i am mining for desire under layers of guilt, conditioning, and weeds.


like the quartz my brother patiently dug for in our backyard

where we grew up wild,

we grew up behind fences

where i was taught the lord would give me the desires of my heart

what about that

if only I knew what I desired

if only i’d payed attention

the last

i’m not jealous of your body

but i am possessive of your mind

there’s a red button that i’m pressing so you’ll think of me again & again

it’s the reason i text, and

i don’t worry about who else you’ve had sex with

but who else have you told the story of you falling in the rain and breaking your glasses?


the stories unravel slow

the name of another ex drips from your mouth

and i add it to the list i recite in the shower

under my breath

with the reverence i once reserved for prayer


i am the last

i’m their descendant.

i saw a teenage boy crossing the street

i want to be a teenager again, but this time i want to be a teenage boy

i want to be indulgent and not know it

(pure dick swinging importance)

i want to believe in myself that much

and in the validity of my emotions, their permanence,

i want to walk around in my basketball shorts holding up my desire like a flag

to be young in the world without hate

to be in a body that i don’t hate

stomach ache

my stomach hurts when i’m not with you

the walls vibrate and growl

and my skin itches

desire keeps me up all night and i resent it

i used to be able to go anywhere and forget the people i loved

and through that forgetting, also forget myself

it’s what i thought of as freedom.


now,  you are spilling out past the bounds of your body and breaking the walls of my cells,

infusing my brain with chemicals,

and because of this everything in myself gains weight and mass,

grows loud,

refuses to be left,

cannot be kept quiet.

thin mints

my fears show up unexpectedly

a troop of girl scouts at my door

they have sharp teeth and fragile skin

the price is high,

i let them in

i pour them glasses of lemonade

and brush their hair

i’m tender

it’s all i have to give.

bc of u

all my beliefs are being thrown into question


when i come back home my clothes smell like

a combination of kitchen-smoke and pepper

your smell.

and i am giving myself over to this

i will do the laundry, and take a shower and go to work

and still, still

i cannot help it

i cannot help but be moved.

i reclaim the concept of desire

draw the blinds against my past

i rise!

i lapse.

anger and forgiveness are part of the same process

this is all part of the conversation

we are having with each other

quiet as the gentle opening of a hidden mouth

loud as the way i look at you when the lights are down.