not that it would make a difference

sometimes I wonder
if you honestly believed
all the lies you told


pale pink

Princess fingers, he said to me, and took them in between his own, long and lean. Breathing in the shimmering heat, I offered him my need, held it up, soft and gleaming. I didn’t see where he put it and I couldn’t hear it scream, couldn’t feel it over my own heart beating as I leaned in. Sirens wailing silent screams, muffled between our palms, warning me. But pale pink princess fingers don’t let go.

no going back

you’re the one who left
all of it a tangled mess
tangled splintered torn

shattered by the lack
shards of me lay shimmering
shapeless on the floor

you’re the one who left
with no warning, left me there
drowning in the depths

don’t come crying back
i’m the one who wanted this
you’re the one who left

waste of $10

You know how we listened to all those new songs over and over on the way to the game, and how on the way back we listened to them again, and you steered and shifted with one hand so you could hold mine with the other, and we put all the windows down and the air rushed in and battered our faces as we sang, and I stuck my bare feet out the window and drew shapes with my fingers on your palm and drilled that moment into my mind, the song and the wind and our hands and the dark; and then we made plans to see each other again and every time I heard those songs a thrill rushed through me, and then the plans fell through and I tried to make more but you were too busy, and the weeks passed and I didn’t hear from you, and the songs made me feel worse and worse until the entire album made my stomach turn inside out with uncertainty and now I can’t listen to a single song on it?

Well, I really wish I would’ve known that would happen before I bought the album.

wish I knew

He should mean more to me than you do. This is newer, less stripped of hope, less full of promises that can’t be kept. He’s disappointed me less than you have, hasn’t had as many chances to.

So why is it that I can go around that bend and pass right by his street and not even notice it until it’s out of sight? And how come when I get anywhere near yours I have to stay in the far lane or turn before I reach it or else I’ll end up there?

Is it because I’ve known your place longer? Does that give it a stronger gravitational pull on me? Maybe it’s because I’m in your area under different circumstances, ones that make me impulsive, impetuous. Maybe it’s habit, a habit that was never comfortable enough to have before it had to be broken.

Or maybe it’s just you.



He liked being on my right side, and I was always careful not to lean too much pressure on his shoulder, not knowing exactly how long ago the injury had occurred or how well he had recovered. Whenever I’d see him, it wasn’t ever about then, it was only now. In the beginning it’s always a whirlwind, and some things have to wait. I wanted to ask but I figured I’d get a chance to later. Because of course there would be a later.



He had his back to me and I was curled up against it like a pill bug. The blanket was down below his waist and he’d taken my arm and draped it over him instead. I felt like a child, nestled there against him, and it was delicious and strange. I was awake, and I wanted him to be too.

Held there in a comfortable kind of stuck, I had nothing to do but stare at the back of his head. I decided my nose was to be my weapon. I poked him with it. Prodded. Tapped a little beat. There were half-grown hairs at the nape of his tan neck and they were tickling the space above my lip. I nuzzled into them, partly to wake him up and partly because I wanted to know what it would feel like to do so. They tickled my face and I giggled into his skin. I felt his silent laugh and pulled my head back, waiting for him to turn over, to wake up. But he didn’t. I frowned and tilted my head to the side, wondering if yelling “wake up and play with me!” would be too direct of an approach.

That’s when I saw it, a little tiny freckle behind the cartilage of his left ear. I couldn’t help it, I gasped in delight. He inclined his head toward me, curious.

“Did you know you have a freckle on the back of your ear?” I whispered.

“No,” he said, voice raspy with the first word of the day.

“Well, you do.”

He laughed, with sound this time, and rolled over onto his stomach, peering up at me with one eye, face squashed into the blue pillow. He watched me as I lay there, looking for freckles on his other ear. There was one right in front, but I was sure he’d seen it, and that wasn’t nearly as fun as the one unknown. I couldn’t help but wonder if someone before me had noticed it and simply not told him, or if it had gone unnoticed for years. Or if he had just gotten it and I was truly the first to see it. I smiled at the thought, and felt his eyes brighten on me.

The morning light was coming in through the sheer curtains, lighting up his face. I glanced down, met his gaze, then glanced away again. I’d never seen him in morning light before, and firsts always felt too big, too full, to hold. I was afraid that if I tried to, it would tip over and spill out and be gone.

There were new colors in his eyes and all I wanted to do was look down and meet them, hold them and know them. But I kept my gaze on his ear, his neck, the side of his face, deciding to start slowly, with freckles.



One day, I was walking by myself and thinking about freckles, and I decided to ask him if he had any. He replied that he had a few, on his knuckles. I pictured his hands, dark and smooth, and asked if you could see them against his skin, because I’d seen his hands a hundred times and never seen any freckles. He thought that was funny.

He also told me once that I only liked him because he was the first intelligent black guy I’d ever met, which was not only untrue, but highly offensive. I never forgave him for it, but I liked him all the same.



It wasn’t about sight with him. It was all feel, all touch. Every inch of his skin clear and bright under my fingertips, every inch of mine aching under his.

His hands on my waist, all over my skin,
his lips on my face, my throat, my collarbone.

I’ll never forget when woke me with fire in a kiss on the back of my neck.



They were sprinkled all over his shoulders like raindrops from the sun. The shoulders were broad and the raindrops were many and I told him I liked them on the first day we met. But he didn’t remember that; he only remembered me telling him he had a cute butt.