don’t

(happy valentine’s day! i’m actually not cynical about love [anymore] but i genuinely like this poem. i’d love to hear your thoughts on it! )

men

wearing innuendo

blunt as old blades

suggest

as a way of flirting

that i should write poems

for them:

smiles wide as memory,

voices winking seduction.

they do not know

how their blood will taste

flooding underside of tongue.

they do not know

my poems are my weeping

my ancestors

my vulgar spilling menses

my alchemic reckoning.

they have never smelled

their flesh

curling under flames

like a heavy lover,

the sweetness

of their bones smoking to soot,

and i do not tell them

either.

i say, ‘i will show you

the man for whom

i wrote many poems.

ask him when you meet him.’

i say, ‘ask him what

he lost in the fire.

ask him the fire’s name.’

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