purple moon

You walk outside in search of the perfect song. Today is the day you are going to kiss the person you’ve been saving up all your spit for. You turn left because right only takes you past the apartment with the cracked door and you are way too superstitious for that. You almost trip over a spiderweb that has been spray-painted blue; how could you have missed that?! There is a song in your head from that time this person touched your kneecap…just the cap…just the shell over all the good stuff. And you wanted to sing out loud when you could feel the lineage of their skin pressed against you, but you didn’t want to ruin the moment. Instead you sneezed, and bless you killed the mood. You know almost none of the lyrics to Happy Birthday because, as a kid, you were never invited to any parties, except the one you threw for yourself on the tip of turning nine and even you didn’t show up. You have to pause before you cross the street because the moon is a shade of purple the newspaper warned you about. How can you not notice that partially lobotomized tree standing eerily. It’s not that it appears dumb or drained; it’s just that its prefrontal lobe looks tampered with. It’s impossible not to think of this person whose tongue will be in your mouth, when you hear the buzz of the wind skating over your collarbone. Have you ever heard the story of the porcupines? Or are they antelopes? You turn around because you realize the song was hiding beneath your elastic the entire time. It is what was itching you. So you scratch it until there are flakes of your skin pushing out your nail bed. This is when you open your door, tired from walking but hungry for that kiss. You lay down on your bed, which used to belong to someone else, but now belongs to you. And the person you are going to give all your spit to.



They can be dragged like a slur in the air. These mythical bugs of neon. Out of focus kisses of electricity. One night, she rummaged back against blades of grass, while Whitman watched and so did everyone else in this Brooklyn park. These clouds are jam-like, she said. Makes me hunger for knives and seeds. A summer is wrapped up in fumes of question marks and genetics ground up into foreplay. Some bodies are hairy, while others grow bulbs of light from abdomen. These insects are soft-bodied and brown and how many evenings until you learn the various shades of white that can occur on the other side of bones. Then, she speaks about a bloodied staircase and two bats swoop down and music rests inside padded coffin beside you but amidst all this lust, yellow, green, red waves of light.

beethoven and beets

She comes at me with hands like a percussionist, creating a beat against my skin. Presses my hips away from each other to see how far they can spread. Her kisses are meals that bloat me. Afterwards, we lay in bed, our bodies blushing and sweaty like steamed beets. I make hot peppermint tea and we listen to Beethoven as the water’s temperature gets cool enough to swallow.

She cries against my shoulder and her whimpers are sweetly rhythmic like a ukelele. Tells me I must love her. Tells me bodies are meant to wander and crash like waves but eventually settle. Tells me we should move in together.

Beethoven smoothes my scars with his instrumental language. The tea coats my throat, soothing it into sleep. I kiss her goodnight, knowing love is not always strong enough to survive a shared mailbox and bank account.

When I awake in the night, my tongue slips out of my mouth, tasting the salt left on my face from her tears. She talks in her sleep; sometimes she laughs. Never lets go of me.

Beethoven still plays. He must be an insomniac. She is most beautiful at night when our bodies are nude, still minty, secretly dancing.

She whispers: I love you in her sleep…to me…or to Beethoven.

that time.

There was that first encounter with a honeysuckle. Beyond my backyard in small suburban New Jersey. My appetite was choosier then, yet when she told me it was edible, I let my tongue extend through my parted lips, and dig at its yellow powder. I really wanted it to taste like honey like sweetness like strawberry pie interrupted with brown sugar. Instead, it was more like a subtle whisper of nothingness. She smiled at me with painted mouth, dyed from the golden dust. I wanted to kiss her then because that is what friends do. They kiss each other. They compare hip size and knock all their teeth together to create a thunderstorm of bruising. The only thing I kissed that day was the flower.

There was that time a severed tree pressed its anger into me. Lunch was on its way toward completion on deserted patch of earth where water grew nearby. I tripped into its splintered curve and felt my blood awaken and pour out. There was that woman who rescued my fear of injury; she taught me about fascia. Held me as I limped. There is something about having skin tear that makes you want to marry another.