Photo by Alexander Wendt on


Broken vows bleeding through dirt cracked lips.
I look for a need I once bled for in each syllable you speak
Like it’s going to turn up one day like a pair of missing house keys.
I listen for it, in music, in melodies, in mouths
That dare to dream in fiction, the poetry our passion and pain
Created. There was a time when I would have chose
The virgin choreographer’s passionate dance across a colorless face.
But age opts for the steady hands of skilled partner.
In a slightly buzzed breath, sipping pain between licking salt from my hand
And shots of Tequila and Marlboros, the sight of you is muddled innuendo.
You mix well with shots done in the name of youthful admiration
And gave me the worst hangover love has ever seen.
The arch of lonely dawn, your eyes for a moment,
The scene before the commercial break where all is revealed.
I envy everything with wings, that can fly away from your matchbook gaze.
I flash my California smile as you flash me those road trip glances,
That I still see in the rear view mirror when I need to miss my past.
Vegas buzzed, Joshua Tree shot stars into our sky, the way we swayed
In what now feels like our summer life. I take a deep breath,
Try to feel invincible like the me I was before I knew your ghost.
It’s hard to ghost the sweet promise of living in the beautiful lips of your wind.
It’s hard not to feel you in the cracks of these chapped lips,
Our youth, our vows, thrown like salt into the cracks
Of lips that shot our bulletproof laughs into the fearless, wild night.
Every time I stand still long enough to catch a glimpse of hope,
There you are across the room, asking “one more for the road,”
And I must ignore you knowing I am one of those
Who is too parched to sip to survive.

Photo by Flora Westbrook on

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