there is a torch
right now
between us

and the only thing
which will prevent us 
from lighting it
is whether or not 
you can allow 
its ashes
in your otherwise 

it would be easier
to dismiss this view
as simply pretty 
and walk away
because it is getting cold
and we forgot to bring 
heavier jackets

to cut off this conversation
because its levity 
is speckled
with what-ifs 
and we-coulds

so why make me say it?      
when you can see it

in my eyes     and all these lashes!     spelling out:
yesiwantthis waitforme   
dontleavemehere  hurryback

something tells me 
to be careful here
and        oh        how i do hate being careful

i have not been delicate
but i have been precise:
gritty and colossal.
and you know what
that took courage

i see you've found those crevices
in my character
the curve of my spine
that arch, that apse
such a spectacle        so sure
i like to make my messes there

it's okay        
we are both learning
how worlds start 
to explode 
and then they don't       

there are birds with bad wings
there is winter honeysuckle 
growing wild everywhere
there are places we can go

all of this means       i...      

all of my thoughts
are going down 
a chimney somewhere
and burning      
but it's okay, 
we are learning

and i only regret          
that it is taking me
a lifetime
to learn      how to live       

if i could
i would do things 
differently, i would
i would
i would have 
kissed you 
in that dim parking lot      everything 
melting away
in the dark

we looked at each other 
so long it felt
like bursting into flames      

your eyes said want 
and they parted my chestplate like an arrow

i could eat salads 
for a month      i swear
i am cold                 
but i am learning
that before nourishment     
there must be docility
as in,   
you can live 
by the ocean 
and still die of thirst

hand over your kingdom.

it is still 
your choice
so do you 
want this?   torch

if only this metaphor 
were more complex
if only
i could allusion away 
my own existence     i swear
i have done it 
before,           have you?

for a lifetime
i have been defined 
by my distance
and my exclusions
by the love that i dismiss 
when i try to fly away

bird with bad wings

it's okay,
fly away if you need to 
but know
that i 
am waiting for you
i am lying
low in the grass
and staying perfectly still
i am burning up 
with patience

so i know 
all the math
in your head 
says you shouldn't

but my torch
is yours 
if you want it
and if you don't

i have nothing left 
to hold onto
and this sweet
compulsory fire 
is starting 
to burn 
right through me