we’re lying on the edge of October
in thick cotton nests;
my place.
my thigh wrapped in burgundy nylon and your
loosening grip.
I held the space between our necks
with stoicism,
a revisionist past that kindly removed
the details of the ephemeral contract,
a fevered longing for binding shielded by my
tepid forecast.
I was drawn to your morbidity and
we had similar graves to tend.

handed me a handkerchief for my deepening cough
and didn’t notice the sudden mollifying in your fingers
where I reached and held gaze;
your eyes like fountains I sipped in my July dehydration,
a nourishing after months of asexual experimentation,
mouth the word queer to the mirror,
how to fuck yourself from different positions
and forget you ever came.
I thought autumn meant morning frost but it was eight am
and I was deathly hot
for it and you were,
back facing me
reminding me of our agreement
tying a shoe and I blew my nose,
handed you some andalusite to suggest
all healing is pragmatic but you
absorb organs,
pick one good one,
move on.
we had different ways of saving ourselves.

I met you in skin and sun
and distant cicada sounds,
street jazz in the background.
met me where I was
and made no promise to keep me.
you unrolled your tongue
and the palm of your hand holding your girlfriends’
tiny waist and a note that I’ve read,
god, a thousand times before,
but still cuts like the first fall
that said
ha! ha! nothing ever changes!

you taught me about unsustainability as a relationship model,
how to rip nylons off with my teeth and
the orgasm of the shattered pieces
that you squeeze to fit into each crevice of weaning;
masochism as a finish line;
and me,
which all seems no better than the men but
   (well, here we are)
so much softer in my hands.

“ha!ha!nothing ever changes!”

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