florida’s winter kisses
consist of rough caresses and instigate
crimson blemishes on my skin.
the sun smacks tiny freckles upon my cheeks and
gropes my shoulders for a place to leave his mark and
i have no choice but to bite my tongue.
every day is an impending molestation.
i’ve gotten to be afraid of it.
so I try not to listen to the
insinuations outside and i
stay inside in my
quiet room and listen to the white-noise of
i let your secrets hang in the atmosphere because
they’re too heavy for me to carry and i’d
rather let them suspend endlessly in
you used to stitch butterflies onto
(you still love to gaze at pinned perfections)
and i used to pretend to catch them
between my palms, boasting
wide eyes and a big, lacking-grace grin while you
ironed laundry on those bed sheets you picked up
at a yard sale down the bend.
the butterflies began to fly
frantically in elliptical orbits and i
couldn’t keep up as they spun
around my head with big, lacking-grace wings and
i called for you and the steam from the iron was
terrifying and the butterflies soared into it with big, lacking-grace confidence and i dove
for the butterflies, i dove for the butterflies,
i dove unto
the clothes iron.
not enough seconds and not enough words and not enough lungs
collapsing beneath my ribs
to express to you the heat i’ve been feeling.
the searing breath of pessimism against my neck is
words swim in my hands and i want to yell, i want to yell, i want to
drown them in
god knows that,
if there’s one thing i’m good at,
it’s holding back the seething words
you know i’ll never breathe.