what we do in the dark has no hands. no
crossover effect, no good-bye kiss after the alarm.
what we carry in, we carry out, end of story. this
doesn’t even want to be love. except in minutes
when your face has the shape of my palm and I think
lungful. let want out with the cat. returns
and returns, something dutiful. persistent.
hold your breath, let it build, let go. this is practice.
I’m losing weight, a bad sign, I’m happy. serious,
you say. contained, I think. the cat comes back
with a dead bird to the doorstep, an offering. bloodless
this should be easy. a two-step to cowboys. you’re beautiful
but that’s not the point.
I know my way back perfectly well. like the back
of my hand, as it were. but look, the labyrinth walls
are high hedge and green. this also could be joy.
I literally don’t know your middle name. does that
matter? what systems we arrange for intimacy, small
disclosures like miniature bridges, your mouth. not
what I’d anticipated. softer. to begin with,
I should tell the truth more. I could miss you,
and that’s a liability.
I am not often off-kilter. but you’re so silent, even
naked, and almost absent. I hush too, why
are we here. go. want to throw things, you, the clock,
break windows until something bleeds and you finally
scream. I tell you too much; we are not
those people. or nothing—maybe I say
utilitarian fuck. how would that be. I want you
to want to fall in love with me and that’s
unhealthy. wrong. leave your shoes by the door
and pretend it’s about the movie. it’s love
in the movies it’s casablanca and toy story
and water no ice come here. pockets need
to be untucked, drawers thrown open,
nobody’s safe. there, I’ve said it:
someone I was could have loved you.