Our rapid, labored migrations from couch to bed. I say, “my god, the time,” you say, “my god, you are so small, I had forgotten” I say how could I have cut a limb off of my life but still be walking? I am some drunkard citizen of an unknown star. 

I stand in a suburban bathroom with a shard of metal. A small girl vomits in a stall. I think– how did it come to this? To karaoke, to missed appointments, to small-town fears. I don’t—

There are men who are kind, I assure myself. I am a broken music box. I am a miscast fool. I am a wasted block of time. I am the fear of a wasted block of time. 

Entire past nights of my life curl in on themselves, poisonous, birdlike, scratching at my shoulders I would like this screeching to be over. Each word in either direction seems to turn daggerous after mere moments. Arthur, realizing his has been deceived, that these words came not from his queen’s mouth, despite the resemblance. 

I see three bridges before me. I would like to burn only one, but do not know how to control the fire. Seal your lips for ninety days, then open your mouth as a friend’s, not a lover’s. I can only have you as a brother when I have had the time to kill the ghost of you in my bed. The sequence of numbers that means the sound of your voice calls it back again to haunt me every night. Let this exorcism continue, so I may one day stand beside you, secular and strong and self-contained.