The Last Time You Checked

I narrow into a ball

(she holds me close)

like you know it hurts.


For better answers,

I cleanse you from my mind

or something along those lines.


With alcohol, in kind,

in traced contours—

a face, in sand, in moments like this

we pretend it’s anything else

or I ball up

(she holds me close),

buried like a hook in the grain.


Guide me to a pocket

where I fall and never return, all

drenched—the horror.


My mouth,

the slack—

all those mugged-up beams

I’ve been giving you,

for four fucking years

(she holds me close).


Like you notice how much I say:

in a poem,

in a dream,

in a fucking waste-of-time

that I keep for you—on ice.


Toss it out a passing window,

across concrete, skinned and bleeding—

a promise left benign.


A glance of apologies,

balled up like a fist,

like you know it hurts,

curled against my chest.


Just where heartbreak is often buried and left—

just as we were—the last time you checked.



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