We thought everything would be forgotten, but I still remember yourclaws running down my back.I wonder if you still think about us,the way I do.How our legs would crash into each other in the middle of the night, and how we endedup creating the moon in the confines of our beds.
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We thought everything would be forgotten, but I still remember yourclaws running down my back.I wonder if you still think about us,the way I do.How our legs would crash into each other in the middle of the night, and how we endedup creating the moon in the confines of our beds.

-Zaeema J.

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Reminiscing in the drizzle of Portland, I notice the ring that’s landed on your finger, a massiveinsect of glitter, a chandelier shining at the endof a long tunnel. Thirteen years ago, you hid the hurtin your voice under a blanket and said there’s two kindsof women—those you write poems aboutand those you don’t. It’s true. I never brought youa bouquet of sonnets, or served you haiku in bed.My idea of courtship was tapping Jane’s Addictionlyrics in Morse code on your window at three A.M., whiskey doing push-ups on my breath. But I workedwithin the confines of my character, castas the bad boy in your life, the Magellanof your dark side. We don’t have a past so muchas a bunch of electricity and liquor, powernever put to good use. What we had togethermakes it sound like a virus, as if we caughtone another like colds, and desire was merelya symptom that could be treated with soupand lots of sex. Gliding beside you now, I feel like the Benjamin Franklin of monogamy, as if I invented it, but I’m still not immuneto your waterfall scent, still haven’t developedantibodies for your smile. I don’t know how longregret existed before humans stuck a word on it.I don’t know how many paper towels it would taketo wipe up the Pacific Ocean, or why the lightof a candle being blown out travels fasterthan the luminescence of one that’s just been lit, but I do know that all our huffing and puffinginto each other’s ears—as if the brain was a trickbirthday candle—didn’t make the silenceany easier to navigate. I’m sorry all the kissesI scrawled on your neck were writtenin disappearing ink. Sometimes I thought of youso hard one of your legs would pop outof my ear hole, and when I was sleeping, you’d pressyour face against the porthole of my submarine.I’m sorry this poem has taken thirteen yearsto reach you. I wish that just once, instead of skiddingoff the shoulder blade’s precipice and joyridingover flesh, we’d put our hands away like chocolateto be saved for later, and deciphered the calligraphyof each other’s eyelashes, translated a paragraphfrom the volumes of what couldn’t be said.

-Jeffrey McDaniel

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