Be My Date
I want to smell the sound of you eating
my thighs, spread
like warm apple butter,
You are the first person I think of when I think
of waking up.
I call room service,
but I’m not in a hotel. I call information. I say:
The Ohio River is in Kentucky,
have you been there?
The operator connects me to the mouth of the Ohio
River. I tell the Ohio River: You are an awkward name.
I say: I’ve felt land undress
itself like a drunk prom queen. I’ve felt this pebble
in my shoe for days.
When I’m feeling alone
I sit in my bathtub, count the minutes till I prune.
That was the second time I referenced
water here. The third:
my breath saturated between your thighs. Low hum.
I look both ways before getting into bed.
I dream a yeti romances you. In the shower
you untwist his matted hair while he chews
your neck, and–OH!–how blood
runs quietly. In the morning the rain pings
against the window shutters like quarters
being dropped from the Empire State Building.
You say Still we can love each other
through this. I nod into my oatmeal that
tastes like a cinnamon roll. I am artificial
even in the way I dress. That towel is a bad
blanket you say and my oatmeal is gone,
so I nod into my chest. Where did I go?
So many people are married at my age,
and the last time I burned my tongue on
a thigh I was young enough to let it heal.
You promise the yeti didn’t mean anything.
He was blurry even in daylight, always tucking
his feelings under his own myth. A wall
clock tells us tomorrow will sound the same.
A song goes But this day by the lake went
too fast, and now the raindrops are the size
of golf balls. When the power goes out, we
hide in the bathtub. I tell you I have never
drowned and lived. The wind is the sound
of the ocean meeting itself. We huddle under
a doorway. I grip your rainy nose. Tomorrow
I will wade into the nearest river, ask it when
it might like to leave
I want to star in a movie about a boy
so tired of sex he sits in a coffee shop
all day biting his nails.
Let me be alone but not the boy says.
Let me drink the melting snow
from the gutters of the house
of the last girl who let me bite her pillow.
The boy’s nails are broken waves.
The cuticles, silver confetti.
If it were opposite day I would touch
my breasts every month checking for lumps.
This is what I mean: the boy’s nails
have quit growing.
Today I write in my diary I have no
desire to memorize poetry.
The boy tells his fingernails You smile
the perfect amount.