All I wanted was the shadow
of your fingers
and cold eyes to kind of soften as
I gather my wounds in this tulip
and with you I would say
enter and close me up
I waited in your room
like this, folding and unfolding
my fingers over my palms as if it were
the tulip opening and closing,
bearing witness to my wounds
you know so much about,
and each time I closed them, I saw
a sort of smooth scar spreading
over old hacksaw stitches.
The clock ticking as it
pushed into impossible hours.
You are not coming, love.
And I swear I saw out the window an old comet
disappearing behind the horizon of the place
I fear this kind of shit goes—this intimacy, or the
promise of budding in Spring in this town
that never grows–just mud and dead-ends
and bent telephone poles.
This morning I have too much coffee
because my chest hurts. The bright
rooms feel vacant, even disturbed somehow,
as if they have spent the night with me and woken up
hung over and filmed, my old whore petticoats
dimmed and faded blushes.
I look down into my hands and cup
them and close them and imagine little
black tulips hiding their centers,
not from me, but from the world.
From love. Rejection does this.
And I keep waking up at odd hours
in a box made out of black flowers that press
panic down into me
–an old panic, the kind that happens
when people leave.
And there’s his voice
repeating in my head
speaking in another language
and then nothing,
the silence plucking
sadness from me like grapes.
The chest pain I allow;
I switch to black tea
and cigarettes; to looking
into myself in the quiet noon saying
here I am
enter and close me.
You can’t cut a heart out of someone
if you’re not holding it.