I no longer need you to fuck me as hard
as I hate myself.
Make love to me
like you know I am better than the worst thing I ever did.
I’m new to this
but I have seen nearly every city from a rooftop without jumping.
I have realized
that the moon did not have to be full for us to love it.
We are not tragedies
stranded here beneath it.
Tyler Knott Gregson
the first line of a poem should usher you in,
a door half open,
a warm glow,
an empty seat.
the last line should punch you in the stomach.
If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a could floating in this sheet of paper.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Before you became a cloud, you were an ocean, roiled and
murmuring like a mouth. You were the shadow of a cloud cross-
ing over a field of tulips. You were the tears of a man who cried
into a plaid handkerchief. You were the sky without a hat. Your
heart puffed and flowered like sheets drying on a line.
And when you were a tree, you listened to trees and the tree
things trees told you. You were the wind in the wheels of a red
bicycle. You were the spidery Maria tattooed on the hairless arm
of a boy in downtown Houston. You were the rain rolling off the
waxy leaves of a magnolia tree. A lock of straw-colored hair
wedged between the mottled pages of a Victor Hugo novel. A
crescent of soap. A spider the color of a fingernail. The black nets
beneath the sea of olive trees. A skein of blue wool. A tea saucer
wrapped in newspaper. An empty cracker tin. A bowl of blueber-
ries in heavy cream. White wine in a green-stemmed glass.
And when you opened your wings to wind, across the punched-
tin sky above a prison courtyard, those condemned to death and
those condemned to life watched how smooth and sweet a white cloud glides.
by the time i’ve finished with you, you won’t know whether you’ve been kissed or cut, whether you were loved or butchered. and either way you probably won’t care, just grateful you came close enough to touch.