Poems About Erik, 2013

I told you

I knew

you didn’t like me.

You said nothing.


You just laid

kisses on my lips

your body too mine

your head into the nape of my neck.


I needed the words, too.


I am not a poet,

my mother scolds me.


But she’s never read about

the light blue of your iris,

the creamy haze the sleep spreads over them,

your soft malleable skin

and the marks my eager fingers leave on it,

your shiny white teeth

and the marks they leave on my neck.


I am not in love,

my mother warns me.


But she’s never felt

the soft steady gaze of your eyes

always willing to meet mine,

the eagerness of your lips

as they force themselves against my skin,

the vibrations of your throat

as you moan into my open mouth.


A priest tole me,

when asked,

“What does it mean

that you’re a Christian?”

to answer,

“I have seen


and infinite



He was thinking of Jesus,

lost in his own faith.


I was thinking of

the taste of sugar on my tongue,

the sway and sweat of sweet music,

and the indelible image

of your eyes,

searching for me across the room.


Do you think

the stars look down on us,

and marvel?


At our cells’ distinct purposes and rhythmic function?

At the lights string from our hearts?

At the explosions when our lips touch?


Do you think

we make them

feel small?


A neutron star

is 1.4 masses of the sun.


We are, combined,

7.6 x 10-29 masses of the sun

and more than neutrons —

we are electrons, protons, too.


But, together,

circling around each other,

we are more like

10 to 25 solar masses:

a black hole,

a gravitational collapse.


I want to kiss you,

until your lips


and bleed

and pour out secrets.


I want to tear at you

until your skin


and scars

and bleeds out those poison words.


“I love you.”

“I love you.”

“I do.”


Your nails

draw ridges on my skin,

like glaciers

carve valleys from mountains.


Either kiss me

or stop looking at me like you’re about to.


a poem about your unmade bed,

a poem about your childish grin,

a verse about the way your hair combs forward,

a scheme about the laundry on your floor,

paragraphs about your messy stack of textbooks,

an essay about your victory dance,

a novel about your unbridled love of the universe,

epics about the smell of cigarettes and cologne on your sweatshirt

and i still haven’t scratched the surface of you


In the (short, sad) story of you and me,

I made twenty-one mistakes.

The first: I was drunk, and you were not

when I told you (I like you).

The second: You brought me candy

and I didn’t know what to do

(It was the sweetest thing)

so I played it cool, even though

I wanted to kiss you a dozen thank-yous.

Third through tenth: I liked you.

I liked, I liked you, I liked you,

I didn’t, I did, I didn’t, I did

(but I also liked someone else).

The eleventh: I got comfortable

looking at you on your balcony

every time I walked home.

Twelfth, I never told you,

but it was a big deal every time we kissed.

(It still is.)

Thirteenth, I never told you.

Fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen: I never told you

how crazy I am

(about you)

(about the way your eyes catch mine)

(about the way you kiss my neck)

(and, in general).

Eighteenth: I let myself dream about you all summer,

and Nineteen: I thought you might be thinking of me, too.

The twentieth: When you didn’t like me anymore,

it made me want you more.

The last: I never told you.

(I loved you and I never told you.)


I am

trillions of electrons,

billions of atoms,

millions of cells,

thousands of acids,

dozens of organs,

one body.

I am everything.

I am made of stars and history.

I am hundreds of years of strength.

I am tornadoes and hurricanes and fire,

and all I think of is you.

(It doesn’t matter how my poems start,

In the end, they are all about you.)


I am

a liar

a cheater

a thief

and you are the realest thing I’ve touched in years.


How could

someone so true

love a thing

so broken?


You are the last thing

I thought I’d want

and the first thing I ache for in the morning.


I didn’t realize how much I’d loved you

until six months after I had last touched you.


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