All I wanted was the shadow
of your fingers
and cool eyes to kind of soften as
I gather my wounds in this tulip
and with you I would say
enter and close me up
I waited in your room
like this, folding and unfolding
my fingers over my palms as if it were
the tulip opening and closing,
bearing witness to my wounds
you know so much about, and then each time I
closed them, I saw a sort of smooth scar spreading
over old stitches, and the new ones
blended so well in these new petals.
The clock ticking as it
pushed into the impossible hours.
You are not coming, love.
And I swear I saw out the window an old comet
disappearing behind the horizon of the place
I fear life goes, or intimacy, or the
promise of budding in Spring in this town
that never grows–just mud and dead-ends
and bent telephone poles.
The next morning I had too much coffee
because my chest hurt. The bright
rooms felt vacant, even disturbed somehow,
as if they had spent the night with me and woke up
hung over and hazy.
I looked down into my hands and cupped
them and closed them and imagined little
black tulips hiding their centers,
not from me, but from the world.
From love. Rejection does this.
And I keep waking up at odd hours
in a box made out of black flowers that press
panic down into me
–an old panic, the kind that happens
when people leave.
And there’s his voice
repeating in my head
speaking in another language
and then nothing,
silence and carefully chosen
acoustic guitar melodies plucking
sadness from me like grapes,
through my rooms, without words.
I envisioned a love story that
wasn’t really there;
he was a reflection
of the things in me
I was only learning
The chest pain I am allowing;
I’ve switched to black tea
and cigarettes; to looking
into myself in the quiet noon
here I am
enter and close me.
You can’t cut a heart out of someone
if you’re not holding it.