It hits me
as I pin the appointment card
for his bloodwork to the fridge:
this is what we waited for.

This is where our adolescent architecture drew us;
where our practiced bedroom eyes germinated
and gossiped “when I grow up” culminated:

in drinking and laughing
at old movies and good jokes;
in peaceful bubble baths
before bed, book in hand–
almost boring–
much as we foretold.

also here: in that card pinned to the fridge
stark like an execution date.
in fear that grips our plans
by the shoulders and mutters madly:
time– there is never enough–
in limps and bruises
and uneasy complaints
(we never knew
that growing old
started when we were young).

What we saw as the future
we see now as our then-dreaming selves:
kinetic, hopeful,


I Steal My Lover’s Words

When we are alone
I steal my lover’s words.

In his silence,
I pick out syllables,
the delicate pauses
lending weight to each thought – –

I am sneaking pieces of him home
in my pockets,
carefully collecting those fragile consonants,
wrapped in napkins and tucked in my wallet,
filed delicately under my pillow
when I lay down to sleep.

At night,
when the fear creeps in
and my hands wring themselves
and my own tongue curls
into venom and sting

I pull them out,
a faint echo
saying only,
“You are brilliant,
you are beautiful,
you are enough.”