the shitty alarm clock on
the bedside table screams
in f a t r e d l e t t e r s
that it's 2 a.m.
& you still can't breathe.

white noise in the form of t.v.
crawls out from under the darkness,
all black bugs and white cotton sheets
100% imported egyptian -
his favorite & your least, you've always thought
it's too scratchy & nice for girlslikethem.

once upon a time a girllikeyou
told him about this newfound hypothesis on
the hood of a '95 mustang looking over sea-glass water
as midnight sun dried damp hair to damp skin
& he laughed, pulled a girllikeyou
who wasn't really you or was she?
tighter against his bare chest & whispered with kisses
into a girllikeyou's damp hair
that it was very unlikely because a girllikeyou was
nothinglikethem
(though deep down inside
you still know it's a lie -
you're everythinglikethem
& more, so much more
because one of these days

he'll stop forgiving you, too.)

though he'd already started to
play with the strap of your bikini & his hand snaked up
your stomach, hot & burning a raging fire as fingers traced
a path both foreign & familiar, one you couldn't
control as you drowned in him that summer night swim.