I Won't Make a Scene

November 2015

the benefit of making out in the dark has always been


you can’t see the boy turning into a school of fish. the shimmer:


an oscillating knee, negligible displacement but for the knee


next to it, and the knee next to that one, and that one –


suddenly you’re in a part of the city you don’t recognize, wondering


when and how you learned to pull your punches. your hands


putting themselves all over the boy’s shoulders. the river. the boy


in the river. the boy twisting like a river, the old man twisting


into a seal, a sea lion, a school of fish, an upside-down question


mark. don’t reduce this: he isn’t trying to avoid giving you a straight


answer; this is the straight answer. a straight arrow, tearing through


apple after orange. today you walked into an empty room


and everything changed. you tried to tell the truth and your mouth


filled with feathers, spoons, the ocean – all your particles


in rebellion, traitorous and wielding knives, ready to fight any god


by believing in them. i left you in the weight room and found what was


not you. your knuckles. your crash. an accident. i have looked at you


and i have put my hands on you, but never both at the same time.


by the time the coffin’s ready, the body’s gone.