You spent the last decade fighting with a beautiful woman
I spent it asleep in a down cocoon
Dreaming of David Bowie swimming and swimming
Infinitely negotiating elation and genders
There is much to be gleaned from red versus green virtues
And measuring the weight of an overcast morning-to-night
If you wanted to buy me a drink we might reconcile
Your bad stance on climate and education
I know you grew up eating shit on a shingle
You turned out handsome and ruddy and sad
Strumming your traumas into an unsettling falsetto
You’re working to put down the fight in you
And I’m pushing away the swallows and the curtains
This doesn’t mean we can be friends
But we can certainly be simultaneously naked and unsettled
Carrying this red cloud between us and shouting
To each other over the pool room ruckus One last night that haze between
Our tequilas wait what was that you said
II. ONCE UPON A HUMMINGBIRD
The second time I came over, my lover had cleaned the bathtub and he told me so. I was ruffled; I drew a bath first thing. I had brought lavender flower bubbles just in case. I lay in the warm water with suds dissolving and my lover sat onthe toilet but we didn’t like that. He sat on the floor next to the bath so we were each facing towards my feet, as though we were both in the tub, but he was not and had all his clothes on. I don’t recall what we talked about, probably nothing, which was why he was the perfect lover. At some point when I had preened plenty and begun to get wrinkly I leaned over and stuck out my tongue at him.
“I won’t have sex with you in the bath,” he said, “I already told you that,” he said, “it’ll hurt my knees.”
“I don’t want that,” I said, “I already told you,” I said, “I’m just trying to kiss you.”
I sank back into the tub which had cooled to slightly warmer than lukewarm from all the talking about nothing.
My lover is hardened and tender like a rustic loaf.
Having a lover who will let you take a bath in their tub is the opposite of becoming aware of the report in which 1 million distinct species of terrestrial flora and fauna will become extinct in your supposed lifetime. I know this because I have experienced those two feelings in the same day and I can tell you how acutely they push against each other. I am a poet so you can probably trust me. Even if you hate this poem, everyone should trust in poets, especially poets, because if we can’t trust poets at the end of the world, there is nothing left but the imaginary whir of the last hummingbird. You can try and fight me on this, but this is my poem and the minute creature I put in it is real until it no longer exists, just like the true last living hummingbird. It is a fast-beating green fluorescence and tender. It is hard to find a lover who you don’t want everything from. Before you know it they might start gathering woolen detritus into a tiny silken crib between two twigs, then you have a swift sense of losing something. My lover will hate this poem, but I am grateful for him being just wrong enough for me to balance out 1 million species dead forever, even for a brief time. This poem is about time. One balanced time. Thank you, lover, for this time—I’m going now, but before I go, can I feed you this nectar.
you said, is that okay
I said yes; I could have kept saying it
the cast iron seasons with each steak
and the hot moon slinks along the eastern ridge
where the migrating swifts return like smoke
save those picked off by the hawk