lust poem no.31

bedroom scene no.3

there is the air
poured
from stale radiator to pool
over bare skin
and open sill.

there is the lament
of a passing train
this side the river. there
is firewood stacked
beside the door, but no

goddamn snow.
it weighs like the hesitation
in her eyes that he
can’t see: that she
is tired of sad poems,

their puckered footsteps like
icefall on the second day
of spring. all ragged clouds
& slush & cold
metaphor. her skin

is forgetful. his hands
are on the small of her.
they weigh like silence,
like stone, like
remembering, brim

with words left
over which long
for un-houred mondays, for
un-hung evers, un-strung lives,
for words which long.

crazy (déjà something)

is the sum of us
counted out into highway miles
between here and the ocean: two-

oh-seven the plastic
inscribed on the single room
key; three close

hours we fight
to keep the bed
from squeaking while your

four gushing walls tattoo
against my own
ever, a millisecond that melts

skin into skin & still
hurts with yearning; the backdrop blue-
lit bourbons spilt

through drip-
ping minutes of Saturday night
into the misty evanescence

of Sunday morning &
suddenly it’s five
twenty-five and unbearable:

the distance, the leaving in
darkness, the cleaving
breathless-ness of one.

lust, observed

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in my hometown
the laundromat

doors are open at 3 in the afternoon
to catch whispers

of a triple-digit Ju-ly breeze.
the machines whir,

and there is country coming
through the overhead.

small talk is all in Spanish: que
calorcito, eh? black-

laced sweet nothings
of a frazzled mamá drip

from the handrail of one of those
little carts. the floor

is dirty, and the air
smells of bleach.

the coke machine doesn’t work,
but the dryers

are wonderfully efficient and she
feels more like mamacita

than she has in months, con-
siders bringing one

of those country songs
to life, stripping

down to her calzoncitos while
watching machines spin

sweat & loneliness from her thin bed-
room sheets.