highs and lows

He shrugs that the only difference is happiness.

Marked by a foam topping of calm

on the surface of everything he was already

He’s still there, he says.

With a smile from soul to sole and a verse he hums

absently, he says that the revisions please him.

And sure, his low is lower than before

but his high is higher too.

Isn’t that what love does?


I do not know how to tell him

he’s changing.

That he says the same words

does the same things

but he moves just a fraction differently.

Like he’s itching for a fix.

And nothing    and no one   else

can alleviate, gratify, or pacify

the thirst pulsing in his pores

And I don’t know how to scream

at his happiness

that the problem with new boys is

they can do no wrong in his eyes

to his body      to his heart

and so he doesn’t even know it’s happened

until they’re lost boys   gone boys    far boys

and he’s cleaning up scrapes

and washing off dirt

they didn’t just leave on his skin.


He thinks this feeling is happiness

but there’s a grimace  across gaunt cheeks

and he says he doesn’t feel quite well.


You are like a poem that looks absolutely atrocious on paper.

Only because it’s meant to be read out loud.

But you don’t want anyone to read you.

and you say, “he’s good for you”

on paper — I’ll agree

But, what does that sound like?


He warns me it might be a little cold, and presses the stethoscope to my chest.  I’d like to return the words of caution, but watch instead as he smiles while listening for irregularities and rhythm.  He pulls away with an air of validation, as though to say: “That’s funny.  It doesn’t sound broken.”

But, instead he just says something like, “well, it’s there,” and that’s all he’s asking for, right now.