it’s unsafe to say

it’s unsafe to say
whenever i undo the
curtain tiebacks in
the bedroom, i recall your
fingers in the morning light,
somewhere between
and urgency
are we really doing
and we are
doing this
. in a language
that can only reside in the
past, it’s safe to explore
every reimagining

in your carelessness,

in the absence of

in the absence of
you, there is even more
presence – more
questions, infinite
unknowns, undivided
attention to the
possibilities of
how you
like it. nine-tenths
of a second is about
preparing for
the next second. i
apply oil to all of the
hinges, ready to step
into and out of these
intervals of waiting

i use a tiny

perhaps you protect

perhaps you protect
yourself from me a little,
when a handful of
words exchanged
can acquire life,
get out of bed
with a sigh, become
intimate with every corner
of the apartment, eat
the same meals you
eat, watch the same
Centurion Classics,
crawl into the hammocks
you hang between more
words planted by once
familiar authors, lay down
beside you at night,
try to control their
breathing in the dark,
on the chance that you
won’t swat them away

the heart, troubled, can

the heart, troubled, can
fool itself and companion
organs to help speed
its demise. it’s a lose-
lose situation, stretching to
compensate, stretching
to compensate –
in the end, our
bodies are altogether
witness, criminal, and
location of a drowning

it is stated in countless

it is stated in countless
handbooks and hazard
identification trainings
that whenever a dust
layer of as little as one-
thirty-second of an
inch accumulates,
immediate cleaning is
warranted to prevent
combustion. i had often
thought that somehow, this
pain would be
useful, drawing close
each layer like a
comforter, a coat,
an armor, a potential,
not knowing enough
about chemistry
and vents
and letting go