everything we touch,
this is a toxic city.
& i still love you
i still love you
i still love you.
i kiss your fingers in my sleep.
i kiss the inside of your wrists,
your elbows, your collarbones,
all your bones.
you whisper 'we are unholy, awful people'
into my spine & i know you're right,
you're always right.
you hit an ashtray with your arm
& scatter the ashes all over the sheets.
neither of us clean them up.
the ashes coat our skin &
get stuck in our hair.
we sleep in the ashes
like we can carry them as
parts of each other;
somewhere, but not here.
with the curtains closed
& the shadows that seem to appear
from the corners of the walls &
the corners of your eyes:
i will kiss your eyelids & whisper, please,
sleep, sleep with me & forget tomorrow has to come,
sleep with me & escape
from the physical grinding
of the city
that you feel in your chest at night.
once, when i was unable to move
from the drink & anxiety, i took a black marker & wrote
'we are our own downfall' on the wall.
i see the way your eyes
flicker when you sleep.
i grasp your hands when you're not conscious
like i have a better chance of holding on to you
when you're not even aware i exist.
we never leave this room.
we're stifled but we're not letting go.
on the night i encouraged you
to get out & take a walk
around the city,
you came back at 4 in the morning with a bottle of wine
& kissed me until my lips were stained red
& pinned me to the bed like you were afraid
i'd vanish out from under you like a ghost.
i said, 'i want you to be alive'
into your ear & you were mute
but i could feel you nodding even as
you pressed your fingers into my ribs.
i don't want you to leave but i love you.
we shared a cigarette
on the last night & kissed
in the blue london dawn.
i was trying to memorize
your 5-o-clock shadow
but you had to catch your train.
you made me promise
before you left to remember what the world felt like
before kissing me & thanking me & promising
you'd write me a song.