An Earthling Question

very close, very fast:
the feeling frightened me
before you even flew here.
though not foreign,
i hadn’t felt it for years—

like and unlike
the alaskan wilderness man,
but more like my inexplicable urge,
at eleven years old, to know a woman
who would never be my sister.

my imagination idolized
and demonized her
so doggedly i didn’t know
if i was a lesbian,
a lunatic,
or just
a loser.

while i’ve since learned
i’m largely heterosexual and
that wasn’t and this isn’t sexual,
it’s shameful nonetheless.

my depression demands i desire
a love i don’t deserve.

the emptiness and emotions inspire
an intense insecurity that comes
to a head right before i shed—

why am i writing you right now
when i know this is temporary?
the tension will relax and
the tears will relent
if i just wait.

but somehow now is forever,
and i’m convinced i’ll die alone.
i need a release—

i need you i need you to hear me.
i’m convinced my chest cavity is caving in
and you are the only hand to reach me
through the rubble.

and you indulge me:
my impulses and instincts
and irresponsibility,
despite my irrational insistence
that you ignore my existence.

i don’t know why.

and i don’t know why you,
but you’re not the first
and you won’t be the last.
every time is a warning sign:
a fine line between
control and collapse.



Just in Case

just in case,

there’s a temporary tattoo on my phone,
that you told me to put on my hand,
that you would have put in an email,
had you known where to find me.

ring the Wisconsinites,
before I walk into the night.
(maybe hang by holiday the lights.)
ring ’em before I need ’em.
(intertwined lines aren’t for my neck.)

and your only hand isn’t for mine,
as I cry while Christmas closes.
i slur a denial that i’ll do anything,
but you reach out to me anyway:

just in case.




i think i needed to hear
that you’re human.
that you feel.

i’m spilling my guts here
and finally i feel like
you’re not being
fucking fake
for my sake.

or maybe for yours,
because i walk a line
with my heart in hand,
ready to hand it to you,
far too easily.

i’ve not mistaken you
for someone you’re not;
i’ve just mistaken you
for someone you’re not
to me.

at least,
i want you to be,
even though i know
you can’t.

you can say,
it’s all good,
but it’s not.

my heart’s an orphan,
and i’m too old
to adopt.