chance encounters

i memorized your contours—
the bounces in your stride,
light as pale slants at dawn.

we’re so close i could reach out
and take your hand in mine,

but i don’t.

instead, i stare straight ahead
until you disappear from sight.

we curled our fists and fought
the all-consuming with burning
lungs and anger roaring in our ears;

we built soft moon ladders to
preserve our rotting sweetness
as it crumbled into nothing.

we held each other’s vulnerabilities
close to our bruises and sharp edges
and bled like two wounds cut for desire—

my bones and voice rang hollow,
but you flew away first.


originally published in Phosphene Literary Journal, june 2015.