i.     ii.     iii.    iv.    v.    t.  —   vii.    viii.


There is something about her when she first comes through the door, bidding the rumbling night adieu with the rain slipping across her navy coat, palm sized buttons to her knees as she fumbles, creating a puddle across the flushed boards of the floor. And it’s too tiring to be angry with her, already I can taste the evening on her lips, the vodka diluted by the musk of the late morning hours and the watermelon mints piled in a nest beneath her tongue. And she lets her breath exceed her pale mouth, shivering teeth, almost as if she had been tucking it back to keep it from mingling with the moon’s, a riveting lover so she’s said. Some nights when her body lacks within our sheets I worry it has whisked her off, whispered to her some sultry tale of luminescent walks with lake water to dip her toes into, swallow her to her ankles while the two ripple conversations of where they are headed next. Somehow the pooled crescents always lead her bare feet back to me, on her toes but here, nonetheless. If nothing else I can make out the ruby red of her finger tips, smoothing the hair netted across her temples, knotting around her ears, caught in her lashes. Dripping. She stands small and dripping. With purple beneath her eyes, mascara hugging the swell, her freckles rearranged with water droplets I can hear pattering to the floor, closing my eyes to the sound of her heels shuffling against the damp wood. Her shoulders flexing, pulled back by her wrists, the coat sloppily landing to the floor. The breaths leaving her lips assure me that they are her own. I hear her necklace fumbling the chest of her dress, and the draft throughout the room sends a chill when I know she’s between my knees, where she waits. My eyes closed, sunken into our couch, fabric far from parched from her body weighting with mine the night before. And she leaves the windows open to paint the room with the night’s invisible grin, every piece of lightning allowing me a look. Briefly. Fleeting. The flutter of a nervous light switch. Listening to her moving before me. Right here. Shoulders, sunken collars. Hidden. Right here. Breasts, inhaled flesh. Hidden. Right here. Waistline, the cloth falling further. Wait. Hidden. Right here. Knees. The night tints her from me again just when her dress teases the floor. The water joins my skin, she shares soft pelts with my thighs, chest, chin as she’s hovering above me, and she crawls her tiny bottom into my hands. And I grip her, vowing never to let these hours steal her from me again. And we look at one another in the still, the storm only granting bouts of her outline. Right here. Wet, thick hair clung to her neck. Gone again. Right here. Water dripping from her lower lip. Closer, now. Gone again. Right here. Goose bumps lining her skin. Stolen again. Ruby red. And then her chilled fingers are cupped against my neck, thumbs at my jaw, before my ears, after, threading up through my hair. “Right here.” And it’s too tiring to be angry with her, already I can taste the evening on her lips, the vodka diluted by the musk of the late morning hours and the watermelon mints piled in a nest beneath her tongue. Tonight, at least, she is mine.

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I just want to lock you up between my ribs, to keep you stranded, exhausting all of your last breaths, thoughts, words into my flesh. Do not forget you are caged in the gentlest of places, please do not strike a wound, please do not crawl throughout my bones, and if you do wander, please do not get lost. Though, if you do, I will know where to find you. The warmth against the back of my knees. The curl around my ankle. Tucked under my tongue. 

Get comfortable.

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I will know you as a draft through the room, stirring the curtains of my skirt to peek at my knees, your lips still resting just there. Briefly, surrounded. I will know you as the ink that rubs into the edge of my palm, stained like ruby lips where I can faintly, still, make out the letters of your name. I will know you as the stem of your R’s, the curve of your L’s like limbs locked around your neck, my thighs at your ears. There is no need to exchange names, I know of many ways to meet you.

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I’ll be the night blanketing your moon, freckles across my sky leaving a path to watch your bare feet from stones. I’ll be the lace that clasps around your shoulder, cupping you towards me. The shirt that drowns your bones. The espresso drizzling every morning, the steam rolling beneath the door, the pelting rain warming your frame. The heat dripping your curves. I’ll be the murmurs through the open window, the orange peels staining your fingers tips, my skin beneath your nails. I’ll be the steam dancing along your lips from the cocoa, the tinge against your thighs where the mug balances. The fire escape that you give your secrets to, the cigarette parched between your lips. I’ll be the chain that drapes your chest, the locket suspended between your breasts. I’ll be the wine, the weight laying along your tongue and slurring your speech, the rim of the bottle where your lips explore my ridges. I’ll be the flour prints across your recipes, the sugar along your wrists, the vanilla against the roof of your mouth. Tasting you while you taste me all the while, I will.

Anonymous: I'll be the sleep in your eyes that keeps you a dreamer, the butter melting into your bread and gone so fast. Close your eyes and I'm the wind whipping your hair around, my lips on your neck I'll trace your collarbones when you shiver, up late baking when you can't sleep. I'll be the sugar in your tea, just enough to taste, so subtle and sweet on the tip of your tongue and you forget I'm not even there after all, you'll lick your lips anyway.

I’ll be the heat clung to your neck, holding your hair salty and warm beneath your jaw. The nights breath hinting vodka and a tinge of batter from morning, the hips cornered in your palms with flour across my chest. I’ll be the page you keep when your eyes give up at night, folded over and covered among your pages. I’ll read you aloud, introduce my tongue to your teeth and finger through your scent mingling in our sheets. I’ll be the body to drown in your arms, swallow me whole. The moonlight gliding into our bedroom, curling around your limbs like smoke, illuminating you. Touching you. Asleep.

Anonymous: I can take you anywhere.

Take me to the bottom of your coffee mug, smother me in the leftover espresso cupping it’s end. Fold me in the pocket of your rain coat and pull me in to your ribs, let me sleep within the beds between them. Take me beneath the wood washed floors of your kitchen where you stumble each night, let me kiss your ankles while you devour sweets. Tuck me under your tongue and pronounce me carefully. I am fingers through your hair and bathwater to your skin,  the sweets dripping from your mouth and crawling back in each night. 

I know that the amount of love I have to give could fill every coffee mug throughout every corner and nook cafe of New York City, and that the quality of it could leave anyone’s ground shaken and their teeth rattled in their place, tongues dripping and lips dry when I’m gone. But for right now I just want to kiss cute boys. I want to sleep on stranger’s couches when I’ve drank and danced so long that my limbs just can’t find their way home. Then I want to wake up, have a silent cup with them like two old friends who share their space all the time, and be on my way for another night just the same. I want to be free. I want to be gone in every physical way but here, always here and there where I need most to be. There are enough cuties in the world for me to go years without settling down, it’s hard to even decide which train to take first, which direction to travel, which stop to stumble off at. It’s a wonderful place to be when you let yourself not give a damn besides where it’s necessary, to stop caring in all the right places to bring you to the best that have yet to dirty your bare feet. Well my soles are aching, my heart is locked up and wrapped and wrapped again tightly and I assure you no one will be getting anywhere close. I have no idea where I’m headed, but I do know that it is somewhere, and there will be drinks to slur me silly, there will be nights that talk me into bed, there will be strangers and there will be potential, the potential for that and so much more. And if I’m to be lost let me be lost in someone else’s neck, someone else’s breath, let the scents of every single one cling to my skin to carry on with me and I assure you I will not forget. Gosh, I am happy. There are so many places to go from here.

It’s alright if you can’t stay, but take the chap from my lips and wet them with your tongue before you go, the front door is so heavy and brings in such a draft. I’ll understand if you can’t stay, but pull your shirt off of my back and keep it where it belongs, don’t leave your scent like a trail I could follow to hunt through your ribs and find the right strings to pull. It could leave you mangled. It could leave me lost. I’ll wash you from my skin in the morning. I’ll be just fine if you can’t stay, just pack up your things and leave the rest how you found it. Be careful with my bones and leave the rest how you found it. You can leave the windows open, it’s quite alright if it’s going to be a chilly night, two knees in these sheets is company and three is such a crowd, just leave the touch to a minimum and only tell me what is necessary. As a matter of fact don’t tell me a thing at all. It’s alright if you can’t stay, I’ll understand if you can’t stay, I’ll be just fine if you can’t stay, but don’t tell me. Leave a note that you’re off for coffee, Babe. Whisper it in my ear when you know I am much too unconscious to remember, that you’re off to work, that something came up. We’re out of sugar, and it’s a beautiful day for a walk. 

I promise I won’t wither waiting for you to come back, I can play pretend just as well as you. And I will still be here just as I am now, just as you left me, just as you found me. There won’t be questions waiting for you at the door, only cold sleepless knees and bare skin draped along the apartment. Don’t get too picky with your brands, Babe. Come home if your boss raises hell. Don’t go too far.

Don’t go too far. 

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Note to my future life forever lover partner: I will frequently sneak out in the middle of the nights when it’s rainiest and gloomiest in some cute raincoat to find a cozy cafe to sleep with instead. Consider this an acceptable affair or don’t marry me.

You’d sit with my t shirt swallowing you to your knees, tugged and stretched to cover your bottom from the sting of the metal. Every night you curled yourself outside of our bedroom window to rest on that fire escape, you would lift your hand and let just the edge of your thumb touch to my lower lip, waiting just a few breaths against your flesh before you silently dismissed our nest of sheets and legs. Every few steps on the tips of your toes you’d look back over your shoulder, hair stuck to your neck and wild from my palms. Some nights you’d balance on the sill and stare back at me, the same way I studied you perched against the bars. I ached to know what it is you thought in those moments, the only disrupt of silence the draft wrapping like arms around your waist, but I couldn’t bring myself to even so much as stir slightly to give away that I was awake, looking back. It was intricate watching you this way. It was these nights, every night, where I found you. A small marbled pot sat against your feet, the pot I had brought you home a Lily in from the apartment down the block. Whenever we had passed my hand would lose sight of yours and you would stand before the pane and stare in at the arrangement, small paper bags against striking petals, the woman’s shaky hands tying yellow ribbons to bind the stems. Most nights you’d light a cigarette and balance it between your fingers as if you wished it’d slip, but when the piece hit your mouth the smoke danced around your lips like teeth nipping for contact, tasting you just the same. Only after a few drags would you diminish it’s end, letting it fall to the pot. A habit of nicotine just to feel it’s breath escape you. Some nights you would bring a mug to balance between your thighs, and all it would take is the shuffling of feet against the streets beneath or a deafened bum from the Moon Cafe to leave you transfixed, the coffee chilling in your cup, your knuckles lining the brim again, and again, and again. And again. Some nights you kept yourself quiet company, humming pieces of the songs you’d defend you couldn’t stand. Rotten music to pretty lips. Some nights you would laugh, after your fingers touched to blemishes against your skin, teeth marks against your thigh. Then, always, you’d look up in through the window at me once more while your teeth clasped the edges of your lips to calm. And some nights you would cry. I never asked why, though those nights were hardest to stay in bed. But I knew that you needed that. You said you loved to cry. That it was the closest you could come to feeling everything and nothing all at once, catching the drops on your tongue. Some nights you would sit just briefly, others you’d prefer the streets company to my own. And as you’d return to me you would nestle yourself into the down, lifting your thumb to touch to my lip once more, watching until your eyes fell traitor, body still amiss where you had left it. You’d bring to bed with you the night air, scenting our bed and your skin, my skin, tangling your hair. I would press my mouth to your mascara-stained wrists, swollen eyes, and lastly my thumb against the edge of your lip, waiting just a few breaths against my flesh before letting it drag free, drawing them in to let the cigarette, the streets, you - rest along my tongue. 

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There is something about lying next to someone in a completely pitch dark room, not able to see a thing (no nose, mouth, batting eyes), and knowing they are looking at you, and you’re looking back.

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I think the person who holds your heart the coziest and closest is the first one that comes to mind in an empty room when you whisper out the word, “You.”

Feeding
the warmth behind your knees

Your raw skin
Leaving
breath on my cheek

Your tongue uproots
Everything I
All that we
will be.

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You make me able to write. Which is probably the most control anyone could ever have over me. 

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"I’m not suicidal or depressed, and I’m actually a really happy person when it comes down to it. But sometimes I find comfort in the fact that one day I will die. It sounds scary, weird and insane I’m sure. But my mind never shuts the fuck up and I couldn’t handle this for all of eternity." 

Jesus Christ. What a beautiful mind.