frustration seeps into floorboard cracks, like

dust settles, like

iron filings in your eyes

dark and sharp—mine are magnets.

i couldn't look away today.

inflamed veins bring

color to the surface as the skin at the

back of my neck

burns bright and warm.

i'd like to say that there are

bruises in strings of black pearls

crowning each vertebrae; i'd like to

say that my throat isn't stoppered and

plugged like a glass test tube.

i'd do anything for us to feel a little closer.

and you shift like liquid nitrogen

while i vaporize, quietly.

i am shyly smiling, a tug

at the intersection of my liplines

and mouth, pulling up, up, up—

parachutes and crochet needles.

i'd like to write our epilogue in prose that

tosses you on windswept waves, like similes that

sail and metaphors in motion.

i'd like for you start this conversation gladly,

and i'd like to hear the gasp of oxygen

that rushes blindly from your lungs before

you say my name.

say it loudly, say it proudly.

and please eradicate the

tension in your voice-strings left over

from our silent fights

because this time, i

will answer.