for a year

we sit on the sofa her mother gave her
and smoke until one of us laughs into the bong,
sends water and weed across the faux leather.

i want to say you look like someone i kissed
everyday for a year everyday
with an unbrushed tongue.

instead i do not kiss her, instead i keep
the whole couch between us, sitting
with my legs parted at the knees.

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old girl

i imagine waking for the first time in three days
the neck of my mandolin clutched in my fist, both
of us missing our bodies, metal strings wound around
my arms, leaving termite lines in the skin of my wrists.
i would want to find bits of her around the room
saying from her throat: you do not remember, but
i was here. my earrings awash in the sea of your sheets –
they fell out or maybe you yanked them, clenched so hard
they poked holes in your palm.

it starts at the elbows

the skin at her elbows was so thin
i thought it might split
the pressure from her insides all at once too much
for the flesh her body forgot to build.
her thighs and forearms
are shaped like the bones they hold.

the amount of wrong toned concealer
blotched like drying acrylic
across her cheeks –
but the green-hued bruises on her throat
dappled across the lump resting
between collarbones. It is hard to distinguish
marks by mouths from fingers.

her hair is twisted, tucked, fluffed
white at the roots, hairspray held too close.
I wonder if it has already begun to fall out –
each strand jumping like the crew
of a burning ship.

sandpapered

she was the reason for tuesday morning poetry.
i have been trying to remember the details:
blue eyeliner trailed to crisp point, the breaking point
of pacific waves, flatness of her cheekbones like someone
sandpapered them down, a smooth finish.

jeans tugged to reach tops of her socks, jumping above her
ripe-cherry bones – ankles a stripe of skin smooth
against dark denim. i like to imagine calling her baby –
a word i have never used to warm the shoulders
of anyone else and she wears it like a fur stohl
nuzzling her dimpled nose into the small dead thing.
Relishing her title like a piece of ripe fruit,
baby, baby, blue wave break baby.

StorageSpace

a new place to be stored when you sleep:
space that makes skin taught,
air-broken flesh shade of stop sign,

you do not stop.
I am kept inside bathtub drain
when you eat, chin familiarizes with knee caps,
toes with glutes fingers to shoulder blades
chest thighs introduce yourselves –
like a paper crane creased to stiffness.

once you left me sitting stove-top
pink-soft skin needing days of licking.

There are six drawers beneath counters,
insulation spills into your closet shelf,
leaves me glittered with glass.
Your thumb smears shards above my eyes.

A number can always be cut in half.
you say, one body should be no
different, feeding me
down the neck of your beer.