When we stopped fucking in bed
but instead hunched over like the sick
on the side of the couch, the pool table,
the front seat of your Cadillac, no longer
the passionate lovemaking of the newly
obsessed attempting to crawl into each
other’s skin—more the way a cat will play
with a mouse long after it is dead.
When I accidentally coughed up
my tongue at the dinner party. Out
it fell like a piece of veal on the mashed
potatoes. I hardly recognized it; I swallowed it
so long ago. When I realized I felt most
in love with you when I was high, after
you shared those pills with me, the chalky
marbles prescribed to the terminally ill
that made everything soft and slow.
Perhaps this was your gift to me. Perhaps
you knew all along—like a surgeon
placing the plastic mask over my mouth,
counting back from twenty—how
this was going to hurt.
- Sierra DeMulder, “When I Should Have Left”
We wear clothes, and speak, and create civilizations, and believe we are more than wolves. But inside us there is a word we cannot pronounce and that is who we are.
What fills your mind?
When you walk down the sidewalk balancing your bike.
When you sit alone and find yourself in a daze, staring at a tear in the wallpaper.
When you are watching the words spit from my lips.
When you’re just close enough to me that the scent of my hair lingers toward you.
When you find your fingers wrapped intricately between fabric, tugging at the seams of my pockets.
When I lay next to you in such weighted silence that you could count my breaths.
When I leave.
Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
Lately I’ve been waking up with such soreness in my body, as if I haven’t been living in it the past twenty years already. As if I’m not yet adjusted to this feeling of being confined to a stiff, restrictive constitution.
I wish I was jello.