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Pop Music Aquarium

Since I stopped eating carrots,
I can’t see people until they’re up close.
I’ve gotten so afraid of crowds
and I told you I shouldn’t go out,
but I’m still sorry you didn’t have fun at that party
where everyone went behind closed doors
like scared fish.
Kole Tang. Corydoras. Kole Tang. Kole Tang. Carotene.
I sat in the living room counting carpet fibers,
and you kissed no one,
not even that friend you sometimes mention.
Every time we speak,
I repeat phrases like a Myna bird
because I don’t know anything
about your lips and I wonder too much.
If kissing would be like you humming a song,
soft with tangible energy.
The only thing I know
is that the groove on the upper lip
is the philtrum—
you’d like that word.
It’s a word that doesn’t need you
to say it multiple times for it to sound funny
though I repeat it and pretend
my laughter is yours.
I talk out loud—
it’s a music you grow into
because I know how a dream sounds.



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