poem: river flows in you (three steps for love)

i wrote a manual last november: how to fall

in love, three easy steps.

first, be a ghost,

be silent and secret: your lips so dusty

that even coughing cracks

a new breath. then wait

for a boy to uncork into greying Fall days,

his eyes splashing wine, his voice

nervous and young;

while you,

you are just lightning in a plastic bottle.

you explode on step two:

he is two feet away, sitting on the edge of your bed,

sitting across the cafe, and you

are naked in his arms, in your head, blushing

in public places because the sex

is running through you like a river. he is

the wet parts of the piano, the pinned

wings of the butterfly,

the mathematical endings of your

too-small spirit.

because finally, step three, you are broken

open: he has a girlfriend, he has a life. you

cry on your bed for hours, letting the unsaid

things wallow up: they are sores in your mouth,

he is just a bug under glass.


I see him around and I keep him

empty. he is computer-generated;

he is twenty-first centuary fiction. I am

the one with the river,

with the wide wet plains.

I am the one








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