Throat Bacon

the last poem was supposed to be the last time
I wrote about you

but then you walked in the
room I was sleepless within and
I couldn’t not put you on

paper. Wouldn’t look you in the eye
because last time, last time,
your eyes were fingers wrapping fists
around my bronchi, lungs expanding
like balloons until they burst—
I can’t breathe when you’re
           near me—
           that’s what I meant
           when I said Those Eyes
           your eyes
           are striking

the last poem was supposed to be the last time
I wrote about you

but lately, I only know how to break
promises. Last night, forgot my spoon at home
remembered the time you reached across the
table to supply me with one of yours
           back then, I thought
           you were an
no, you’re just

oblivious. I think you pretend to
have the emotional intelligence of
           a rock because
           you can’t afford

I actually hate the sound of
my name on your lips
wanted to pry those syllables loose from
your brain so you can never say
they aren’t mine
           unless, of course, those lips
           feel differently
(I could make an exception)

the last poem was never the last time
I wrote about you

but I wish it were the case. These days, I’m
listening to the voice of a woman
who took images of her brain in love
annihilated that emotion with
neural feedback. I think I need that
           tried alcohol instead
           and do you know what?
           it wasn’t your name
           I sought that night
I guess that’s called

progress from all the times I
wanted to tell you about the people
screaming outside my four walls,
the girl I snuck into the cafeteria, breaking
rules, because she was out of meal swipes,
the things my poetry professor
had to say about disease, famine, and

war. I don’t talk about heartbreak outside
of class, but my professor knows me better. This is the
comment she made about you:
he’s not the perfection he first appeared to be
she’s right, I’m learning

the last poem was supposed to be the last time
but writers do love different—
           there is a person behind that poem
           there are two behind mine
I wish they had been better acquainted
my brain keeps
I wish it would

I want to tell you:
           my brother just had his tonsils removed
           came into my bedroom this morning
           said he spit throat bacon out in the
           bathroom sink
I wish I could cough
you up that way too
           instead, I went back to sleep,
           convinced I only ever met you
           in a dream
(it’s more peaceful that way)

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