The Promises
I wrote your name on beach rocks.
It took me all summer but I made sure to cover
a decent plot of the coastline
so you would find it attached to mine.
You could keep your name, we could both hyphenate.

I laughed.

I wrote your name in swirling fonts.
I added hearts.
I was sick.
I knew we were never meant to be.
But I practiced the dangerous devotion
of all early love in a man’s hands.

Just like when, at 12, I knew
Steven King was meant to adopt me.
He just had to meet me, hear my stories, and
I planned it all out. A T-bone over the high iron gates,
to distract his Rottweiler’s.

I buried a dream or too as well,
but they were mostly muffled screams
and kisses that got lost in the rain
on a night when a baby fox watched us
making love,
and it was too beautiful afterward
to ever think about more than once
every major life shift occurred.

I learned the calligraphy of tired and high
and over-excited bodies in beautiful folds
and creases, sleeping in what is impossible
yet never even for an instant awkward.

I rolled a joint from a Bible’s page once,
with honey and desire.

I swore it was the last time
I lent out my papers at life’s many parties.


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