Every train I’ve ever run for has left me &
still, I find myself gripping my straps
& pounding pavement, waving down whoever’s
evening blurs behind the power lines & purpling
clouds. I do not wish loneliness of any kind
upon anybody, but I’d take it
in its truest form.
I’ve leaned, sleepdrunk,
against the change machine praying for one
midnight of no one.
Stood taut next to lingering hands
& too-close cigarette breath. Lied on my age,
laughed away a missed stop, centered my gravity
before the right jolt plops me into the wrong lap;
everyone’s got ghosts at home, don’t they?
Some trail us from the station first.
A flickering lamp has never caused me to question
my shadow, but a glance’ll get me sick
at the sight of me.
I’ve wished my existence into
the blue seats, that indigo hour of anything
goes. I’ve stilled myself so streetlight
I couldn’t release my breath until morning.
I do not wish loneliness of any kind
upon anybody, but show me that someone
without someone they can’t shake.
Show me their stop & I’ll show you the longest way home,
every back alley exit where I bounced
my name off the brick
& dodged the echo.
The Kiss of an If
sweet vermilion of eager lips; all sunset-hot, the sweat
without promise & drop-jaw glance, oh, the dance
of it all— I’d risk me, too. its capital T thrill, how it
vibrates, chills, wouldn’t you? if you could almost—just,
the not-quite next to, the never inside enough,
the glistening neck like morning dew, like a midnight
stroll buzzing from the tip of your toes, even
if it meant your aching heels the morning back,
wouldn’t you? the wait, the snap & spark, the frisk
of your feet under the dinner table, when your eyes
flutter shut, when you water your plants
in the windowsill with a little more wind chime
in your whisper: the whisper you save for soft things
like newborns & dandelions & the turn of your
cheek towards her when the day breaks, wouldn’t you?
if she called you by all of your names? if it meant
the last time you could inhale without a hitch, that
strip of light of the skyline growing dimmer
by day—if it meant the possibility of? the no more
& never again, the reach & retreat, the sinking
in your stomach, this here, this senseless back
& forth, the onslaught of afternoons without
my chin in your hands, our joined breaths
after a joke; even if it meant the absence of me,
wouldn’t you? let even the trail of her finger ruin us?