I liked your pressed shirts
kept on you.
end of day:

wrinkled, faint bleach smell,
sleeves rolled up past your elbows,
           I count four moles on your forearm
musk standing straight and consumptive
eating away at the fresh cotton scent
you sprayed in the air and
walked through  just before I
laid on my side,
urged you to come in
from behind.
I was always craving the earlier temper
that had you so wet with sweat and
despotic reproach.

You would re-enact shit:
yell at the floor and I would become it
to prove my loyalty
to soft barrage.
I assured you of my masochism,
let you whip me guilt-free.
spent hours in the mirror
counting each mark;
the ways you showed me
how you owned me and I
followed  your hot bellow
all the way to North Philadelphia.
I’m stuck in North Philadelphia.

I’m stuck in a daydream.
I’m stuck in a memory of a canopy of a
full fertile moon
that I painted my toenails under
the night he said,
“I want to see you more often.”
And my feet shimmered:
stars of the portentous summer.

You say love freely now without any meaning,
but the word holds a bit of a sharp weight;
like a knife when it’s oil-stoned, serrated
and facing you and you aren’t sure
how this is gonna play yet but you’re
trusting and palms out;
                    I count three cuts across your fists
like expectations you had on yourself
or someone else when you should have just
taken out the trash,
counted blessings,
bit each other’s tongues and hushed;
like a sudden accident
and you are humbled and
unusually quiet and

I looked in my bag today and saw
a bottle of blue polish
peeking out.  
The train screeched to a halt
and I saw people tumble through the
exit signs.
I saw men that wanted to
shred my spaghetti straps with their
pocket knives and abscond with the fabric
to prove their might to
absent wives.
I smiled to show them my canines:
remind them women are animals,
women are predators;
foxes, defensive and
all of the time.
              doors are opening
I found a book of poems that someone
printed for me and
a nail file.
               (be creative, child.)

Are these signs or are these shadows
that are chasing me?
            doors are closing
Asked for a hint.
                  (this unfolds reversing)
Now you become the braced masochist
and I become
the looming hit.

Began the note in my phone:
with love,
I spit.


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