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After Love

*sorry it's been awhile but I watched Geography Club and was inspired :)

Your cheek pressed against my arm,
making it go numb.
I watched as your
eyelashes tattooed
eagle feathers onto your flesh and
counted the freckles
along the bridge of your nose as
you fell asleep next to me on
an unmade bed in a room
that was once a basement.

I think I'm too far gone in this stupor,
in this trance I'm in whenever
you come over and we play
stupid video games like
that's all we ever think about,
like that's natural;
an everyday thing.
But boy, we both know
I'm not your friend

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sunspots and dying orchids

* inspired by the character, Thomas, in Downton Abbey.

There are no ghosts in
your winter-clothed heart
but real monsters claw at
the fleshy, pink walls,
screaming insults that
reach your ears
all the way from inside.
Thomas, maybe
your mind is a damaged
window because
ten years ago,
some mean private schoolboys
threw a stone
through the rainbow-lace glass.

And maybe your lips are bruised
by ex-lovers
who never bothered staying
past nine,
leaving you alone to burn
your fingers against
a vanilla candle flame.
Thomas, your green
eyes were blinded

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voodoo angels

*inspired by this quote: "Love exists in powder. Love exists in pills. We are all addicts."- Pete Wentz, Gray

I used to fall asleep to the crunching
sound of riots in the alleys
outside my window
when I was a child.
But boy, you never had that luxury.
While I was always
searching for secret passageways
and trap doors under floorboards
and between sweaty cobblestones,
you never even tried to touch
the delicate shadows up in
the attic back home.

But there's something about
your perfectly tailored self
that still gets under my skin,
making me want to find all

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shamrock eyes

Dublin stars play tag between
Rowan leaves as the plastic
party lights in my room
match their sad glow.
And my dreams are
made of notebook paper,
Adam, cigarette burns
and broken frames of
your stained-berry smile,
glistening with last summer's dewdrops.

I have your favorite pocketknife
stashed away in my closet
under a pile of old wool sweaters
and yearbook photos that
our folks never saw.
Remember, friend,
the carved symbols we left
on that park bench
and the crayon marks, also?
I suppose they're still there,
though I haven't gone to check

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confession highways

It's too late to call you, now, friend,
and you're probably just pulling off
the road and checking into
some motel with a vintage
sign glowing neon in east Texas.
The truth is, boy, that I wouldn't
know what to say if I could get
a hold of you on the phone
in my current state because
the last time I saw you,
it was raining in bucketfuls
of liquid pearls and your
mother was waving
goodbye on the porch,
as though you were
going off to war and
it'd be the last time
she would see your
hazelnut eyes shining
and that dopey grin.

Boy, I needed to say a lot of things;

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Boys don't cry

Trucks speed through my turquoise dreams,
taking fathers away from
their disappointed sons.
And I'm stuck in a dizzy spell,
always searching for mine,
even when he's sleeping
only a few doors down
the hall of our North Sea Texas house.

Friend, you showed up one summer day
at the public pool when
I was learning to swim
and grabbed my arm as
I thrashed in the deep end,
my heart panicking as
it thumped chlorine and fear.
But you kept me from drowning,
boy, like an angel of
the kill me-kiss me sort.

You weren't afraid to show me
the Aztec flowers tattooed across

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Iron Butterflies

*inspired by Richard Siken's poetry

Daybreak was smeared across
the upstairs window like
frosting on a week old cake.
I woke up with the feel of
your august fingers on my temples,
rubbing circles the way
you used to do when I was nervous.
It was comforting then
but now it haunts me.
Jamie, I'm mad at myself
for dreaming of ghosts
and maroon sweaters.

It only means that I'm dwelling on this,
on the shadow that you left behind,
living inside its cold attic chest,
breathing out stale carnations
through silvery lungs.

I miss you, Jamie.
I miss the iron butterflies

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your seraphim veins

*inspired by this quote: "Love is not moral or immoral. It just is," from City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.*

Firewood crackles in your eyes,
glowing like a pretty little swearword.
And I ask where you came from, lover;
from the aging spring moon or
the shipyards outside of town
where we found each other
that first night when your
hands were cold around my waist and
my breaths were coming out
in impatient gasps of poetic escapism
as you kissed me under
the street lamp pretense
of wanting to head on home?

Are we just a little too far gone,
lost in a swirl of colorful smoke

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not your ghost anymore

*wrote this with my best friend.

Underground railroad tracks run
through this cowboy town and
your vulnerable heart,
splitting in half,
makes you groan whenever
I bury my face in your neck
and unbutton your shirt,
tracing circles around
your trans-Atlantic hipbones.

Caleb, you are splayed;
sometimes here with me,
other times, nowhere in
the foreseeable future of
our baseball swimming hole days,
and loving you isn't easy
or sweet like condensed milk
and holiday music playing
in a fireplace-lit room.

Like a ghost with vindictive fingers,

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Birthday Stars

There's a monster growling under my bed
but I lost interest in him ages ago
and now you're the only thought
occupying my mind in
the vanilla wallpaper darkness.
Late November clings
to your lashes and birthday stars
collide into the lark pond,
their orange flames
resemble romantic
suicide attempts glowing
near our neighborhood.

Violin strings mark your palms
and I stare as our hands brush
and snow appears in puffs on
the rooftops of old colonial homes.
5th Avenue was built for all
the drunken socialites but
you and I wander here because
we have nothing to lose,

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sand-filled hearts in El Paso

- inspired by Brokeback Mountain.

We hoard these letters because nothing
can come out of the complicated magic
we shared and you were things
that I didn't want to think about;
pictures I couldn't see with
eyes that were used to a traditional
dinner scene with lace settings and
a girl in the kitchen,
humming pretty tune that didn't fit.
But you were completely different
and that was spectacular
like a rundown sunset,
a dragonfly lost in the cherry darkness.

Boy, come on, come here..
It's all I've ever wanted to say,
but the excuses got lodged in

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Sea-glass and Valium

Icy raindrops slid down the collar of Darren’s shirt as he opened the door to his apartment complex and hurried inside, drying his feet on the welcome mat before sprinting up the staircase. The lobby was dimly lit as usual but he didn’t miss a step as he raced to number 203.

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firefly crimes

There was too much power
in the air when we met.
It tasted like salt and
stuff little boys are made of;
plastic yellow and blue cars,
candy wrappers and lined paper.
You wrapped a hand around
the back of my neck,
made me feel the warmth
of sex and freedom;
hard kisses under a streetlamp,
in front of a church
just for the sake of showing
how bad-ass we were.

Oh boy, what did I get myself into?
Another evening of misdemeanors with you,
burning scrapes on my spine,
pink t-shirts and car doors slamming as we
ran into the birthday glitter

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angelfire

I think I swallowed your name that night in the bar.
I think you infected my veins while the music was
raging some 90s rock song and nobody was
paying attention to us as we ran to the back
room of this exile for tar-winged children.

And boy, now you're starving for some
sort of distraction in button-down lust;
a porn star type in DKNY jeans.
But I'm not one of those underground souls,
looking to lose consciousness
in pretty lashes and money-grabbing directors.
Honey, you can take a cab home because
I'm only here for the bottled-up affection
you said would never be mine

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Matthew in the Sky

*I've been reading Judy Shepard's book "The Meaning of Matthew" about her son who was murdered in 1998. I wanted to write a poem about who Matthew was as a person, not just the headline story. The title was taken from Lady Gaga's cover of "Imagine" by John Lennon.*

The state melted into a pool
of cerulean in your eyes,
Wyoming tinted your hair
a cowboy prairie blond and
stained your boyish lips
with a wanderlust grin.
Matthew, you've grown
older by now but some
things never change like how
the Curious Unknown
still sparkles in your dreams,
the sticker lights of Laramie.

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