would call out “love you!”
conveniently leaving out the “I”
as if they didn’t want to commit
to their own declarations.
And I agree that the “I” is a pretty heavy concept."
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
a girl’s feet will tangle yours under sheets you just bought for a night like this. the price tag is still glued to the plastic wrapping stuffed underneath the bed. her feet are frigid and feel like frostbite against your legs when you fall asleep, but they’re like mittens roasted over a fire when the sun blinks through the curtains.
a girl’s legs are taut and thick. they’re flexible and enclose you in a straightjacket at 2 am when they knot around your waist and pull you just a little closer. if she’s still sleeping, it’s even better.
her thighs will make you forget about your calculus homework and your french exam. they will make you forget about your father’s affair or your best friend’s disorders. they will make you forget your name and they will make you forget who you are without them. hold them as tight as you can. i promise, she loves it.
when you were in fourth grade, they taught you stop, drop, and roll at the sign of a fire. when you’re in her bedroom on the second floor, her quivering hips will trick-start a similar fire in your teeth, and you’re going to want to listen to your fourth grade teacher, but don’t. if you stop, whatever it may be that you’re doing, she might kill you.
so in health class, they’re supposed to teach you that your hands will never fit somewhere like they will on a girl’s waist. it doesn’t matter if it’s wide and soft, or small and hard. your hands will adapt to her waist like the heart to your blood. they’ll feel as natural as fingers on an instrument.
sometimes you can see her ribs; sometimes you can’t. they flicker like an old grainy movie under her skin, and they feel like sharp magma in your palms. they’re structure — they protect her. hold her there if you want her to feel like this house isn’t caving in on herself.
her chest. promise her you’d never want anything more or anything less. if you don’t mean it, stop reading, and find someone else.
taste her collarbone. dip in the crevices and valleys and plant trees at the bottom. root down, cherish the nature, and never ever underestimate a girl’s collarbones. they’re a place to sleep when its -11 outside. write scripts on her collarbone. they are forever.
if you don’t know blueprints to her neck with your eyes closed from tracing it with your mouth, you’re doing it wrong. learn it. memorize it. you better know her pulse like counting with your dominant hand. kiss it like it’s her mouth. her neck will change over time, yes. but make sure you can change with it.
kiss her before she brushes her teeth. make fun of her morning breath. kiss her after, and make fun of the flavor of her toothpaste. kiss her when she’s angry and throwing the vase your mother bought her, and kiss her when she can’t stand and she bubbles over with tears like hot water. kiss her if she’s laughing and tell her it’s because she makes you happy. kiss her if she won’t stop talking because you want to taste her voice. kiss her when she isn’t talking because you miss it. kiss her in the shower and kiss her everywhere. if it’s raining, kiss her, and kiss her again when she calls you a cliche. kiss her in public because you want them all to know, and kiss her in private because you don’t need them to either. god, just kiss her on the mouth. nothing else matters. just fucking kiss her.
But this is what I know: we are both breathing out of lungs
filled with scar tissue and moon craters that will always be empty.
I am miles of self-inflicted birthmarks and you are acres
do you remember the first time you were called annoying?
how your breath stopped short in your chest
the way the light drained from your eyes, though you knew your cheeks were ablaze
the way your throat tightened as you tried to form an argument that got lost on your tongue.
your eyes never left the floor that day.
you were 13.
you’re 20 now, and i still see the light fade from your eyes when you talk about your interests for “too long,”
apologies littering every other sentence,
words trailing off a cliff you haven’t jumped from in 7 years.
i could listen to you forever, though i know speaking for more than 3 uninterrupted minutes makes you anxious.
all i want you to know is that you deserve to be heard
for 3 minutes
for 10 minutes
for 2 hours
there will be people who cannot handle your grace, your beauty, your wisdom, your heart;
mostly because they can’t handle their own.
but you will never be
and have never been
On the days the ground betrays us,
we cling each other like boat railings.
We call every dinner “family dinner.”
We built this crooked house
with our own shaking hands. We call it home."
You drink your coffee black and we are afraid of each other.
Once you kissed my neck in front of your friends
and it made me very shy.
Once you kissed my stomach and I started crying.
I see the tender way you touch things and want to kiss your nose
but I keep my mouth to myself.
Your collarbones are craters big enough to fit my fist into.
You are the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in months.
I was not good to the last person I loved so I punished my heart
(I let it break and bleed out then roughly sewed it back together)
It is hard to write poems when I only know how to fuck you.
I am always trying. I am thinking of Somedays. I am saying goodbye.
You asked why I never write anything honest so I am writing you this."
Okay, we didn’t work, and all memories to tell you the truth aren’t good. But sometimes there were good times. Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep beside me and never dreamed afraid.
There should be stars for great wars like ours."