i had a panic attack on blue twilight,
fifteen days ago, when the eleventh month began to die.
i buried her in my backyard and wrote an epitaph:
twenty fourteen syllables on a calendar.
the photographs November gave me, i tore
to make a collage; you saw it nailed to my front door.
and you knocked against the soggy, German-glued masterpiece
to see if i was okay.
[ i opened the door, but that was only because
i would open any door in the world for you.
and you came inside like a shadow.
the truth is
that you were the centre of gravity
in my house made of cards.]
twenty fourteen syllables i showed you,
over cups of hastily-brewed tears
and cling-wrapped consolations. and i told you
of my faults and my unrealistic ambitions
now that November was dead.
you didn't say a word when my trains crossed the summit, but i saw
dunes shifting in your smile, your eyes uncertain.
you held me close when my words derailed and lied through your teeth,
'it's going to be okay.'
our tomorrows saw us building streetlights
to light up our alleyways;
but the walls were still dark and grimy from where
too many sooty dreams had gathered over the bricks.
so we covered them with graffiti
(to hide their pain).
and i hid electrons in my pockets; there were
protons in yours.
[you were always conventional.]
i turned my streetlights on, so i could see your face.
when the world was spinning
the right way around, and when i had begun
to smile, you leaned down and whispered in my ear.
your voice was like gargoyles, if they learnt to speak,
and though it was warm, it chilled every neuron
that i possessed.
you reminded me
your hand was gentle on my shoulder,
but i couldn't hear you anymore.
the electrons fell from my pockets. i turned the lights off,
but the darkness's umbrella only gave
you confidence. and you said that
that afternoon had been an ~ existential crisis;
i taped my ears shut and scribbled
'memory' over my eyelids with a permanent marker. and even when
you dabbed at my eyes with spirit swabs, it didn't erase the ink.
i was FOP positive, you said;
('forget all problems,' i said.)
i sang to the sound of the static in the car
the entire drive home, pretending
i couldn't hear you
and belted out the wrong lyrics to 'Tomorrow never knows.'
[you sang twenty fourteen syllables under your breath.
twenty fourteen. twenty fourteen.
an epitaph written in blood-red ink,
crusted over with grime and sweat.
twenty fourteen. twenty fourteen.]
i stared out the window; the sky looked like
it had been given a blood transfusion.
[twenty fourteen syllables lining the sky.]
i told you, long ago, that i had always been afraid
of wearing my heart on my sleeve, not because
i thought it ugly but because i didn't want
my aorta to catch in the sink when I did the dishes at night.
you asked me where i kept it; i never kept secrets from you, back then.
so i told you it was in my attic, in a coffin that was
you said you wouldn't tell a soul.
but i did.
you stole it when i wasn't looking.
you slid my heart out of its casket and you
turned on all the lights.
and you gathered all my electrons
and strung them up in my backyard.
i woke up to sparks in my empty ribcage; i woke up
to a sand dune smile, but the winds in your eyes
you swung open my rib cage, added a last syllable and pressed
my heart into the moth-eaten membrane, twining it firmly inside me
like a cloud.
'twenty fifteen syllables,' you whispered.
that night, i read an epitaph to December
by the light of the blue moon.