Poem #6: I Wanted Nothing

Formaldehyde in shabby cluster, a tap on the cigarette
as a conductor would call attention from his stand.
Air so still, our glasses linear on the diner table, in a
duel to death, and I am so afraid of my veins speaking
to yours in this mutual silence, I contrive my tendons
from being interlocked, not just in their own hinges,
but with yours.

(She, a stare from eye to eye, captivating my
captive pulse, pendulum pupils swaying down to her
knees, angled sharp.) Headlined above the curtain pole,
a candid light leaning its flicker on the distance between,
shoelace to colored shoelace, and still life passerby,
in motive: never wasting a goddamn.
Sober sun sunken beneath a dance club flare, a
florid scab across the street, me enjoying the printer
ink shore devouring the lit pools, rippled with clamor.
Knuckles popping like bubble gum snaps, and cracking
your neck as if preparing for a gallows in a diner.
There were tendrils of fog, unscathed in the street,
a concrete miasma stifled, lacking current, the curious
fumes less deliberate than the smoke you bellow
away from me.

And in conversation, I am similar to the anatomy of fog
enveloping all your sparse remarks, your thin
postcard comments. I wouldn’t call either of us hesitant.
Somehow, I’ve begun to adore the manhole cover shade about your eyes,
like sagging dollar store bags, and how you carry all you see in those jaded sockets.
Even how our dreamless, empty lifestyles are massaged by dry coffeehouse
“dates,” I’ve learned to love how easily I am filled by such
metallic, civilized warmth.

(We had no necessity for words, in moments such as these,
no apocalyptic mindset, no inhuman sense of perfection–
just the joyful movement made by she and I, the parking
of the car anywhere.) I wanted nothing but the distance
in between where we each sat, and not you. Not you.

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