Orbital

When we cut each other
with those uncrossed steak knives
we used to chop only vegetables,
it didn’t hurt at all.

And our toothy smiles
held the wood so well.

When we smoked weed together
in a dream before rolling
down an anonymous hill
I swear I encountered in another dream

years earlier, it didn’t blunt
the edges of desire.

When we counted the empties
left beneath the wrap-around porch
in a neat dirt-banked stack,
it didn’t matter that we lost track

of how often the moon occults
your favorite star.
I never knew its name—
only that you loved it.

When we watched
the rapper sword dance
those strangers attempted
unravel, blades a blur

of clumsy dangerous motion,
it didn’t break the trance.

When we agreed to play
our game of musical chairs for two
animato, it didn’t feel
too fast to maintain.

When we heard that voice,
the way it cracks
at just the right moment
in the midnight song of waves

as they curl into a neon ridge
against the darkest blue
plane of water + the quilted sky
cushions our involuntary humming,

it didn’t stop us from ruining
each other’s wobbly breath.

When we drove back to the city
after the only wedding
we would attend together,
it didn’t storm

the whole 3-hour drive,
+ we were no longer afraid
of each other, + it was too late
to make a difference.

When we ended + the rain gutter
was finally drained
of so many unspoken words,
it didn’t disturb the soil one bit.

When we
never were at all.

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