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.
I am wandering, haphazardly at best,
head full of helium and heartbeats running wild
to a hallucinatory rhythm.
History stares sternly at me,
its piercing gaze raising the hairs on
the back of my neck. I’ve
been here. The soles of my shoes
fit perfectly into the craters of footprints
left behind in the dirt.
Perhaps I’ve just walked
the entire planet to escape you,
only to return to where I had begun
at the end of my cyclical sojourn.
I wish I could tuck you away
into a password,
or a receipt crushed at the bottom of my purse.
But you are my white whale,
an oasis in a desert. Like a drowning fish,
you make me pull my own puppet strings,
even when I’d sworn to cut them short.
I’m drawn to you, hideously and fatuously,
like a wasp is to a beacon.
And on some days, some better ones, the clouds seem to
morph into the contours of your face,
and I laugh from the earth below
at how even the skies
have a little sense of humour.
discord sown in the fields of my own mind grow to be weeds, strangling the little seedlings that cry for renewal, for a fresh breath, gulping down the last yolk of sunshine for supper.
they tell me that it’s all in my own head: a mass of tissue and neurons entangled with the steady beat of my soul, stretching and contracting like train couplers reconciling cabins that will never touch
all the time, I think about your typicality, yet having to think implies mystery. how is it that you never look at yourself in mirrors, given how you’re so god damn beautiful? why have I never tasted pretence in your voice, but have only heard the purest thoughts, organic and yours alone?
some questions will always be questions. thus I, deciding whether these are tears or raindrops, stagger back into eden, crawling back into the soil of late winter, retracting my roots in the wait for rebirth next spring.
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,
if I’ll ever get back in a moment like this, my love, in which
everything is perfect.