despite the fact that I would see you every day after this,
you promised to never be the person I met.
as if there was a “use by december” graffitied on your presence,
the hellish light in your eyes extinguished.

“acceptance is such a horrible form of apathy”
you reminded me, slipping into yourself
your pseudo-soulmate reduced to a tomb raider chasing
winter solstice in a timeless person.

you let me in, but only because you had vacated
with a ‘For Sale’ sign in your eyes
(did i forget to turn the lights off on my way out?)

In your absence, memory has become
monument, carved by masons who slept in Chinese rooms
feigning replies like yours.
Now my Babel tower scrapes the clouds we neglected to erase
from this etch-a-sketch approximation of a sphere.
Somewhere below, the tower’s Sauronic eye is cast inwards,
glazing over the obvious.
Outside, the white knights gather but turn away
at the frizzy strands of unconditioned Rapunzel hair.

If you were a modernist, I’d step into your streamofconciousness;
if you were a classic, I’d curl up on the right armchair.
but you don’t read much,
and tired of the words I’ve written for you,
you slump and expose from sock a golden calf
while the undertones miss with precision.
And you suddenly laugh.

your earliest memories are classified
and your recent ones are an exercise for the reader.
your aperture admits a different sort of light,
so you see all the night photography taken here before.
the flashing bulb animates our story
the way moving pictures once did:
our mutual locomotion, reduced to a series of vanishings
and poorly synchronized returns.

the nail piercing your Frankenstein neck,
making you nod and smile,
is beginning to rust.
you are a fish who bites the hook,
then claims to lack scales.
your act has become so polished
I can see myself in it.

the scales couldnt be more balanced
if nothing was on them.
I’d haunt your death-bed but
we both know you’re faking.