how work kills you

his smile rate dwindles to two per hour.
mouth like a hyphen, he won’t open his
lips to kiss me. he is like this sometimes:
a fruit fly drowning inĀ peach juice, a bottle with a letter
that won’t bite. i try to entice him into leaving
teeth marks, something they will use as a match
for the dental records. he grabs my ass and nudges
me out the door.

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Porch steps

perched on porch steps
in not-yet summer
he’s picking out notes from between
my teeth and laying them across
the strings of his well-loved Martin.

I’m watching his mouth never close
and his body rock-
easing in and out of comfortable territory,
while I try to transpose
his cloudy chordsĀ into poetry.