i. here we are again, darling;
stuttering neon signs,
a dark hallway in
the middle of the night
a key that doesn’t
quite fit the lock.
the answer to everything, you tell me, is a bit of force.
i see that in scarred knuckles,
in the way your eyes
in the curve of your upper lip as
you pull it back over
those are your hands,
and this is my throat.
that is a wall with chipped paint,
and this is my body,
this is your kiss,
and these are
my bloody lips.
it shouldn’t taste so sweet.
ii. here we are again, breathing hallelujahs into a dirty mattress
being watched by the ghosts in the walls
telling them hello,
sorry, this isn’t about you,
you asked me to tear you apart and bit me when i kissed you instead.
the cats fighting in
the streetlamp flickering
like our love,
the distant promise of
but i’ve always been an addict,
and when you dig your nails into my back,
then later, when your tongue
follows the bloody grooves—
iii. here we are again, at the crossroads.
left— is a bottle of whiskey and
the penance of shattered glass.
right— is the love of
the idea of a love you’ve never had.
let’s split it down the middle, like we always do.
there will be whiskey that
burns my lips
and glass that slices up
there will be the love
of the idea of love—
of the idea of slow, tender, there, please, oh—
of the idea of kissing instead
there will be the idea of you, there, in my arms, eyes closed—
a dormant volcano.
there will, of course, be the reality of blood
on the sheets and fire,
fire in your fingertips,
fire in my belly where the dark things lie.
we’re burning ourselves alive, darling.
iv. here we are again,
surrounded by walls and flames
and walls of flame
and all the dark things the light
could never reach.
i always knew you would bring me here, and you always knew i wouldn’t fight.
it’s the breathless destruction of
a still morning,
the splintering of a sunrise
through dingy curtains.
before the pain.
we’ve destroyed our world,
set fire to our insides,
and the ghosts are laughing now.
two lovers, two flames, two bodies
diffused into dust and ash.
did you love it as much as i did?
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