She pole-dances to gospel hymns.
Came out to her family in the middle of Thanksgiving grace.
I knew she was trouble
two years before our first date.
But my heart was a Labrador Retriever
with its head hung out the window of a car
tongue flapping in the wind
on a highway going 95
whenever she walked by.
So I mastered the art of crochet
and I crocheted her a winter scarf
and one night at the bar I gave it to her with a note
that said something like,
I hope this keeps your neck warm.
If it doesn’t give me a call.
The key to finding love
is fucking up the pattern on purpose
is skipping a stitch,
is leaving a tiny, tiny hole to let the cold in
and hoping she mends it with your lips.
This morning I was counting her freckles.
She has five on the left side of her face, seven on the other
and I love her for every speck of trouble she is.
She’s frickin’ awesome.
Like popcorn at a drive-in movie
that neither of us has any intention of watching.
Like Batman and Robin
in a pick-up truck in the front row with the windows steamed up.
Like Pacman in the eighties,
she swallows my ghosts.
Slaps me on my dark side and says,
“Baby, this is the best day ever.”
So I stop listening for the sound of the ocean
in the shells of bullets I hoped missed us
to see there are white flags from the tips of her toes
to her tear ducts
and I can wear her halos as handcuffs
‘cause I don’t wanna be a witness to this life,
I want to be charged and convicted,
ear lifted to her song like a bouquet of yes
because my heart is a parachute that has never opened in time
and I wanna fuck up that pattern,
leave a hole where the cold comes in and fill it every day with her sun,
‘cause anyone who has ever sat in lotus for more than a few seconds
knows it takes a hell of a lot more muscle to stay than to go.
And I want to grow
strong as the last patch of sage on a hillside
stretching towards the lightning.
God has always been an arsonist.
Heaven has always been on fire.
She is a butterfly knife bursting from a cocoon in my belly.
Love is a half moon hanging above Baghdad
promising to one day grow full,
to pull the tides through our desert wounds
and fill every clip of empty shells with the ocean.
Already there is salt on my lips.
Lover, this is not just another poem.
This is my goddamn revolt.
I am done holding my tongue like a bible.
There is too much war in every verse of our silence.
We have all dug too many trenches away from ourselves.
This time I want to melt like a snowman in Georgia,
‘til my smile is a pile of rocks you can pick up
and skip across the lake of your doubts.
I have been practicing my ripple.
I have been breaking into mannequin factories
and pouring my pink heart into their white paint.
I have been painting the night sky upon the inside of doorframes
so only moonshine will fall on your head in the earthquake.
I have been collecting your whispers and your whiplash
and your half-hour-long voice mail messages.
Lover, did you see the sunset tonight?
Did you see Neruda lay down on the horizon?
Do you know it was his lover who painted him red,
who made him stare down the bullet holes
in his country’s heart?
I am not looking for roses.
I want to break like a fever.
I want to break like the Berlin Wall.
I want to break like the clouds
so we can see every fearless star,
how they never speak guardrail,
how they can only say fail.