1.

Blue sky like the sea: la mer, la mer.

Make love, make-believe, gibberish folklore over tall walls. That's us, language of flowers,
of myth, of the junkyard, and the black marker words on the weathered staircase steps that say:

(Lay-dee, she loves you,) (and that is all she knows. That is all she knows.)

The child-stranger's marker is ink-less.

I want to watch his face as he wrote it on a half-broken video recorder—a bad quality—because that's the way
it'll be remembered: something bad. In love, I suppose, bad means good. So bad kissers are good, lousy lovers good,
drunk confessions better.

I laugh because you're neither.

(But know that I'd still borrow his small hands to tell you how I've dreamt about you constantly.

Know that.)


2.

Don't tell her what she is to you. What she still is to you and you alone. (Remember the cross
hanging above her windshield, then burden the churchgoer. Burden her songs.

Her dystopia is you,

you are her war.)

She doesn't fight, and you surrender with white on both your palms.
You like this, you smile, this is good, this is how I want it to be.

Yes.

Love is a detriment. The one who gets hurt is you.

It was a lesson, and it was what she taught you from the start when you fell knees-deep into the loamy earth
and when she called it what it wasn't. I think the word was pity. She added the self. Dear, she said. You need to stop this, you have to.

(But you couldn't, and you cried, and she didn't love you, of course she didn't.)


3.

Lying is saying: 'I can't meet her eyes even in my dreams'
is: 'I don't remember the incandescent bones in her ankles—how she walks away and towards, or altogether'
is: 'I've forgotten what color she burns as'

is: 'I don't'

because I do.

I do, I do
remember you.

I always do.


4.

You wouldn't be burnt by her intimacy if you weren't in love with her—if you weren't inexorable
and if she weren't inexhaustible.


5.

Burn long. Burn me. Stay lit. Stay here.

When I searched the dictionary for all synonyms of fire, I kept on thinking of the ocean inside my stomach. I am bloated of your unloving. I am full. Breakfast, lunch, dinner—that is everything and you are every meal and I've eaten your ocean, your waves, your shores, your sands, your days, your smiles, your laughter, my heart, my heart, my heart

and I wondered.

Actually, I said it all out loud. I heard myself. I said: blood on my hands, this is what you are.


6. (and for all of the above,)

you shut your mouth. Don't tell her this. Tie your shoelaces
out the door. Leave it unlocked. Leave yourself. You die sinned,

la mer, la mer.