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Intersystem Crossings

eleven meant more at your thirty-one,
but i thought we could be anyhow.
Starbucks coffee and the forty-ninth state
were less trivial somehow;
art projects and differentiation
had new meaning somehow.
your baseball caps and weird banana hate
were endearing somehow.
and yes, my big, giant crush was stupid;
you asked, “Why?” anyhow.

and then we had to go:
split this singlet to a triplet.
couldn’t cross your mind and change it.
was an intersystem crossing
when my psyche was impaired—
was an intersystem crossing
‘cause we had to be unpaired.

eleven means less when i’m thirty-one,
or it should matter little by now.
i know a quaint cafe in Washington state
where i would take you now.
tattoos and cats and medication
give life meaning now.
you’re in a nearby vibrational state— 
just close enough to overlap now.
and if we can couple our spin-orbit,
the transition’s not forbidden now.

and now i wanna know:
can this triplet be a singlet?
can i cross your mind and change it?
it’s an intersystem crossing
when my mind has been repaired—
it’s an intersystem crossing
‘cause we might make a good pair.

if you’re still alone in your orbital
now that we’re both professionals…

then can you let me know:
could this triplet be a singlet
if i’ve crossed your mind and changed it?
it’s an intersystem crossing
with our minds and hearts prepared—
it’s an intersystem crossing
spin flip, relax, and be paired.

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One More Conversation

had i never told you
	e x p l i c i t l y
that i wanted to be dead
	c o n t i n u o u s l y
throughout that year?

does my gratitude seem
	s u p e r f l u o u s
if my disorder was never
	too  d a n g e r o u s
despite my self-starvation?

it was not otherwise specified,
according to doctors certified,
but hey, they say i could’ve died.
and on that afternoon, i lied
when i said i didn’t know why,
why i was so fucking terrified— 

it was a vice to cope with
	my  e x i s t e n c e,
exactly like my excessive
	p e r s i s t e n c e
to find and bend your ear.

throughout that year i traded
	d e p e n d e n c i e s
to delay or distract me from
	my  t e n d e n c i e s
toward forbidden ideations.

at first i took great pains to hide
my punishment for rules defied:
superficial slashes sleeves belied.
but once i was dead enough inside
i cared not about any eyes outside:
was blood not better than suicide?

you once asked if you needed to have
	me   c o m m i t t e d,
and then one day i told you someone
	already  d i d  i t.
i think that’s when you disappeared.

i get it if your absence was self-
	p r e s e r v a t i o n,
and despite a decade you still
	have  h e s i t a t i o n 
to hold just one more 
	c o n v e r s a t i on
			with me.

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Big and Giant

big and giant probably aren’t the right words anymore,
but perhaps unexpected still is.

there were others before you and not really after,
not for a total lack of trying—
although they shared your name despite one.

i suppose that’s how things were around 1980.

one was a total and fleeting fantasy,
just you in a body i’d never reach,
and the other was an even taller cup of coffee
who made me realize that i was still

damaged.

you already know i am, in other ways,
and maybe that’s why i can still imagine
that i’d say yes to anything with you,
casual or not.

perhaps unexpected is still the word because
i don’t know why i imagine in the first place.

then,
the unexpected was a dream
that i wholeheartedly accepted.
and now,
the unexpected is a memory
that i foolhardily revisited.

i suppose hope is not foolhardy,
except this old one is,
because i shouldn’t have had it at 21,
when i saw you every day—
let alone at thirty-one,
when you haven’t seen me since.

i think you’d like me better now,
even if not as i do,
enough to know me over a beer or two
and to let me know you once again—

enough to let me know you one last time,
and for you to know who i’ve become,
that i even became at all.