-for a.m.l.

you say you could write a how-to
guide for me: sulking—upset,
not expressing why; hands
crossed, laying tightly on their lap—
needs to pee; is being short—hungry;
& you go on & on

i order strawberry ice cream; you were rushed—
go get the one you really wanted, just remove the nuts

i picture you, legs crossed,
face down on the bed, asleep,
half-melted ice cream (cheesecake or
peanut butter) on the table nearby,
& a home shopping network still playing
on the t.v. (it’s your comfort show)

months pass between us, but i see you again,
& wasn’t it just yesterday when we saw that sunset, sang that song?

sometimes, there isn’t much left to say,
so we just talk, nonsense, really, &
the grief flows from our lips: i think this is
just a one-way
; oh, he has red hair, & your hair’s
redder today, too; isn’t there always a car there?;
let’s take the long-way, i like this drive

you run your hand just above my arm;
i just like feeling your goosebumps

how did we even get here? when it feels
like it’s always been like this, that we’ve
always burped & farted & gagged & laughed
& screamed—made silly noises & said silly names—
we haven’t always been children, but i think we’ll die 
& become the same patch of moss on the creek bank

you begged to come up to my room;
you wanted me to be safe—i had scissors

&, despite time, i ask myself:
how do you still love me
after all that? i swore at you,
up & down the streets of manhattan,
threatening to injure myself, leaving
you in tears

you regulate well now, & it’s just not you, you say,
i know you too well to be fooled by our hurt