I like hair that tugs back at the hand that tugs,

when skin is seen in slits of sheets, slashed

in a pre-noon tussle. we’re both a handful.

fun, yeah, sure. she said she’d slap me, but

I’m waiting on the first hit. drip, drip. all is fun

and tame in the beginning. once we both agree

it’s going somewhere I get rattled. oh! the shrugs.

I promise I’m not indifferent, just bent a bit.

these days

bubble tea in your belly, we roll together
on warm sheets, not washed in a while.

days like these, you find fun where you can
in times like these. laughter–‘please,’ she
said, so you do, or rather, I do. I did. we could

run away just me and you, go to New Zealand
or Canada: let’s do it, let’s become a Cole Porter song,
a Joni Mitchell jam. I haven’t had a case of you yet,
but a few bottles is enough to fuck me up. I’ll always be in the bar

and you should know that about me. at words pathetic
I’m so poetic, it’s grating, I’m sure.

tapioca is good in tea
but that’s about it, we both agree.

ooh, romance

some dusty springfield playing off a dusty
disc of vinyl; dusty in memphis. a classic.

you’ve got some rings on your ears.
move some hair away, you scoot in,
my hand moves through…


do you like the way they pick up
sound? I like the way yours taste,

when we’re embraced in each other’s
embrace, and my mouth is at your

neck and it goes up, at a lobe: metal,
skin, and your taste, your ear, just
slightly salty because, yes, didn’t you,
yes you biked here, dear?

Stop that!

‘I like your hair,’ gently twirling it and
with a slight tug, you sorta whispered

in some early daylight phase. Our fingers
were linked, index only, and my brain did

that thing where it forgets where my body
ends and yours begins.

I lost it there, because the last time morning
noises poured into a city apartment window

life felt so great. It was neat, but not gaudy
like my grandpa used to say. You used to say

‘I like you,’ and ‘make some time for me,’
and ‘I’m glad I got to see you.’

Tricky, tricky. It’s easy to convince oneself
something can work when you’re the one

being chased. Maybe the story of wild sex
on New Year’s Eve in a post-modern lake house

basement bedroom was too much too soon.
It’s not fair. I had so many other good things
to share, but like, what’s the point? You really
don’t seem
to give a shit.

bless me, bless you

maybe she just needed someone to drop off some albums with,
and her favorite pair of pants. but

maybe she thought that wine stain wouldn’t come out. that dashes
a previous theory, but maybe…

so the wine spill was purely accidental, and she had kissed me that one
time, (I think)

it could have been all an act, but she insisted I borrow the books,
(maybe she had too many books…) so in that case she only

wanted to get laid, and I was too eager to please,
and get laid. well then, damn,

look, here I’ve gotten myself all worked up
over what this could maybe be; stop.

a cat has been let out of some box (I have the aphorism
wrong) and somehow I’m reading the signals
as strong when they’re weak, man.

I get caught up in tiny things, tan lines,
how they look
when they sleep; maybe I can actually try and stay,
I tell myself.
and, jeez, look
they’re already running for the hills,
I’m blind to the signals, signs.


I get a text too soon to count as,
what? regrets, I guess. someone was too
into me. she got scared, she said.

I like getting scared. you’d think I’d
like getting scarred the way I look for knives

on belt loops, inside cute backpacks,
on a bralette strap. I gotta kick more people out
of bed, namely myself.

someone kick me, pinch me, fuck me up;
I do it wrong to myself.


“look at me, don’t look at me” the reeling
pumps out into my ears. passion pit. this is a

pit. take it easy, surfer. no need to get blood
out on the desk. shark mouth in checker-print

is somehow more violent,
but not as violent as these excel sheets and
email chains.

back in the time of sticks and stones they used
rocks and leaves from trees. I guess

I’ve got ingénues running around my dreams
with waist long lavaliers,

which is never a good sign. it’s an awful omen
in truth. Chance chatters in my ear, you strafe

around my memories, “oh, a hug,” that surprise kills
me, makes a waif
out of me. who isn’t a wounded animal these days?

if the hug isn’t obligatory (fucked up and fucked
all my friends) should one even attempt it?

last thing I want is a pity-embrace. someone needs
to put me down already before I get it in my head
I can get ahead

in this world, of you, any sort of lead. it’s all lost.

and it’ll be gone in an instant

look at all these poets trying to win affection
through logic or argument.

‘does he give you X, will he Y for you, can he Z?’

does it matter? her heart didn’t get mushy or pick up
on pumping because he wrote a song or held open so many doors
or fixed eggs in the morning after the initial lay.

it’s tricky the way this intimacy creeps in and out of our lives.
comments and actions culminate into infatuation or disinterest,
(the professor drones on)
just know

the verse wasn’t written across eternity,
but rather in a moment of rapture-romantic;
it was an unraveling of the heart but it was

in an instant. or, a weekend at most. point is
it didn’t take forever to write and the sentiment
sure ain’t gonna hold water for all time.

oh, sure, the lines may always drip gold
and spark a longing in the heart (or loins)

but this is why poetry has more to do with lust than love.
it’s more to do with networks and coins,
than we’d like to admit. don’t just be bold.

that won’t get you anywhere. mold your verses into something
bite-sized, accessible. not everyone has been hit by a lovely anguish
but everyone has gotten a boner, or something similar-ish.
(wet panties, eg)

the point is, ride that wave of passion, hitch your pen
to two people hitched at the hips, grinding it out like
a meteor was about to plow the Earth off the face of the universe.

sex sells, selling is sexy, what sells? sex!
fuck your agent and publisher (literally–
just to avoid confusion) go to the parties

make sure to shake hands with the important men.
grin at the right times, drink the right wines.
touch all the wrists, leave before your welcome ends,
success will follow, and she’ll be back in no time.

there’s a difference

you know when your fingers are rigid from
cleaning chemicals? like when you’ve just scrubbed the tub.

that’s how you’d feel after sex
with her, but all over
your body. ozone would form
and cling about the room.

she’s heavy like a rainforest, full
on oxygen, sweat, just life I guess.

so she has some magic. pact with a ghost,
we all said. or maybe
some spirit chucked a curse at her,
and she must’ve dodged it and caught it
off a window ricochet. now she rides the sorcery.


who cares? she flies through conversations and boys
with a waxy ease and good god I like it like that.

pick me up with a shift of the gaze, please. I’m not
begging; I’m asking. there’s a difference. let me show you.