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When he calls me,

my living room will shatter

around me. The mirrors are

fractured with waiting already.

My life will follow

his words.

My walls speak:

you are living your story.

I do not dare ask for ours,

knowing now

he loves me

he says he loves me and I believe him

and he tells me mythologies sometimes

in kind tones, vexed upon the telephone.

is it easier to break words

over wires, where you do not

have to see my heart break

alongside them (when I am

trying to be silent, when I airbrush

agony and aim for the love

we reference so fluidly, when

you ascribe misunderstanding

to verbal memory and I say

nothing, when Southern tempests

occupy the green of my iris, when

my look shifts to brown, to blue,

when rain spills from my eyes

to fall upon your shoulder, to drop

into your lap, and when despite this

I remind myself)

I have never known such happiness,

that I have with your touch forgotten

each of my scars, each of my losses,

and when, darling, we find

we are living out a story

not yet ending and still

I am afraid of the vocabulary

your voice is discovering.

I am equating pain and narration,

shedding my sense of omniscience,

limited as it may be — and you are

telling me theme after theme, you

plant signs firmly between the lines

of dialogue we read, and so I

am living my own story I am holding

out hope for that holy joy you give me

I am responding in kind I am building my story

I am skimming your chapters

over a naked

painted shoulder

and you are telling me a story

I did not quite remember writing,

one I remember as the height

of this heart’s life, and you tell

me our symmetry has birthed

ideas like mirrors, reading edits

I do not remember —

we are living

our own story

and we are selling our dreams short,

meant for more than thoughtless verses

and you sometimes speak

to me as we slip

from bed into soliloquy

and you chisel

complexity from the roles

you assigned to me,

calling shots I never saw

coming — yet you will still

slam back in contest with chanting

strangers briefly met —

and what I am not

writing is your intention

we are living out a story

belied by stray gestures

and lazy diction

I am living out a story

to live out your story

and in the new edition

I am no longer worth

a mention.


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