face full of kisses

i am still wearing the sequin dress
from new years eve somehow
it has not wrinkled. i am still fish scales

& metal. the skin on my legs peels
like a sticker but my palms are firm
and tight as persimmon skins. i prefer

to be fruit with a pit. berries are too
soft. i cannot afford to turn mush in the heat.
i tell you i might need some Real Help

this time. someone who knows
the right things to say or how to write
prescriptions. it is hard to find

the line between sad where you
just need to climb out of the hole and
the kind that has already begun

to bury you. Real Help is above
my pay grade. this fear spreads like strawberries.
how else do things end up the way they end

up? i look wrapped in aluminum foil.
i tell myself once, it looked sexy.
once your back arched a question

& your pockets were always full
of quarters. there is lipstick beneath
my eyes no i can’t wipe this off, this

face full of kisses. it is how i know
i have been in one place too long.
there are different ways to live

without stagnancy. one way is to keep
finding new cities that can’t swallow you.
another is to find new people that will.

there is a cost to this motion, an art
to living longer than you can afford.
your body flaps like a drying dish

towel pulled tight by thin line. you say
you are grateful, that i am good
at doing what ever it is we are doing.

you believe that only if you don’t know
what this is, this thing separate
from our bodies that we are starving,

feeding, starving again. it’s better
when it’s hungry, when there is a want
between us. i am stuck in this city

without help, without water
deep enough to drown
and too many nice dresses. i am

trying to coax myself out of this dirt
and into stillness for you. you hug me
from behind and your arms knot

like rope. i have never been good at staying
put. i was made a wheel, a motor.
or maybe a wing.