I wonder:

will my lips

forget

how to kiss

in the hours

we are apart?

 
 

when the stars aligned and decided
hmm, lets create something indescribable
they exploded iridescent clouds
and formed your soul with the particles

here, paint words into the sky like picasso
but every now and then feel like edvard munch
circa the scream and perhaps that’s why I see you
in shades of wonder

 
 

“L TRAIN”

Oh, L- 
You are both the bane of my existence
and my worst nightmare.
You are so very inconsistent
yet self-aware
in your shortcomings. 

(“We apologize for the inconvenience.”
“There is another train directly behind this one.”
“We are running express to union square.”)

Dear L- 
I love you
but never during rush hour
(or on weekends)
(or late nights).

 

 

***

 

 

“ROOFTOPS”

 

you said- I want to smoke a cigarette
like it was something terribly romantic
and I followed you up the fire escape ladder.

the wind ruffled your hair so it looked like
birds swarmed your head, it was something
marilyn monroe-esque. I couldn’t believe
you and your words. you and the rooftops.

there are places where the view is more beautiful-
I no longer miss you in dreams. I sleepwalk to Paris.

 

 

***

 

 

“DARK”

there are places darker than the night.
have you ever looked a long while into a smart mind?
have you ever seen blue eyes turn inky black?
have you ever felt a mouth become a cave in a kiss?

we are all dark because we have known light.

 

 

***

 

 

“MOIST”

the ground under your boots two octobers ago
beach towels on the subway in august
everyone’s down jackets when it’s sleeting
dish towels on wine glasses and coffee mugs
pensive upper lips in late may
smiles in tears
morning dew

 

 

 
 

I lose myself on the way back to alphabet city
as the air grows hollower and colder
I run from the night and my too-full mind
between bowery and lafayette
the smell of cigarettes reminds me of cologne
jaywalking without glancing left and right
knowing the timing of the traffic and the lights
I used to hate going unnoticed
but now I float down the avenues
like a waking dream you can’t remember
letting the darker pavements of the alphabets
swallow my silhouette

 
 

 

new york wherefore art thou?

6000 frequent flier miles away
and screaming infants and an
ancient czech woman braiding my hair
with arthritis hands.

new york i miss you and yet you are here

on every street corner in kreuzberg. at
every bus stop where someone’s been vomiting
and there’s a bar called morgenland full of underage
teenagers smoking poorly rolled cigarettes
that reminds me vaguely of dahlias (rip) 
way-back-when. 

new york i listen for your voice 

over kaffee und kuchen in the afternoon on
oderbergerstrasse but you were always
more driven and made worse decisions
and ran in front of cabs on shrooms. 

berlin would never dare- 
walks too slowly, bikes too aggressively
hurts too weakly.

new york i cannot feel anything anymore
the way bowery and catcalls pressed on
my spine asking for nerves and marrow.

i was used to you and your sarcasm (just enough)
and your reusable nalgene water bottles
and 15 flavors of bargain ice cream with exact
caloric content written out for people like me.

kaffee und kuchen- my body recoils as if to repel
the unknowns. 

new york i want you back (oh i do now)

i want you back (ooh ooh baby)
i want you and everyone in tangled headphones
judging themselves and everyone else.

new york- i still love you. 

 
 

I’m sorry I keep hurting
the body you created. you are
the unequivocal sunrise but sometimes 

it cackles at my acute inability to get out of
bed in the morning. you observe 

my jumbo glass of wine and know
that these emerald eyes are
on the brink of you-don’t-know- 

what. but I starve and smoke and slit
and my body is a shrine of loss. 

I’ve tried to love myself
the way you love my every inch, 
and in the seconds when you stroke

my colored hair and clutch
my cardboard shoulders I wish

I could treat me the way you do.

 
 

Raise your Voice like Champagne
a Toast to Every Time it said Nothing
Every Time you avoided Conflict
Failed to take a Stand

a Long-Haired man explains Vonnegut
to you in a Scottish Pub
it’s about Dresden, he says

regarding your Battered Black Nails
So It Goes, he says

 
 

I’ll quote Shakespeare or Lord Byron
compare thee to a summer’s day
            and my favorite dark green pilling sweater

I’ll write verses that fall
out of mouth like loon-song    

a sonnet’s not enough—

            try an ode, something Keatsian
            bright star, would I were         
            steadfast as thou art—       

your fingertips trace mine
like feeling fingers for the first time

            I’ll wrap you in metaphors
            and a woolen blanket
            our limbs tangled in a
                        human knot—

the last time
I was touched it was invasion                                       

now everyone is too close—

            but here you are
                  here we are
                       shiny
                            untainted
                                        a kiss on the forehead

                                my ten hearts stop beating