpace or LiveJournal, but none of that really matters in the span of things.

We were steeped in that part of college-ish life, the inbetween. Being too young to drink legally but old enough to drive, and neither of us had moved out of our parents’ houses yet. Thus, the diner was king for latenight meetups. Breakfast food, coffee in the middle of the night, and discreet blowjobs in the parking lot.

Paul had a deep voice, thick dark hair that was a little long, and dangerous eyes. We could hardly contain ourselves as we drank our shit coffee. I kept thinking about how good it would feel to pull his hair when the inevitable happened, wondering if he was good with his hands, what his cock would feel like, how he liked to fuck.

As the night went on, it became increasingly evident that I had to tear his clothes off: it was something that needed to happen. We paid and went out into the night in search of an appropriate locale, driving around. Being broke as hell, even a seedy highway motel was not in the cards.

My neighbourhood was very quiet, sleepy, especially at nearly 3am on a December night. I settled with parking at the playground of my grade school. It was under construction and extremely dark, and growing up there I knew cops did not frequent the area. Cops in suburbia had interfered with prior hookups, and I was not about to have that shit happen.

It was on.

We sat next to one another for a beat, as if to test the waters. The car was nearly as cold as the outside, but we didn’t fucking care. Paul made the first move, kissing me deeply, his cold hands roaming my body as we grappled with each other’s clothes in my backseat. As I grasped at his belt buckle, I bit his lower lip and he shivered, pausing his hands on my tits. I could feel his hardon straining against his jeans, and I was dripping with anticipation.

Taking a minute to figure out the right rhythm, we fucked like animals and fogged the windows near-instantly. Which in retrospect was incredibly fucking risky in such a public place, but we were young and reckless … and absolutely tunnel vision turned on.

His stubble scratching my neck, I distinctly remember his deep voice becoming a little raspy in the throws of it. His hands all over me, pulling my hair just the right way as I grabbed his ass, fervently urging him deeper. He moaned as he came hard, one hand gripping my hip and the other around my waist, holding me close. At this point, we had almost total privacy; the car was frosted over on the outside because it was steamy wet on the inside.

Nothing else mattered but that span of an hour at 3am.

The very next day, I boarded a plane to Chicago to see my boyfriend at the time. The follies of youth; I hadn’t yet realised that relationship was a waste of time, but deep down I knew it all along.