I Wonder If You Wonder

i wonder if you wonder
if she chose to live
up to your legacy,
or to her desires.

we emphasize our insecurities:

“all on her own”—
no pressure from you, but
you throw up your hand
in defense.

influence can be accidental.
and i wonder if you wonder
if your mere existence loomed
over her decisions.

i wonder if you wonder:

would she tell you if she wanted
something else?
would she tell you if your name
felt suffocating?

i wonder if you wonder.



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.