i sat down with a blue pen and my gray eyes
and waited for a sign
like a silent vessel on a rocking sea of his undoing,
crests and swells breaking over my seaglass heart
with all the urgency of this waning love

so please,
don’t tell me “everything changes with the dawn”
because one day, when the moon stands still
and the tides release their push&pull
no day will rise

so when he begins to fall apart,
i start to pay attention
to things like aches and writer’s block
and patterns in the sky.


it’s never quite a love story in this city
until it is
the sky falling down in pieces
clouds and shadows tumbling like ghostly acrobats
bruising my thin skin
and as always, i’m caught unawares
in the clutches of dusk and you

you, who found me at my armageddon
in the days of falling skies
& shrapnel stars,
reaching for my hand with your electric touch
as though this made sense;
as though girls like me did things like kiss a familiar stranger
on a quiet street–
brandishing your charm & ego like a faithful noose when you said
“do anything but stand still”
and i couldn’t remember how to move
that first time you leaned in —

you make me tremble,
a ribbon in a storm

and we both know this is
only the beginning,
like a child opening treasure chests in a forgotten attic
with her heart in her throat
and i will leave you with my name on your lips
&  the advent of a certain kiss
wavering in the balance

In these days of smaller moons & wider skies
deep as secrets kept only until daybreak,
I struggle past feverish dreams of falling
to wake with Summer hanging on my morning lips
and you are gone but
just the way I hoped it’d never be

til one day or every, I will see you again
pass you like a stranger in a liquid crowd
pulsing cross a Midtown street
as you go the wrong direction
(if the right one was ever ours)
and your name will catch in my throat,
a foreign object around which I must relearn to breathe
like a child choking on a hard candy,
terrified by how something so intoxicatingly sweet
can blacken you out completely

and at best
I’ll wake up to a gray sky
& wonder if I even dozed at all,
missing you in the silences
while talking in my sleep
yet again.

remember the time you let me run ahead
and Summer chased me down,
burned me bright and shook me up
sudden as a sunshower, soft as a baby’s breath

and how you tucked some in my hair
& said “let’s stay this way forever, you and me”

back when the world would spin for us
like tireless tops on magician’s plates
and whether it was flat or round,
we vowed to never mind

for when you’re young and in almost-love, baby
there’s no fear of falling, no true land’s end
that doesn’t thrill & sparkle with the delicious notion
of a death-defying attempt at flight.

(don’t blame yourself —
once i believed this, too.)

you sit with your guitar cradled like a first love,
held the way i wonder if you’d ever hold me
and strum me “blackbird,”
quiet as a daybreak,
blinds slowly lifting to expose a stream of newborn gold
at which i grapple to harness in my morning fingers
as you close your eyes and slip into your darkroom
of music and shadows

and this is when i love you most
& when i lose you,
every time.

we lay quietly in the silences preceding pre-dawn secrets,
reinventing each other from the ashes of muted truths and liar’s swords
and i said the only thing i thought could make you stay
as the snow began to fall:

“tell me a story”

relief fluttering your voice like a breeze through a stifling room
as you fell into fantasy with such practiced ease:
dragons and far-off lands
where fair-haired girls who look nothing like me
fall terribly in love with the hims they just can’t live without
(and all i ever wished for was a silly paper crown)

& come tomorrow or once upon a time,
we will speak nothing of this
as you slip into the gray day like a faded knight
and i drink coffee with my mother and she hands me the truth,
simply as a child’s prayer:
“if you can live without him, do.”

i don’t even like dragons.
(true story.)



this was the season we’ll look back upon
and say, “something just never felt quite right,”
likely placing blame upon the easy culprits:
global warming and shocks of skin, scarfless and exposed,
our Winter throats pale as apple flesh
against a thinning sky,
against inclement eyes

so we went ahead and fell when the snow refused to,
shooting down such a warm December like an injured dove
a Wendy-bird
a child’s paper love,
feverish hands buried deep in pockets
where our secrets thawed and ached
& when  you said “i could get used to this” and promptly lost your gloves,
i prayed for snow and knew
we’d already frozen over.

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