i.

Yesterday, I climbed through
a fresh snowfall, to your house
where whiskey awaited me, and a fire
that started and died within an hour.

The embers went cold and still
we can’t hold hands in front of anyone.
If you try to hold a poem
too tightly, it squeezes, suffocates
and flattens out in front of you.
It would be too heavy-handed to say
that is our relationship, and yet—

Here I am, not saying that, but saying
stop it with the goddamn video games already
and, sadly, what I mean is
aren’t my hands more beautiful
than anyone’s? My words?

ii.

It’s like trying to sew hair into scalp,
the kind of connection only God
can make, miraculous
growth. What we need is
some stem cells, to have a fair shot—
a bit of my heart transplanted
as a supplement to yours.

We are trying to fall because maybe
we could save one another, then.

iii.

Lets move to a rainforest, live by
only our wits, under tents permeated
by heat and humidity, using our hands to make
fire and dinner and everything—I’d smash
this glass of wine and cross
your forehead with what has spilled,
lovebaptism by chardonnay—
the whiskey was too much for me
and it’s not in a glass tumbler
with three cubes of ice, instead,
it’s in a yellow mug, and you’ve used
snow to make it a slushie, there is
some black dot floating
in the bottom but you drink
anyway, I want to shake you.
The cold is everywhere.

iv.

I find a half-eaten segment of
clementine still stuck to its rind
in the toe of my shoe the next morning.
No one knows how it got there.

You walk me home through the snow and I make
us breakfast. We are a week away from Valentine’s Day.
I keep trying to pull myself out
of my body. Ecstasy, it is called—not
the same as love, or even
sex. Sometimes eros is what we wish
to escape from. You’re wearing sunglasses,
the day is white, this snow—light
infinitely brighter, slushed out roads,
inconsistent ground—slipping home.

issueONE >fiction< >nonfiction< >poetry< >visual< >ebook< >paperback<