Don’t Worry—I Won’t Get Too Close

Meanwhile there’s this dream
I have of you—

a card game, a maze
of corridors, fingers hidden
behind torsos, a borrowed

kiss, another kind
of numbers played here—
and the song? I wake too soon.

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Yearbook: A Found Poem

“There’s no art
To find the mind’s construction in the face.”
—William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Black and white is better.
A chance to sing
with the prettiest
soccer player he ever coached is best

between the pipes. The choral
room fades into a late-night debate
séance. A rude awakening—you
were no challenge to her

even before she got so lonely
on her mountain. Did you get your kiss
beside a pile of broken
chairs? Behind another brick

in the wall? Bonfire flames
and umbrella silhouettes
become an unfinished
symphony. The egg

drop comes before those fish drawn
on their foreheads in crayon. You make me long

for the artless construction
of your face.

Who Finishes the Sentence

Will drink the new wine. The only conversation
I’ll have this weekend
is with you. If
erythrophobia was fatal, you would have been

a serial killer. Or was it just me?
Not yet vintage, I wanted to be
your only victim. A true enough
kiss to taste the tobacco

before it became my own. I long
to be the person again
who comes along
to stir yours. Though I can’t lick

your ghostly replies, the scent is rich
in pre-fall burning. Hold the leaves.

What Flavor Preoccupation

Always a bit of gravel
or tar stuck to the bottom
of my shoe. Seldom
anyone watching
when I knock it off.

Haven’t studied a piece
of sculpture in over a month.
Longer for a painting
on a wall or dance performance
on some specific site.

I’m using
pretzel formation
to collect images
to keep from losing
my mind—you are gone.

How long do I wallow
in your death?
It was so long ago,
your kisses tasted
like smoke, not mine.

Pons

Another cruel reminder, cut
across the cheek upon waking—she is powerless

over her dreams. All those words
he lost will not be retrieved

the way her unconscious mind plots
it. The medication she lost

is not hers to lose. If she could
control them, no kisses planted

with perfect choreography
could open any trap doors

to escape from the message:
not to be false.

Repainting the Mouth

She is certain her mouth,
painted cerise,
will not wear away
too soon. She may 

become all lips
without limbs, without
a neck, without a torso.
She would still dip 

this color, with certainty,
to her brush. 

Long before
day one
there was
this painted mouth: 

Lipstick in hand,
she drew her mouth
perfectly without looking.
Later, watching herself 

be an artist,
her lips canvas,
she drew a cinnabar moth,
not a kiss.