12:30 am

this time of night it’s the fishermen and the homeless who                                                           Sit on the stones                              With their                                  Calloused heels                           Cooling in the water. 


snuggled into the parking lot
behind our old office building
killing ourselves with a shared smoke,
(i wonder where his lips have been)

a duo of homed hoodlums
we exchange unnecessary excuses for our
bad habits and
revel in the unpleasant nip
of gravel at our toes and
nostalgia at our brains

half a block down a nomadic cluster of
alcohol-laden corner people
flash lighters and
drum on a
broken wheelchair.


i am full of
a sickening need to be a honest
a stomach full of festering
falsities that are nudging me to nausea

i am full of
single second memories and the startling conviction
that i rarely remember
what i was going to say

i am full of
reasons i never asked the men i
fucked to wear condoms
and now that means i have been long full
of other things

i am full of
a humbling hypochondria
that forces my hand into
pouring out soup cans and
checking my spastic heart

i am full of
uncapitalized letters and
comma splices,
of editing drunk and writing sober and
always being high

i am full of
perfectionism steeped in
a bitter sense of competition

i am full of
people i wanted to screw over but
let walk, like
the gracious southern girl I wasn’t
raised to be

i am full of
the girl i kissed in cemeteries because my
controls over her dangerous habits
finally tangled themselves into a noose
and i hung her in heroin

i am full of
too many things and i think i know
now why my Uncle wrote so
many poems when he was young


sometimes I check
my own heartbeat
two fingers pressed to the
contracting and expanding
artery under my jawbone

biting peeling lips
until little sunken crescents
form like bloody moons

lungs rising feverishly
a stomach cut climbing
and bruised thighs
amounting to an unaccountable distemper

feeling the sullen thud beneath
my jawbone
the delayed response in my
wrists, oxygen deprived veins
thirsty to meet the air

i must have been
sleeping too long

Other boys

writing poetry about
other boys
(tucked safely between meticulously lined pages)
feels dirty.

I am tarnishing myself through
ink and paper
impurities spilling from cramping fingers to
make careful observations and
easy generalizations.

Writing poetry about other boys
spilled in cursive confessions
feels unclean

like the facts are fine until I
make them into pretty words,
counting syllables and
appreciating the effortless assonance

willing word-slut
I can’t keep from saying
too much.