People are like cities here
But you’ve always only been yourself, haven’t you
Rooftops in Brooklyn got
Nothing on your sneer 
Or twinkle of eye you don’t yet know you’ve got.   

At least this time around.   

Hipsters have their babies now, 
Canon satchels
Warby Parkers
‘Manhattan on Safari’ 
That’s what we’ll call it
Dickie couture
Yves Saint Laruarnt
Cut offs tucked into running shorts
Fanny packs are back
You’d think they’d run out of ideas by now
Scuffed shoes
On
Lorimer, though I counted them all 
All
Scattered and flying through like stars, or
Streets I used to stumble
Or like there in our L.A.,
The houses that belonged to Simon Cowell. 
They say he’s drinking beer, 
You never liked the taste
You prefer a whiskey Erasure.   

There’s still magic here I’d forgotten, you know. 
Mothers pressing hands on baby’s ears, 
Smiles down under on the platform,
As their C to High Street’s rolling in
The baby keeps on sleeping. 
Poet Fathers with Picasso sons
Cardboard signs 
‘Love and care our Earth’
I want to see you hold a child’s hand.   

I ride a train towards another person’s home,
Another man I’ll fuck for the view. 
Where are you now? 

I’m somewhere under still,
Someplace between 14th and up.
You’d hate the heat,
At least the way it’s been
Swamp dick, a musty ass
The desert suits us more.   

Here there’s other men.
Different flours,
Water always never tastes the same
Depending on the hangover 
And or the avenue
These island boroughs have stayed the same
However
There’s now a Starbucks on Allen and something or other
God this heat 
Week-long Summer. 
Beads of sweat that taste of tears
down here
I know you don’t like those
And yet 
I’m beginning to think I need them
If not to love song 
Then to plea for you
For you to hold me in your arms
For me to know you mean it tight
It’s not an errand 
But something that you want
For me
Or for us
Or for you so I’ll keep
The train’s a station away
It’s getting hotter by the second
Breeze of the underground 
Break this Earth I stand on for a living
That’s a living
Living to want to Live
I beg of you
Submit my fever dreaming heart into 
Knowing that you’ll want me back 
So that this home I wish to 
Show and brag with you
Will simmer from Hudson river aqua into rat-trash fumes
Into yesteryear until it’s finally gone.
Even if you only say it I’ll think of it as true, 
I’ll hold off that demon air in corner number four
And tell my aches 
I’ll still be wanted after Christmas Season
After parties
When Winter People are no longer wanted
And tossed with flipsides of high life
‘At least we had prosecco.’   

There was something about cities, here,
I was working hoping leading towards concluding with, 
Something like the other shoe.   

I wish you were parked outside my house like that one time,
The time I pretended I wasn’t home. 
I wish I were home and looking out the window
Watching you
There was something to you hoping
An
Embodiment of something 
Someone 
Wanting me.  

I suppose.
Let’s just meet at the Grove? 
Valet in the parking garage
There’s a gin bar I’ve been meaning to try,
They say Constance Wu is fantastic in Hustlers. 
Maybe cities are the people you do things with. 
I don’t know what that makes people.   

It’s too easy calling you L.A.   

Re other men, 
I’ll swallow all explanation for later
Please trust me,
For I will no less and inevitably self-destruct 
The way you know I can
The way that irritates
Yet makes you think you’ve done it right,
Your stronghold my frailty 
Kamikaze dreams of arms
And laughter 
Plastic cup cupboards
And overcooked falafel.  

I wish they had Mamoun’s in Chelsea.
I’d love to watch you act as if it’s something you’ve had better somewhere else. 

Your honks
Now come with trigger warnings
Right of way to shark boy and his three-wheeled scooter
Mommy’s on the Gram
Pleasantries her traffic light 
Right Fake on Go
Daddy’s pushing stroller for the akita  

Your Uniqlo’s swapped floors
Women take the stairs now
Must be the patriarchy.
Your men no longer navigate the elevator
In fact they think it’s theirs 
Pizza parties fifteenth floor
This hotel is for them too.   

You’ll no less bring back cargo pants
Guy Harvey tees to follow
And then froyo 
Post-modern Tasti-D-Lites 
But like pus I love watching you
seethe under pressure, this island your pore.  

Bile-puddled paths
Neighbor nestled nooks
For retweets and spritzes
And avocado toast that doesn’t fucking belong.  

You’re growing soft, you old fart
Soft and pudgy
Pop-up shops for drove-in Four-Wheeler Photo booths
Chino shorts on your mother’s credit card
Self-fulfillment you’re all Trumps. 

You’re working on your trash
Your notice taken with the rats
Your bins overflowing still
You keep digging yourself into a maze.   

Astounding really
I hope you’re proud and loud
No Grace filter for your Selfie? 
That’s really at the marrow, isn’t it
You think you’re hyper cool and
Hyper-safe
I was roofied once in a ghost building now a Gelateria
You walk now with your head facing the opposite direction Slower now
No jaywalking now
And yet you’ve become indignant
Dare I say boring
Good job my Prince
You’ve turned yourself into Vegas.   

Fuck you. 

I dream of you in daze
Into nights when I see you
And I’m reminded of the
Familiar fear of never worrying – 
I’m used to worry: 
It’s a pocket pet I’ve fed over the years
With years
And stamps 
It’s a 
A Bracketed lapse in living
Where I see the known ways I could hurt 
You, possible even 
Break you
End us Tear away the familiarity and turn it
Into shadow.   

I worry.   

There’s many ways I’ve gone about it
Before
Many ways repeated
Many more ready for another run.   

I could sleep with another man. 
Perhaps a friend
Or worse a foe
Get you to worry our one on one’s got us 
Turned on you, Us
Knowing more now of the more of you
You chose to give us
I’ve done that.   

I could do ayahuasca in a suite in New Orleans
Northernmost city of the Caribbean
Seeing all the alien Gods
Or the insides of my coffin
Both the box I’m in but also the body that I am
And see what needs feeding then
‘Not you’ ‘No you don’t supply’
I’ll return to Beachwood and sit in my chair 
And ghost you into phantom yesteryear
Yeah, I’ve done that too.   

I could love you only when I’m pistol-
Ready, Bulleit made, foggy-brained
And say it till it’s obvious and 
Predictable
And text you after that I’m gonna 
Marry you
And drunken-drive to you with 
Twenty dollars worth of dollar Del Taco 
And make you watch 
Videos of 
Me
Or Stevie and pass out and half cum in the Morning
And
slowly over time
Mistaken hangover for you and loving you the most and
Decide that I need re-centering and
Distance (but never from the bottle) 
And worse! –
That all of it was only what had ‘happened in the night’
That’s been me.   

I could touch you.   

Shit that was the other one, no
You like it when I’m holding onto us –  

I could hit you.   

Worse, I could say the things a person isn’t allowed to say
The dagger proclamation
Of my silver-tongued knife
Wielded by this Monkey on my back I’ve 
Forgotten about otherwise 
And once it’s in you I’ll twist 
And 
Let
It
Pour
That’s all been me, too.   

I could be an executive at a studio
Sign on your mortal enemy 
The Nemesis 
In spite of you –
Get him two seasons 
Something
About how he’s misunderstood but 
Still molests at Akbar or the Dome
Going buddy-buddy with him to dinners
Or at your favorite spots
Karaoke singsong, songs about paninis 
Or Pre-teen demigods who think 
They’re bad guys. 
And I’ll play nice with you
Because it gets you going
Gets me ahead
Oh
Always nice
Nice nice nice
You hate nice
‘boy, can’t that betray a soul?’ you say
Yes sir, I agree –
Edit: No, I probably wouldn’t go that far. 
I don’t know that I’m even capable
Keep it, as they say.   

I could keep believing what I fear is true
The spring of all my doubts that
I am
Not good. 
Particularly at being good which is
Different than just good enough for you
I worry.   

There’s a lot of things I wouldn’t do
Anymore. 
A lot of things I’m incapable of
Maybe even
Tired of trying?
Getting away with. 
Weak-kneed but in the stomach with dry eyes
Over
The galivanting
And the schmoozing 
I just want home already I worry. 
But also
Maybe there’s also something there? 
In that? 
In that
I dunno
You know me better sometimes
You’re the one who reads me
Has to see me I’m just living ‘me’
I
Just
Think it, will you  

West elm sofas. A loveseat. 
Something local for a coffee table. 
Dinners. 
Dinner in general 
Memberships to Wagville
Never Disney+
And
The movies you’ve wanted to show me. 
The words I’ve wanted you to know. 
Maybe the place has a bathtub. 
Two bed. 
Luxury tomb. 
Patio parties and proud soirees and
Top shelf liquor with that CVS discount
Cluttered glove compartment stuffed with receipt scarves. 
A little less drinking
Maybe at the start at least until doors 
Close more
And I’m working when you’re watching
Or I’m watching while you’re gone
And it all goes back to what it used to be 
Before we promised something new
I worry.   

For when it’s done and the dog is 
passed and stuffed 
makes a doorstop and you’re
Thinking Hancock Park or Paris and I’m thinking New York, Brooklyn or dead
A love is a lifetime I worry.   

But  

What if something happens 
Something different dare I say
Something weird that could happen
Doesn’t happen
I don’t see 
Happening
To me
But just me I haven’t thought of us that way –   

What if we grow old together? 
There go promised memories of your
Hand holding mine
Scratching the back of your head
But now –
A forever-adding flipbook –
Our same hands
But with new spots Thinner skin. 
Closer every day towards our Wither Away
The chances of who will fade from us
First. 
For to die alone is to go in peace
But in the arms of a lover, their forever agony. 
Is all of that worse? 
Is to love to know what will be lost? 
Is it to hold it regardless of these
Boundaries in time,
Angelino mountains,
And drown our lungs in the vapor of now?

Of-fucking-course it is.

I worry. 

Noise of the wood
A clink with a spoon
Skies in its colors
Mahogany to quartz
And into it too
Like pillars of salt yet
Rested on sand   

A dinosaur.  

Bark cut-ted to glass
Shard-ing jewels, city towers
Their speckled roofs of different heights
Grooves and floor to ceiling heights  

Helicopter pads, too. 

Just   

Jurassic tenacity with teeth mazes, maps needed
With Latitudes and Longitudes
The stump 
Now that’s the hemisphere  

For these crystals of a crystal of time
Now polished and chromed over
Drilled into bits for a hose
Then gutted and fitted 
And set in a corner  

A sheltered space
Protected from the meteors that first
Turned this tree to rock
And
Left forever to be ignored 
Or set next to the garden gnome

$2804.

Last night you told me you were going to be married 
That you’d found your choice 
your settlement 
That you’d known fear and 
found the means of which to live with it 
A chosen partner for the shadows 
Except for the ones deepest in your skull 
A willing commitment 
towards the fires 
except the ones you light with your feet 
A tangible hold on purpose, apparently.   

A determination towards happiness, never mind to ride of grace  Your sincerity lacks subtly.  

Scythe to my scalp 
Rebar to my veins 
Napalm your wax of Paris 
The holes you’re trying to fill in were dug with your very fingernails 
Tears in your styrofoam cup, let it settle let it muddle a 
molotov cocktail of sympathy and of drastic proportions
I’ve never trusted what you call reliant. 
Thrown towards your subject of protest
I think that’s me  

The me in you
Or rather the you in me in the back of me
the me in you you only know for certain –  

How you’ve hurt and betrayed 
and laid it all on 
me and with your sincerity you hope 
and aim 
for alleviation of your character 
You think to tell me is to bury you, to command the pyre
to hold in what we were
what you are, once again, what I am 
I am the ghost and
you can’t dream the weight of these shackles that hold in all that is long and of knowing you, your fists to my cheek one thing
the way you told me my days were limited, the same
But how I was New York  

Fuck
Your sorrow and earnest degradation
of what’s left of my heart
And lately what that’s been
A yearning for more
The desire for cliffs and empty oceans of Moab
Looking at mountains as the reefs
they once were or islands belonging to a Jurassic sea
Now
On my last night in heaven you spew me your words of Hell
That it is with him you’ve decided happiness
Though it’s with memories of us you’ve preserved freedom.   

God
Though how I envision it.
It.   

Ours
You’d
We’d have,

Polished concrete. 
White linen. 
Ironed. 
A southern barbeque.  

Rooftop in Red Hook.
We had dancing pandas  

And
poFinally  
You’d rapture me  

Yeah.  

Sans shirt or contentment though I fetishize a tux  

A B-n-B.   

Probably off of an AirBnB.   

Edison bulb lights and mason jar tartars.  

The songs we used to dance with brood  

Now caricatures of our adolescence and not what either of us have remained.       

That’s as far as I usually get.

Little kids are playing soccer
The ones acting like I used to
Tangling themselves in goalie nets 
The parents we never turned into never-minding. 
A daddy plays his boombox
For the crowd 
Empire of the Sun, remember them
His playlist blaring louder now
You know the one
Remember when we’d heard it 
My first time was magic but for you a chore
Over at that spot we used to know 
That Extra Fancy
The one where a lady-turned-mommy served us Gansetts 
And the lighting looked good enough for oysters?  

Do you remember Steve?
That dude
The one
The guy from Full Circle 
Cracked us tall boys of Genesee I think
Fixed us skee-ball that one time, then handed over tally chalk for scores?
I think saw him wearing Chinos
Outside of Artichoke
The one on North 7th 
By Starbucks
By the Dunkin’
By the train
And fussing with his iPad
Sweat-back looking grody
Did you know they’d one day grow into what we’re close to becoming?  

I suppose I never thought ahead,
Too much looking down
My hand with yours
Or any time we walked along something new For me 
Polished concrete
Or that hallway towards Larry Lawrence
They closed it down
It’s gone for good.       

There’s also people here

Who look like what we used to do
Doing things we used to be
Though now they’ve got their White Claws
And Triple-Lens phones
Lounging on our bench-shaped stones
And dreaming upon towers
We never knew or cared would one day exist for them to ponder on
This never was our spot, was it?  

Wishing wells erode
Over time
And yet there 
Still remains,
Some times at least,
Yesteryear precipices
Those Mesas on top of pillars 
Floating glad-ware lids for canyons 
Too large to fresh-seal shut for good. 
These plateaus are carved around, 
Speckled relics sometimes close 
But often far in way
Luckily still
Lucky Dog and Allswell 
They’re still there
The promenade at Brooklyn Heights 
I suppose that one’s all me  

The ones once ours 
Were they really that
Or just new for me and still fun for you?
Did we fall upon a world of our own disgraces 
Camel Blue kisses
Or without regard
A concoction of totems familiar enough for you to bleed freely? There remains however
Our temple of our Four Corners, though.
You remember it, don’t you
You must
How could you forget
I won’t allow you to
Their Grand Ferry Park
Our Sapporo’s in paper bags
Hands held after
Even after fights 
Outside Vanessa’s 
The one by you
Transplanted from the village
Oils for the hangover.  

The smokestack there Still remains 
The bench where words were said
You said something Like on your roof
I’ve never forgotten
PJ knew it too
I knew her after you but
‘You are this city to me.’  

Two times you’d told me
The first a proclamation
The second a surrender to decision 
To you leaving 
We won’t go there yet
But the first my God
Muttered whisper ignites the waterworks
Lullaby under bridge’s rumble 
Commotion of stampeding thunder
You mumble
Soft rain in Spring
But Spring between Barrow and Morton only
I look up under bridges
Because on top is where you showed me where the river bent
You hold me
And the Hasids are watching
And the Freedom Tower’s going up
And the Empire’s not knowing what reigns will trump its spire.
The Domino sugar factory was still there, wasn’t it? 
Remember the cranes? 
Or Glasslands for rock? 
And the rock
Gone
Mostly 
You’d think this space was separated with glass
No touching.  

Camel Blue’s from your pocket
Another Sapporo. 
Clouds of smoke…
Though with certainty we’d know
It’d all soon change.
We knew we’d leave. 

The geotag was ours but so soon 
These towers would be new again
And they are 
Bleaching skyline and our promises
Into something out of Mars.  

The playlist is still going.   

Mommy’s thrown a football 
To her little boy 
‘Good one, Adam’
They’re playing sports now
The ones who’d grovel for a taco at our Union Pool
No, Theirs.

Perhaps they always did.
Grow, I mean
Grow into something they had to be, by choice or missed train
That shaped into them Gwenyth Paltrow yuppies with cleats and doggy-walking apps.
Perhaps I never noticed
Seeing now
As city people grow
And move and have
And watch and grow I held on expecting it to stay the same 
For a dream of you and me
Perhaps Should LA ever burn
We’d have concretes where Blue Bottle used to be,
Remember when that was new?
How’re your wedding plans coming along?   

Wishing wells erode over time and 
Yet there still remains
Our chiseled
Relics of the beaches for which we would lay for even dead Winter’s Sun. 
People like rivers and water, I
I wish
That these canyons
Came with drains
So once all was dry I could climb down and spelunk
Maybe then I’d find
The reasons why you left me 
After choosing me
Your City
Your place, apparently, 
But yes,
Your ghost,
Searching the streets that led us through our high lives I haunt them now,
Right now
These mesas
And these bars of cities we once knew,
As if for the first time, and always that
Whiskey’s tasting old.

There’s a city in the cliffs
Where at night I know you wish to hear
Yourself as silence. 

There are the birds in the cracks that swarm 
With kamikaze formation during
The day,
Singsongs of war and territory, 
Fights for nests in holes 
Once Sprouted springs 
Of sandstone rain. 

There are the crickets of the setting sun  
Layered chirps sounding like a river’s near, 
Sonic bowings on their wings, 
As Earth as mulch or air, 
Constant and assured. 

Crumbles echo
Down go fallen rock
One squirrel, 
Scraping ground far above on heaven’s ground 
Pebbles drop and they flee
Cascade towards the bed of their canyon,
Yearning with
Pounces of desire,
They scream 
Like you, they want them known.

The shivering leaves in the dead of Sun — 

Too tired for the siren glow of the rising moon. 

They’ve all calmed. 

The crimson of our setting star,
Its reprise of mauve and marigold, 
All has calmed and settled for you,
You
Now
Standing in the city in the cliffs
Back turned from the shadows of these relic tales  
The ruins of the Anasazi – 

Not a breed of man but neither the translation of ancient man, 

Its definition, the term, the term’s definition
Needs defining. 

But you don’t know that do you? 

The Hopi neé Anasazi, 
Neé Ancient man, 
They too knew that cities become tombs. 

Like Pompeii, 
Present day LA
Mausoleums of traded resource, 
The emboldened passion for survival and luxury, 
Dried corn and roasted yucca, 
IG stories, DSLR, 
They’re all the same to you. 

Your phone is your kiva, 
Your veiled pleasantries desiring affection and attention, 
The need to be seen your mortar. 

You hear yourself in silence, 
Amongst an orchestra of ghosts
And yet
Your eyes scream towards your Black-mirrored ally, 

It’s not enough to be alone
No, you need them all to see you alone. 

You take pictures of your feet at the 
Grand Canyon
Then face your back towards its Sunset 

To ensure the colors you want other
People
To know you’ve 
Seen came out the way you wished to have truly experienced it. 

You edit to form, 
Edit towards expectation, 
Never mind the reality you’re given. 

Miley did this thing where she 
Wrote a song about this guy she used to love,
Now grown distant from,
Something about needing the city, and no longer the ocean,
The woman’s got like nine homes, alright, and 
Apparently this guy, Chris, 
Sorry, his brother,
Like,
He never knew how she’d felt about any of it, 
Up until one day he’d gone off in his car and just heard it on the radio, 
That new song of hers
About that pool and pill life and having to leave him for the city and she’s got an orchestra playing for her when she’s performing it live and all and she’s forcing these tears of hers and all of this heartbreak she’d hid off from ever admitting to anyone but papa dollar, knowing she’d never get off it of it the right way, singing it to his face and making sure her eyes are locking in with hers. 

Thought she sucked but look at me now. 

Summer’s started changing, almost gone,  
I’m weary if this time apart should have been 
For the better
In that I’m sorry, but, 
That maybe we should have 
Simply stayed where we were the first time we stayed apart, 
And we both assumed we’d done what was best for one another. 

You need me like a box. I needed you like a pedestal. 

If not to get higher than at least to feel as though I already were. 
You’d put me where the linens were. 
I was good at thinking that maybe they were made of 
Lace or paper flowers
And this closet is just us on the floor
Of some home
Not yours but maybe partially mine
And there’s a mattress
And you don’t mind the smoke
And I don’t mind the plastic cups
And there’s a distance Though my ankle’s on your shin 
Some sort of cracked-back lullaby’s playing out of the AC.

Even though the window’s open
And the sounds are dancing with the 
Breeze between the clapping of the blinds
And our groans sound as crisp as the air, 
Until it was time to wriggle out of bed and time to play 
And masquerade and hide the poles we truly were of our uncompleted world. 

You admitted you wanted a man
Someone who stood equal to you and your stature, not your back but the other kind you favor, the
Hi-Tops likeability 
Round for the table, back and forth 
Nights of nice
But of kind
Of holding
Needing kneading,
No.

I was the parched starvation of your larynx. 

‘I loved you at a 10 and you loved me at a 24, I win.’

Once your words of dismissiveness 
Somehow forgiven again, when yes, I clung, 
And yes I crazed 
But it’s how I loved back then
And lurched with bated stillness 
Towards your critique of the quirk
The things I’ve got to fix
Always fixing
And wrenching
But apparently
A different pipe or beam, every time
And I did it, I fucking did it
So I could house you
In this house of mine
And fix me
So that perhaps you 
Could finally see you fit in 
Within the carcass of all that was my love for you, but. 

I don’t know that you even wanted that. 
No, I forgot. I’d always known that about you. 

You say I taste disgusting 
From the flavor of my tongue

The moment 
After I have smoked That’s it 
No more kissing or touching
Your ticket to leave me
No longer even out front of 
My home
Lately even
It’s just been at the bar
Goodbye from the bar
The one you loved
The places you always took me to, those places with names and  Shadows of acquaintances
Who see me not by name
But by the docile, broken sweetheart
Chosen finally and 
Sided with the enigma of your ego. 

I was tired. 

Yes of you
But of this city
Perhaps you are LA after all,
Unless of course
The city’s made you right in its eyes, just
Nice.

November of last year. 
I’ve only known you for so little. 
You’d said you’d got my number. 
Akbar after downtown with my mother
She’d come to visit me Remember 
And I went on over and
you jabbed me with your finger
Lower than my shoulder
‘hey, you’re cute’
Remember that? 

Leaning up against the bar,
T shirt
Kid jeans but for a man
I said ‘thank you’
Needing to pee.

There it started getting blurry.
You’d asked me what I did
Almost excited, knowing I’d ask you in return. 

In between the drinks I’d 
Go out for myself To smoke with myself and Talk to myself
And 
Be with myself 
The chemical mix
That erasure is mine
Feeling like a man Who’s made the mistakes of a boy
But in those fine moments
Something spectacular in my head
Had played 
A movie of a dream
That injected my veins
With the pop rock crackle of
Wanting tomorrow
Until knowingly tomorrow morning Hit.

You never minded the smoke back then. Was it bait? 

We moved to the jukebox and continued on
Excited to ask me where I lived 
So you could tell me you had a roof, and so 
I followed knowing I was an easy sell
But also thinking
Something about you
There was something hidden
Deep in you but maybe I could hit 
And nerve-connect 
With you
Like that scene in Avatar 
Ponytail sex
Or maybe even just a sling
Maybe you had something more in you you’d admit but then for now It was just a roof
And a TV outside, a TV roof, that never fucking worked.
You’d always try to finagle
With the fucking thing
Instead of looking what was
Just beyond the ledge –
A pool of stars littered in a basin bucket
Hills so dark they reminded me of thunder.
For just a moment I had it 
With you
My arm around your waist
Plastic cup of ice and the expensive shit
A view made ours but 
Only for a moment, Until I saw it in your eyes and saw you looking out and thinking that that’s what people did with views they savored them like steaks, 
Remember when you said that thing about
You seeing the forest while
I stay focused on the tree? 

The things said over text
Still only 
Six blocks apart.
The need of being right over the need of being with each other. 

Part of that bar conversation,
You know, that night we first met — 

It was the fact in a long ass while 
I hadn’t really,
You know

Come out.
In the sense of like.
Coming out.
With what I am.
Have.

Even now I have trouble writing it outloud.

But I told you.
And maybe the song was right. 
And we’d only kissed four times. 

I’d said, you know, 
And you’d said, you know, with a shrug but without a shroud, you’d asked me, really, 
You’d said, 
‘But aren’t you still you?’

You did. 

Knowing now what’s left of what I know of you today, 
I’ve teetered the thought if that you or you being nice or you living with your liver, 
But no, I’ve deduced over time and with time because I’d be a fucking lunatic otherwise by giving into my paranoia that, 
No, 
All of that – was the most you’d ever be with me, and that was also the most of me I’d ever be with you. 

I said yes. 
‘And you’re taking care of yourself?’
‘Of course.’
‘Then what’s the problem? You’re you. Staying you.’ 

I don’t blame you for not remembering. If in fact you had. Thinking you’d forgotten has made it easier for me, at least. 

You were being you. And I was being me hearing something I’d never thought I’d hear out of a guy with your proclivities and habits, status. I’d come to assume things like guys like you, and with your words in my ears, I was willing to do all that I could to ensure you wouldn’t prove this – phenomenon of a man – you – just like all the others. 

I deluded myself into thinking I could help you there. In fact, I’d deluded myself into believing I could keep you there,
And in retrospect
That wasn’t an assumption
But rather an ignorant
Obligation
Towards a man who’d already
Believed he was one and therefore is, you know, a
Completed one,
But I admit, Yes. 
Something that I pegged as
Something worth expanding upon was just me, 
Trying to course-correct you, 
I.

I guess at first that’s what made me stay,
Thinking I could iron out the kinks
With you I’d yet to see,
Ignoring that we didn’t know what we’d yet become, 
Even though, 
With everything in my power I tried to find untrue, you always  Validated me. 
I’d always known you had. 

You gave me back my presence, by offering the extra that was yours, freely. 
I hadn’t felt it in me 
That power, 
Since before that day at the clinic back in 2016. 

It was enough for me. 
Needle in my arm, I was running with you baby, 
Never looking for something new to inject
Into my poison-filled blood and soiled liver,
Until those times I let slide, 
The times you brought it up with the hurrying and the towels so you wouldn’t get it, ‘that’s how you get it,’ you were wrong, but who was I to argue you’d just bought dinner and everything I’d ever wanted without earning, God, or needing, to the point when I was gifted anyway I thought my God, I could poison you, why on this fucking Earth did you decide to stick it out with me? Why me if you’re so fucking scared? Why me if it meant the surrender of the refractory ? Why me if the ways in which I could make you feel the way you’d make me feel alive were subpar, half of a gift card, a drive down to Palm Springs with a broken-tired SUV on the ride back to LA. I felt inferior, and perhaps what it fucking was was that throughout all of these goddamn days in these goddamn hills I’d become convinced finally, after years, that there was nothing to me,
When there was so much to you. 
No one was you. 

Maybe what you are is how
You make me feel
What more is ever a person? 

I wanted to stay with one foot out the door,
Others no less seeing it there, my foot, 
They’d ask me ‘Man, what’s up,’
And I’ll smile knowing you’d be coming 
Down the steps any second now,
Hopefully holding that door open so that I could carry in all that I was and of this world. 

I should’ve never made you carry my shit. 
But maybe you shouldn’t have told me all of what I had was shit to begin with. 

I believe I loved you
And that one day maybe you’d know how to love me too
Or more
To love being with me and
Take my hand
At least for now, back then, I mean, maybe just the finger, I’d think – 

‘Quick!
It’s turning into Winter!
The Wet Season lies ahead and there will be 
parties to attend
And whiskey to sip and 
Suits to wear
And lights convincing us
Now with these festive 
Feasts Of fervor and froyo 
Or Yayo
And we can show the world 
And we still have each other
The blind with the Mute
Maybe it’s the other way around
Who cares
Just
Get your phone out
Put it on the both of us
Until the both of us are looking good
Good enough to be
And or convince 
People will be happy 

Lol

To see us, at least
At least it’ll sound like that to us
When to them
Those we really care about believing us
Will see us as just a moment
Of their night
In their own worlds
Feigning convinced admiration
For the both of us
Sticking together
Until they go home 
To who and what they are and need
And we’re in our Uber
And my street’s just coming up around the corner.’

Poles, remember?  

Perhaps in that capacity
We were perfect for one another. 

When the light of your eyes
Come across these final words

I expect you will say no thing…
With the same amount of time it takes
For me to
Hit up my stories on IG and pull up to see
And hope to God at the bottom of my scroll there you are just peeking in your cave 
And by graces of wind and fortune I’ll catch your name and your handle and at once like it’s always been the case I’ll know deep down that you will have me always. 

Just. Know that.