The Intersection of a Flare

Today, I finally spat out your name,
single syllables starting pointed and steely, harsh
at their tips but meander gently into curves—the
seed of a fruit, one ripened last season.

But last season was just yesterday, and I am

a miser in love. The melody of her name plays 
as a maddening strum of your tongue—
the way you stretch it across a lovesick sigh,
have you noticed? Cocooning it with such tenderness, 
awaiting her metamorphosis about which you 
narrate predictions to me—the fool
who wishes those 
elegant, confident, poised 
wings of your dreams will 

Guillotine my gaze, like the way they cleave the air.
I wish them to sweep into a distant world 
your reflection,
the one that is dancing and falling off the
rim of a martini glass, a treacherous caldera…
the one I can’t save from being
entranced by the spotlights, from being
kissed and devoured by the intersection of a flare.

The jazz in the lounge is swollen with my passion and
I’m still the fool, and still the miser, 
suspending a pointless hypothetical in the air, 
its pendulous swing lunging my words out, 
then in, then out again.
Perhaps it’s the alcohol and the scent of the stars—
they press me dangerously close to honesty,
brandishing a candour so bold it would 
cement every plot hole I skirt around, 
undo every reef knot you said, more than a sextant,
would save a seaman’s life. 

Deeper into the night, the wine softens my edges and 
your faults trickle away, with wine legs that
seem to mock my tear-streaked face. 

You ask me of the plague in my mind,
the pensive swarm that shrouds my routine smile,

and I want to tell you that her beautiful wings did nothing for me, 
but also
that love makes me a miser, a fool, a girl who
hopes that for you, one day those wings open wide.

For as long as I write

We existed there—roving through time like the
party boats adrift, whimpering away their last song.
Rooted against every instinct, we stubbornly are,
though even the river shivers under the 
midnight blue skin of space.
I have stranded reason in the daylight, 
forgetting how the moon’s crescent cradles
my secrets, nearly tipping them in your ear.

Courting this memory like a fool—
a dream that evaporates upon waking, 
fraying more at the seams with every 
attempt at recollection. In a better world,
I would transform into portal of truth,
mapping the blueprints of this night
in every way but the fabled fashion I desire.

Would I still remember your gaze, 
so arresting that it confounds mine?
A fugitive, I leap from the cathedral to the city’s eye, 
then melt with the amber strokes under Blackfriars.
Could I still let you draw my hair back to
pick a misery, one that beckons softly
and glistens tenderly, eager to trust
like a lily from the earth?

As credulous as Gloucester, my fictions
a solvent for my facts. The walls with which
you say I banish you keep my brimming inkwells 
as still as the discontent of winter, yet
they remain as leaden as the Thames below,
Because when you say things like 
“The city was mine like never before”,
I can’t help but raise my quill,

and I am a lover for as long as I write. 

From the Glassblower

letters in letters you left, loose embers
frolicking in an innocuous upward twirl
to: you, a glassblower on that flirtatious gallivant,
breathing shapeless sand into golden honey.
fun, fun and games. you roll me over like a dice

and then i am at once spellbound, whisked
into a game i had always watched behind shoulders
but never joined. mostly modest
breaths shorten, breaths soften, till you
inflate me like a proud mother’s chest.

for every reason i can find to hate you
i have two more to love you instead;
for every thankless task i droop foolishly
like a homesick adult, one too tired to find the
itch in my spirit, the psychosis that bursts like

an outpour of flames to bake my lips into a stretched smile.
annealed, inside me every second of silence
burns my walls into a crisp. shoved
into an inferno, fished out as a pretty vase,
a goblet, a chalice… crystallized into

picture-perfect perfection. the treasures of Murano.

of the sweltering Italian sunshine. of strange nights
spent aching for more letters awash with love
from: you, to: me
of protests, shattered selves in the kiln,
haunting still potsherds of a heart that saw it coming.