Other people’s words are caught in my throat

A crysalisis of drip coffee, crosswords, bathroom jokes, call-girl cards wedged in phone booths

Sitting making a call in a bar, the smell of leather and whiskey

I like neither

Nor your cologne sprayed too strong, the pungent announcement of you

I don’t like how you lean in to tell a satin story of misfortune

Only to laugh at the death of your hero

Or the reflection of your eyes in that frosted Mai Tai

We’re walking backwards in time

You’re a student of Russian with eyes the color of absynthe and fingers too meaty to carress

Your measure is to swallow the air and push girls into doll clothes and keep them buttoned underneath your simmer

I climbed out

Caught a ferry to Santorini

Ate volcanic ash

Ejected you from my memory like an A-Track

Spooling without sound

If I were a bird, I’d be plaited opaque

Invisible to the blister of your reproach

Emotional attachment suspended in lanterns carrying combustion

Drowning out sleep in the bellies of their firey potential

When trees drop their leaves, we leave ourselves behind

Staring at mosaics, burnt effigies offering carved warning

With no way out, the maze reveals its wormy heart and is blameless

For we select our song, and the scratches we choose to polish

I still wear bobby sox on bare floors, though I know they’ll never wash white

Standing at lunch counters wondering at the savagery and glutony with rumbling stomach and spare change

Choose coffee, you get refills

Choose smoking, it hastens disease and makes you disappear

Into a wreath of smoke playing Led Zeppelin, and there he is again

The baby-faced poser with a need to strike you out

Like a match

Flushed down the toilet into drains

I hear children live underground and never see day

I believe in dragons and magicians and instant noodles

But I don’t believe in you

And your sham foolery spilt like a brand everytime you try

To tailor me obedient

I don’t eat breakfast, I have three desserts

When it’s bedtime I stay awake trying to see through walls

You’re learning Swedish, I’m repairing old clothes

The paint we bought, doesn’t stay on the walls

Everything is temporal, even your hash tasting mouth and the embers of our deceit

I play the dischordant piano, you wrap around me like asbestos

We have run out of time

Taking our clothes off, in windows lit with fury

You walk until the ground shakes you out of linearity

Two tropical birds, their pink feathers glowing against grey city

I could never dive from the top board without belly flopping

And when it’s late and there’s no rest

You try to make amends even as I close the glass door

Sliding down banisters recklessly, feels good

Like a stairway to a new feeling and we howl

For there is no control, only the swiftness of our run

One step ahead, the shadow of wolves racing behind