drink her.

she was the third beer.

i. not the first one,

which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude;

ii. nor the second,

that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first.

iii. but the third,

the one you drink because it’s there,
because it can’t hurt,
and because
what difference does it make?

selective serotonin

inner beauty can fade, too

i picture you

i picture you leaving
your coat on the hood.
wallet and keys.
the crisp envelope. 

we all know what it’s like
to imagine the thing—
how glaring
and suddenly close 

the tools are
if you need them:
a stoplight, a prescription.
a few feet of rope.

or that joke of a pistol
you chose at the pawnshop
and loaded, and unloaded,
and cleaned, i picture you

not anyone who says

not anyone who says, “i’m going to be
careful and smart in matters of love,”
who says, “i’m going to choose slowly,
but only those lovers who didn’t choose
at all
but were, as it were, chosen
by something invisible not anyone who says

 

i wanted to skim over that night,
calcifying my shame into something blurry

and manageable,

like a rumor about a stranger.