once in a love note

you said you wanted to eviscerate and trace the minutiae of our love with a knife, carve and dissect it into juicy pieces for us to eat, for us to reveal to our friends and family,

that was what hurt the most, finding that carcass;
It would go like this, I would ask you
Later we would realize it would take two years) do you remember
When Mimi got sick.

Yes, you would say,
She was very, very sick,
And she couldn’t get better. And we had to help her, and we helped her, and it helped me, because the refrain of that conversation hurdled me through the pain of that winter the cruelty of that fall the long and enduring anxiety of that spring and

all the love in the world
Still couldn’t save any of us.

I am now the only one of us who was in that room, I realize, because although you were there now you will

Not be there, now you will be
Elsewhere when I am putting down our pets,

And if I can’t cry in a locked building all by myself, is it ever safe to cry at all?

Same train, different stops,
I keep saying to myself, because that’s how it would have been if you’d died, but the thing about those stops is that you think just because you’re cognizant to the fact you’re on a train, it won’t hurt, just because you know eventually you yourself have a stop doesn’t mean

you won’t feel it kick you suddenly in the chest like a horse
like a harness
like a parachute deploying, like a heart attack in a grocery store you are cursed with the knowledge that the only ones who will watch you die may be strangers,
Because they’re all strangers and kids from other high schools,
They’re all grappling with nine and ten-year commitments to things

Things that also don’t exist
Maybe two trains, two different stops
As you brush by someone in the grocery store.


30: the origin of dogs

30: The origin of dogs

Secretly I know you’re still angry but I would be your coyote any time in the desert still
even when you hated me you called me
A yuppy puppy poodle noodle
And you said my chapter in your book would be
The wolf who cried dog and you know me as a void golden retriever boy with a heart of steel; and you were the first to say yes to the puppy,
And you,
It was with you I remember that moment in the first place
A bar called the bad dog
The origins and evolution of the canine,
as it were,
dog dreams stir.

29: dear kathryn (january)

29: dear kathryn (janvier)
the worst part about you, kathryn,
is that i wanted to like you; because i can see the good and beautiful things that they love about you,
i can see the kindness in your eyes and the gentleness, i can see what it must be like when you
wake up in the morning next to her and you are a plush and soft place to land when the world’s sharp edges encroach,
but kathryn,
dear, horrific kathryn,
you are as hateful as the swarm of japanese murder wasps invading the pacific northwest; you are an invasive species that has decimated and laid eggs in a beautiful foundation to crumble into its own wreckage beauty and ceramic dishes smashed in equal measure the measure of a life that has been just
destroyed in part by them, of course, they are autonomous, but kathryn,
they are fragile
they are suffering and you capitalized on that pathetic need for a mother, you
took advantage subtly, you were never direct, you never reached out and said–
“hey, isn’t it weird that i’m in love with your partner? do you think we could
talk about this or maybe get to know each other with this intrinsic love we both share, do you think
things could get stronger,”
you did spells and sent roses and wrote references to thaaaat niiiiiight spidery stupid little ballpoint handwriting on notecards
juvenile; so i don’t expect someone stuck in the perennial age of 14, rebellious and full of secrets and somehow still unable to lose that pesky 100lbs,
i don’t expect shit from you.
the worst part about you, kathryn,
is that i trusted you–the person, the person i have never met or whose stringy hair i have never seen beyond the cryptic light of a really dumb instagram post, i trusted you to have something that i considered partly mine
and not break me in the process,
i will never know the nuances of your signal messages your incantations
whatever the fuck your runes told you about pan,
but your mediocrity, your dead fish, limp-wristed, poor upper body strength of a psychological composition, that remains, kathryn, because it is the only impression i will ever have of you
until you ever prove me otherwise
you, who retains the house the husband the cats the job monogamy, my partner, my partner,
you who took,
will it ever, anything be taken back from you?
the most damning thing about you, kathryn,
is that briefly, i felt that sense of spark, and that sense of love
it was the opposite of two trains diverging from the same path; i felt what you felt,
and you exist in pauses and spaces in my conversations, you are the catch in my breath when people ask
how’s your engagement, cam,
you are the moments of private consultation
when my messages go unresponded to, you are silent, but deadly,
human flatulence,
you malodorous, useless creature.
the most damning intersection is the one where we could have all chosen love,
and you chose yourself.

28/3: the day I proposed to you.

28, or 3: the day I proposed to you

I wish I had my travel journal
But it’s in my black backpack currently sitting underneath a desk at work
I thought I’d come back to,
This is what I remember, we ate at a sweet cafe after our night in the I love Lucy room at the resort we had rolled into and explored all of torc New Mexico the town named after the game show grafitti and knitbombing and succulents growing in tangled fences men with cracked tile porches and natural hot
salt spring tubs
we bought bottled water at the CBD store and
A sculpture of a snarling demon face
I wrapped up and gave you to hold in your new space.
Opuntia were blooming
Spring in New Mexico.
We decided to
Drop acid and take a bath one of many and Christ I can still feel my body there present in that cool desert air now dry hot heat wavering at the picnic table waiting purple tinted for you to
So we could go get piña loca
that we ate with tiny sporks taijin tickling our lips and the owner like many said are you from around here like we were home like New Mexico
A place we could be from or return to.
(The most bitter part of the fruit is this, that potential, that drawl of longing whining deep in the throat) and
we kissed with a pineapple between our faces.
I have the luxury of an afternoon so relaxing that I don’t even remember what we did in the late afternoon but I was seized
With the beauty of the perfect day and the easy confidence of a realization that I could make my own seminal event happen,
I am
The man who makes it happen,
I am the guy who speaks first.
And when it wore off and our stomachs screamed we wandered on tiptoes over to the brewery swarming with locals with a man in an eyepatch whose ex wife lived in Waltham with a kind queer bartender with generous pours with a Joni Mitchell cover guitarist and a good truck outside
I just knew.
But I was still afraid, and
(the words caught in my throat and I said something or other, it wasn’t the words at all but you knew and said——-)
“If you’re going to say it, say it for real,”
And I cleared my throat because a lump was forming (as it is now) and looked at this marvelous creature of time and space, some kid who went to a different high school and had different drama, some other human that I had found, who had found me, this human crying all alone with me in the world,
“Will you marry me?”
and I didn’t have the ring and we were both so nervous we couldn’t even eat and I wore orange sunglasses and a tank top and it wasn’t at all what I had ever imagined not even remotely but they played
the cure
a forest
and joni covers
And I knew I was the luckiest, the first lucky man.
Luck has nothing to do with it, this we know, but this boundless night was zooming off with potential I had never, ever
Ever considered.
The truth still holds.
We called our parents from a truck stop cafe, I wrote in my journal furiously words I know I remember writing but that I can’t quite touch yet and then at home the ring,
I guess it wasn’t what any of us expected
Truly, not at all.
But it was the truth,
And it was the consequences.

27: and then, it happened

27: and then, it happened

alert, alert, i am being feted with affection; i won’t give examples that’s crass but did i tell you how–
tears for fears was on
a bob dylan cover was on
we were listening to
i was fiddling with my headphones when
living room
cyberspace, or somewhere like it, or somewhere closer to it than we thought ever, ever thought because that’s how it all started, didn’t it?
the internet?
help me, help me, please, i’m being loved like crazy, help me help myself
my ears prick up at the source of playlists and just when, just when i thought that Some Songs
had to be left behind the world threw me an LP and said,
there’s always more,
there’s always more out there to listen to and glisten to in the dew of the evening spring night, it’s spring now just like you wanted and here’s
what’s on.

they say if you’re a wanted man, shout about it,
shout as loud as you can at three in the morning
from behind a leather glove
from the back of your lungs where your throat thrums
in whimpers in gazes in not shouting at all in just looking upon from
behind a mask
your eyes don’t lie.
mayday, mayday, i’m late on my poems, but i’m meeting my deadlines for meeting your people for meeting the mark
you’ll get your belle and sebastian and you might
get more than houseplants and consummate wit; and career advice
from a similarly ambitiously addled arrogant advocate, from me,
to you, with love–
yep, i’m scared shitless.
yep, i’m scared of you, in the aggregate, in the particular, in the specific, in the way you kiss the
back of my neck
upper cheekbones and say,
you’re wonderful.


26: notes in somatic experiencing when you listen to the playlist you intentionally made to make yourself cry, and what you experienced

26: notes in somatic experiencing when you listen to the playlist you intentionally made to make yourself cry, and what you experienced

Felice brothers make my chest tight, I imagined,
singing along with a few friends who knew the words in raucous dance with my
bride creature beside me holding me tight
Old Hound was always my own song but it makes me sad anyway
wanting to be
wanting to be– you know,
you know.

I wanted to dance to run with me at the wedding because we had recently been running together ha ha ha, but your breasts hurt and you felt bad and weird ahd it wasn’t fun for you so I ran the races. I got the stupid jacket prize in the end. Run with you. It would have really cemented that seventies glow.

Even Simjang is gone now, like we just killed all the restaurants we loved in our wake. A man among guys.

Paul McCartney feels like a warm, hot sick punch to the gut, literally like, I’ve been socked in the sternum by a burst of noxious air. I knew the exact chord change where I would kiss you in the middle of our afternoon, our life. Spring wedding at a house, summer wedding in the backyard, lodge, Vegas, desert I meant it when I said I could live a thousand different lives of love with you, beautiful fucker.

I guess we’re living. I guess this is a life of love, in one way or another.

I fall asleep to the mountain goats even though it catches in my throat because I feel warm and cozy like a cracked china sink in a bathroom with fairy lights like the way I did in your arms, chest rising and falling with the water in the clawfoot tub, for a while.


25: the day the bottom fell out, again

25: the day the bottom dropped out again

Nug costs three bucks a day unless I’m making edibles and I could probably get it cheaper but I can’t trust it and I can’t admit that I got furloughed
to my friends
I can’t say it
I just can’t.
Yeah but I did emboldened by Dave Matthews band and Klonopin and neon lights and I know of course the response would be loving and if course it will and has and continues to be from all fronts as if I have suffered
yet another
Very specific and lonely and unique little tragedy of nobody’s design but the world’s
oh well
Tant pis
you’re sending the ring back
And two years ago we got engaged in three days
Isn’t it funny how all of the anxieties that kept us dry mouthed in the morning and blinking back tears at night never
ever could have seen this coming?
Freight train, no lights, two down on the bridge?

24: people who feed me and what they fed me

24: people who feed me and what they fed me (a list)

People who feed me and what they fed me
A list
H cubed small potatoes into smaller cubes and served them with goat cheese, arugula, and porcini powder over a cold can of dry cider
E bought us cheese fries and cheeseburgers and we watched Glee
E paid the tab and sent me home with pizza that reminded me of New Haven.
E (many) bought me a roast beef sandwich and we made friendship bracelets over the coffee table to the quiet drone of
Lil Peep.
My mom and I got biscuits and gravy for brunch
Julia picked up the tab for our risotto, cookie ingredients, and morning scones.
Dad and I split a chocolate chip cookie and yes, he got crumbs on the couch,
but it was okay, you know?
The intimacy of carefully breaking a cookie in half.
The world has since included
nanaimo bars (I did not make these), chocolate babka, peanut butter fluff cookies, liege waffles with and without the accent, Cheetos-fried chicken,
My mother sent a box of chocolates for Easter.
Peanut brittle in the mail,
I have spent evenings whiling a pleasant March night away with
egg sandwiches, curried hummus,
Solitude paired with a beer and grilled chicken.
Is there anything?
Is there anything better?

23: a date in an alternate universe

23: a date in an alternate universe

In an alternate universe we still have dive bar
Kummerspeck worked it out and Matt and Rachel drink with us after their shifts and we drive up to our summer shack in Maine near the donut place
that one closed too
so did
the cookie store in montreal
the vietnamese joint we liked in austin
all of these places we went perhaps we left a wake of
and maybe we got married but maybe we stayed engaged
and maybe when we got married we published the announcement in the times
or not at all
and maybe the publication was a story or just a blurb to let the world know
or maybe we didn’t get married at all.
In this version that runs film reels through my head we live near Dai Due,
and they’re our friends and our go-to dinner place,
they didn’t eventually grow apart from us and they didn’t eventually stop responding
to the emails
where I told them I wanted to propose to you.
Momotaro jeans, top surgery; aren’t the goals we have sometimes
kind of funny?
I like dates like 10/10/20 and 4/3/21; but I’m
a little prosaic
In this world I passed the bar
(of course)
and you loved your body a little more than you do now,
and we have three cats.