SIT DOWN, PAIR UP

two white dresses at a wedding will command stares. 
a change of outfit is not granted; 
there are so many skeletons in my closet
that i can’t tell my backbones from belts. 

i can choose to smile and wave like i 
have always,
a rag doll pinned onto a cork board to be 
sliced, diced, and everything nice. 

to iron out my incompatibilities,
a creaseless palm clutching the smallest of 
infinities that persuade me to let go of
cards that no longer serve purpose

for i am a temporary tattoo,
the last page of a calendar, 
counting down to when i won’t fit the 
occasion anymore 

circus caravan, always on the go

words taste bitter in december when
urns are emptied, filled, lost, doubled till
small talk becomes no talk.

this year, the gap on the shelf
of a borrowed book reminds:
keep the moment when the acrobat
freezes on the trapeze, statuesque
marbled eyes locked in the space between
one second and the next,
feasting on the contradiction of being motionless
yet on top of the world.

this year, the gap on the shelf
of a borrowed book reminds me just that.

only a time too vulnerable to be measured in minutes
prevents seizures of lunacy when
young things trickle in rivulets, engulfing the space
only you and i knew.
they could never learn of
a time too vulnerable to be measured in minutes. foolish, whimsical young things don’t speak in sepia
like we did.

deep breaths.
smiles in january will be sweeter,
the kinds that are followed by birdsongs.
i know this in threes, twos,

ones.

the wise

days stretch into months and months stretch into years like
dough: beaten, flattened, pulled apart to mock the crumbling fool I am.
nothing has changed.
radio silence brims like sea foam in the concave of our ears
and we aren’t speaking
but in this moment, my love, everything is perfect.

I know to savour it—slowly, blissfully, precariously
—like justifying an expensive dessert by letting it melt ever so slowly on your tongue
before swallowing it whole in all its saccharine futility.

I look to the ground where our shadows merge. this is as real as it can ever get.
all you’ll ever be is another inane fantasy, my love,
a thirteenth fraction of a clock.
diabolical as honesty. forbidden as eden.

still, I marvel at the revolutionary alignment of our stars
because I know that in this moment, my love, everything is perfect.

we still aren’t speaking,
but being so close to you that the world around peels itself away
is already more than I have begged for.

somewhere in the defunct cogs of time, an inexplicable force
churns me on.

as perfect as this moment is, my love, I already know what is about to come next.
the ground I stand on will tremble like the surface of a lake before a storm.
the words I’m about to speak will topple in slow motion like porcelain off a shelf.
the way you look at me will tense up like the hind limbs of a starved predator
and I will be left a reeled fish thrown off the boat, bloodied,

wondering

if I’ll ever get back in a moment like this, my love, in which
everything is perfect.