Lingering on Twilight

We stayed up all night drinking and now you’re sleeping and I’ve got a cigarette smoking between my lips and through the spreading fingers of its blue smoke I see the first rays of sunlight as they trickle inside the seams of the curtain and fall across your body, buffered by the clothes you forgot to remove. I untied your shoes, pulling the laces until the loops unraveled, slipped them off and set them aside. I ran my hand along your leg, felt the muscles twitch, you danced too much tonight, didn’t take time to rest, now you feel it, and my hands rise and fall with your chest like catching the tide one small wave at a time before something stronger sweeps it aside.

I tap the ash away, watch a plume of smoke slither upward through the morning haze, and undress myself until I’m skin deep in silence split every few seconds by the soft hiss and sigh of your breath. I slide into you and over you, feel every part of my body begging for every part of yours, separated by fiber and slumber. Your hair smells like sandalwood and patchouli, the back of your neck tingles my chin as I rest my head on your shoulder, and my hand draped across your body rises and falls until dreams obscure the thin folds of cotton and fur between us.

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The Bookkeeper

See how the shelves are lined with books of every size and shape. They have no titles here, only names. Look, that shelf just to your right, on the lower shelf, it’s a small book. Red cover. Small words. Young Thomas Mann. Please, pick it up, take a look. No? It’s not to everybody’s taste. It was only written in a few days, not much thought went into it before the author finished.

Lets keep going, shall we?

You’ll notice some books are newer than others, some far thicker, some almost too thin to be a book at all. For a time we held a section entirely composed of leaflets, but we gave up the endeavor to catalogue our books by year, rather than length. Some things, you know, are just too predictable, and others are simply too constant. There will always be brief stories. And yet, they are sometimes the brightest, most sincere. However, as you may find as you look about, the lengths have been growing steadily longer for quite some time. The curator upstairs tend to think it’s a trend that’ll be reversing soon. We shall see.

In any case, what is your preference? Would you rather the vibrant ones, rich with detail and vivacious prose? They’re thrillers, in a way, strewn with velocity but sometimes lacking any genuine conflict. There are others, mind you, with a bit more wisdom, rather, a touch more timelessness: They may have softer covers, seem bound from a time before ours, the words dense with vicarious longing, drawn out and slow, a relaxed pace fit for nightly pleasures. Oh, look, just consider these two: Courtney Brown, a bright piece that’ll surely make you feel for her, and then Malcolm Jones, that might as well be a history if you make it through.

Still not piquing your fancy? Don’t worry, though, we’ll all end up on these shelves eventually–whether you want it or not, authorship is inevitable in the library of life.

Change and Resistance

Should I pull back before I place the drop
of blood upon this silver plate
should I let the red swell tight to syrup
or turn it into ink? Pondering resistance
the aerodynamics of cardinals and bluejays
caught between sunbeams and storm clouds
is this whisper loud enough for you to listen
or just a child calling a dog god, or god Bob
because he doesn’t know the names of places
should I drop a letter in the mailbox
stir a movement calling out for change
as they push me to the side and drown me
do they wither in their loneliness or steep
like bitter tea leaves, do their hearts cry
for one more day of the routine that kills them
because it’s all they know of life?

Disturb Me Not

Let me hang this paper on my doorknob
neither knock nor enter, I am dreaming
let me lie here with my eyes closed
my soul pressed to your memories
imaging for a moment when I open
my eyes I’ll see you beside me
let me hold my pillow to my chest
the pulse in my thumb a surrogate
for your heartbeat, let my headache
throb in my mind like drumming
your breathing, pull another blanket
atop me, pretending its warmth
is your body pressed into mine
let me hold my hands around these dreams
do not stir me from my imagination
even as I witness morning light
pry aside my eyelids, let me shut them
taste a moment longer your lips
as we wake together, let me remember
what a bed is meant to be, remember
what is the grass before we’re taught
each sliver is a blade, before daisies
turn to weeds. Let me pull the petals
counting in my half-sleep still dreaming
disturb me, disturb me not.

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