We are soundless plainsongs
in autumn— I wish he didn't have to hold on
to these hands.

I ran out of sleeping pills
so I tailed him knowing his eyes contained the ocean,

and that I couldn't swim,

but still I jump into his lungs— open pools—
because I know he'll stop breathing for me.

He's strangling me now
but I can't be sure if he's choking to kill me
or to save me

or to hold my pulse,
my heart

in his fighting hands

so that he could make me his
more times than I've called him mine.

He's killing me
while I pretend to be writhing underneath him and his hasty breath
and bleeding lips— he's trying so hard not to kiss me

and the way he grips for my bony throat
is the same way he gropes for his handgun.

He never shoots.