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A Portrait Instead Of

Music makes me sick, a broken pen leaking pink ink.
You are drawing a symphony in red & your forearms flex like rubber bands. (Oh, let me go.)
I’m going to strip the muscles from your bones before it kills me & I just want to die,
I just want to die at your hand.

***

A single quarter note, quick & sad, pressed to her emaciated stomach.
There are a lot of reasons why.
They all look like you.

***

Her jacket’s smattered in holes that she pins when it’s cold.
A gun in her pocket, a song in her head.
A gun’s in her pocket & she is not a statistic or a little girl or a liar. She is the princess who
fights off the dragon with an exacto blade sword & falls into the magma river, dead.
And nobody knows.

***

A dream that loneliness is just the magma river, is just her fingertips stained with hair dye.
School’s a mausoleum but I am not being dissected. In my locker, I find a black hole the size
of a puckered mouth spitting out names I recognize. A beautiful boy who only looks at me
sometimes.
I drift through the hazy hallways, see in the dark like it’s bright, kiss lips that want to
lie. The fluorescent light is soft & sour. I feel so good I want to cry, but I don’t.

***

A dream that my legs are scissors at 3 AM.
I asked for it.
She is walking too fast for me to see the glass vase in her arms but I know it’s there,
cradled like a baby, stolen from a father.
The sidewalk cracks under her combat boots like spun sugar, like her face in the streetlight.
(I kissed you in my dream, & I wouldn’t give that up for anything.)
Quickly. Blue glass falling. Quickly.
She is walking too fast.
I asked for it but I never asked for broken glass.

***

I asked her to shoot me before she shot up the rest of the world.
I want to know what bullets smell like but I’d jump off the Brooklyn Bridge
if you weren’t it—

***

With a boy who hears voices, we plan loving little suicides.
Guns & eyelids pulled tight. Maybe some rain.
It’s so romantic.
I like the way her piercings look when they’re infected. Blinking back a migraine, she tells us
about the glass, & the bleach slithering down her throat, & the kissing, & the kissing, &
the
kissing
I tell them I’ll hang myself from a swaying red tree or throw myself off the Brooklyn Bridge.
She looks at me like the bliss that makes your ulcers flare. The voice tells him what to do.
And in the meantime:
Laughter hitting the outside of the fishbowl.

***

I haven’t met you yet, but you sound like a love song.

***

We look at everything except each other, & we are not alone. You’ve got to understand the
beauty of this moment. He recites what the voice tells him:

1. Smoke a cigarette.
2. Find your father’s gun.

Understand that he is fourteen & the product of things breaking,
that the light is sallow & beautiful on our faces, that for one second, it’s the last second.

***

Before everything—
hailing a cab in the rain to get to her apartment.
It never comes.



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