An Excerpt of Unrequited Lust

I wasn’t lying when I said my makeup

Never runs — instead it walks, leaving footprints

On my face, and eventually the powder on my cheeks

Melts away like the snow in spring.

I am a wax doll,

And you are my flame,

And though I fear you,

You help my cover up my flaws

By giving me plasters doused with an

Antiseptic form of love in the shape of your thumb.

I wish you wished for the feel of my fingers

Running through your hair,

Or along your earthly back.

I would count the notches in your spine

And ask you questions over wine-

What would you do;

Who would you be;

Why have you let me see the inner

Workings of your spirit?

I’m nothing.

I’ve only seen the gargantuan sky

Turn purple at dusk, and for God’s sake,

I’m just how learning how to breathe,

Or count stars in the dark.

I think, in fact,

I’ve mostly made you up.

My eyes are raw, and my nails have disappeared,

Leaving canyons of red clay and crimson holy water

Creeping out of my capillaries.

And because we haven’t done anything but touch,

I would have broken the mirage

By asking you about yourself — so I had to

Make you up to keep you running.

And run you did — away from me.

I remember standing at a traffic light,

Talking to everyone but you,

And I heard what happened at that party

I wasn’t invited to.

Instead, I’d stayed at home and learnt my lines,

As if this play would finally teach me to speak when

I stepped off the stage-

But I know better than anyone that that could never happen,

Because the person I am between the two darkened corners

And five blackened planes is someone so different from me.

The lights illuminate, and the makeup hides,

And maybe, just maybe, I thought:

You could have fallen in love with me that way.

But at that traffic light,

I might have been transported back a thousand years,

Back to when that exact point was at the bottom of a river

And my feet wouldn’t unstick from the ground.

The last time that I touched you,

I disappeared for three weeks,

Maybe that’s what between us-

But look at me now.

I have come so far from yesterday or yesteryear;

I am alive and kicking.

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