Poems

Gentle Request for Intimacy

I want to bask in the warm glow

That radiates off you without you even noticing, as,

Lips pressed shut,

You scrub a brittle green pad across the frying pan,

Then, setting it down, raise a glass of water

up to your mouth with your spidery, bony fingers.

I want to walk past as you brush your teeth,

your gaze averted from the mirror,

the bristly sounds audible from the hall.

It would be both an honor and a pleasure

To sit perched on the opposite end of the couch as you

Flip a book open and begin to read

silently, eyes alight.

It Keeps Spilling Everywhere

I don’t know where to put all my

Affection I can’t contain, it routinely

 

Overflows and spills out the tops of my pockets,

Rolls in smooth droplets and

Springs off my tongue before I can close my lips,

Pulls my eyes wide open and fills them with light,

 

Brings a warmth to my chest and hands and lungs that

Makes each breath feel more singular,

More deliberate,

Infused with extra oxygen, extra nourishing,

Can’t help but be gasped and held.

In Any Spare Second

Written on the back of a napkin with pen pulled from a purse,

Dents and punctures in the pressed plush of the paper,

 

Sketched on the back of the notepad by the cash register,

Pen drops from fingers as a customer comes,

 

Tapped as a rhythm on the taut leg of the jeans

Once the keys have found the pocket, as the feet cross the street,

 

Hummed at the stoplight,

Drawn on the back of the hand,

Drawn on the back of the newspaper,

Drawn in a margin,

Drawn on the notebook’s muted brown flipside,

Drawn in the seventh hour

Out of eight in the shift when the feet are sore and the task feels meaningless and every task feels meaningless and exhaustion is two warm dry foreign fingers lowering your eyelids against your will.

 

Outlined on the back of a receipt.

Scarred by a jagged scribble when the bus rolls over a bump.

 

Folded, and slipped into a pocket.

Preserved.

Extracted.

Unfolded, smooth, pen-lines like a blueprint.

Audible, visible—

The click of a pen. Its tip glints in the light.