red wrinkled roof of my mouth
, bubble-wrapped baby below my heart
cushioned head, pearly papoose
—slick with sweat—
wet-knuckled and wet-knobbed
– wet-knocked knees in hallowed halls
– trembling in our sweaty socks
– phantom shoelace loose against my leg
ringing glass and cruelly bright moments. Give me instead
like a stack of teacups on a tightrope.
We eat sawdust cereal
on the beach in the
afternoon. I drink
my milk from the bowl
and you drink yours
in quiet spoonfuls.
The sun is bright but not warm
and the wind is so strong
that the sand stings
our ankles. We only brought
one towel and you give it
to me. My feet fall asleep
beneath me and I stretch out
my legs to see the tiny marks
the sand has left behind.
whispering exhale brushing past my ribs
hanging from my heart head beneath its wing,
pink painted fingernails
soft dirt and viscous strands bruised leaf
plastic donut around my waist my ribs grow soft and wet
earthworm on the pavement
long and pale buzzing static sky (does it
look like rain?)
static limbs, aquamarine, floating halo of hair
The Grand Finale
You are always
giving each spare glance to me,
giving way to the casual tumble
of my voice.
I am always
tucking words inside your ears,
sound waves bouncing
against the ridges of my fingertips.
Together we are
fish on bicycles, joyously inelegant
two clowns inside of a giant cake.
In the circus, the crowd waits
for a beautiful girl to burst out, to dance for them
on the back of an elephant. They don’t know
they’ve only got us,
we’ve only got us.
I wait for the ringmaster’s signal—
inside of the cake, you take my hand.