After School Prey

Rabbits and voles whip
across a city sidewalk. Still,
the leaves don’t fall.

I can almost feel the heat
of your tobacco-flavored breath
against my cheek

as you whisper ghostly
nothings in my ear. Still,
the leaves don’t fall.

Halitus

I baptize myself in rosewater
to shield this body
from those thoughts. A reminder—
we all have a scent. Alcohol
breath that burns
the back of my neck
in a crowded theater was mine
a decade ago. It’s true—we’re the last to know.

Outside the Fence

Through galvanized steel diamonds,
we exchange words. I can almost feel
your breath brush off
this skin I wear. As much as I want 

that zinc and wire to dissolve
so I can touch your blues harp marred lips,
please don’t sing them to pieces.
I need you

to disappear
into the curve of your unspoken
phrases, so I can continue 

to be blown away
with these tree branches breaking against night.