Image description: One person lighting another person’s cigarette on a white background.

again      it is me
        without an antecedent
without the “girlfriend” pseudonym
because i am not a girl,
        and we will not stay friends.
i try to keep in contact but
(excuses, excuses)
i have been
        chain-smoking monogamy;
a fever i can’t break
my life goes up
in flames
        every three months
and maybe by next time, i’ll be
complete enough to see
that i cannot dissolve like sugar
butterscotch and bittersweet
slivers thin against your teeth
hopscotch across the lines i
didn’t make
        it’s okay, baby, it’s just a game.

let me love
you, define my edges
i am ash for you to breathe in
seep into your waiting chest, i am
sugar-glass melting in your arms, i
        am the space
in between
and what you want me to be
i am sorry.


now       there is us
partners without the marlboro man
can i hug you staying solid
can i have my cake and eat it too
can we draw our lines together
I remember the night we went out dancing
and you carried me piggyback
all the way home
I remember drunken joy
bubbles bursting out as giggles
I remember knees touching in your room
red box of questions between us
breathing clean
I remember telling you
I feel like a whole person
shining eyes
spilling over

pinkie promise
please help me feel
        (staying whole is terrifying
        my sweetness will not carry
        i don’t want to be alone)
safe      secure        solid
let us breathe free together
let neither of us melt

      I cannot
        destroy myself

I love you.

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