A poem in (an attempt at) the style of Carrie Rudzinski.
We met closer and longer than we ever were later.
He doesn’t remember why we decided to try this.
With red yarn in our eyes until they were sewn stone-open,
I handed him the history of my fingers
as though lightbulbs were galaxies and yardsticks could change their lengths.
He doesn’t remember why we wanted this to work.
You backed away from a fight with your eyes closed.
I bend thunder
like your sugarcane eyelashes wouldn’t stick together in the ocean,
might’ve warned me years ago, but when he said, “Turn around,” I let something go
into the arched-bridge unknown and heard it reverberate like a signature.
I said, “Stop telling me I’m perfect.” I am bright lungs and firefly smile.
Crumbling quiet fistfight between arms
in the dark—
He says he wants to marry me on his death day
and doesn’t mention every time he called me lighthouse even though he could spell my whole name—
I don’t need you to piece me together. I’d just like to find the pieces.
He doesn’t say if her eyes are actually brown this time.
If her hair is cement smooth,
if her name doesn’t make his tongue chapped from collisions with his teeth
and I knew if I told you everything about me,
you’d turn oceantide bones and leave with the door locked,
keys down your throat like rulers would be longer
if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d cracked open my honesty—
I am here. Ice fishing in an avalanche with hooked eyes and a forked mouth;
I trusted away my fingernails and am left with snagged promises of hairlines and forevers.
I told you yes, I wanted it to last,
and you said you’d just dropped the hourglass out the window like a gauntlet.
That you were sorry.
I promise I was never friends with you,
so I wouldn’t know how to be.