i misunderstand, shyly, and stand riddled

with discontent, bruising.

smiles

arch like spines, your teeth

are vertebrae, your ribs:

lips.

a cursory agreement, a haunt,

a ghosted sigh that tumbles down

the back steps—all of these are one

with my summer evenings.

i don't cry much

in july,

even when it rains on

independence day.

i like my colors slicker.

you're sitting captured on the

concrete with wet walls and

steel bars enclosing you.

(don't say that this is my fault;

i simply couldn't stand your arm draped

over her shoulders)

tonight, we're all a little

caged.