From an upcoming collaboration with Nichole Acosta.

Most of what I said last night was a lie
Every time I said “You”
But meant “I”
Every time I looked away and told you
I was fine.
All those dramatic and drawn out sighs.
Just imagine,
If for once, we cut the theatrics
If I was honest.
If I told you that my day was a mess
That you are my closest target
That I wish you would just
Kiss my neck
That I wish you would just
Wash the dishes.
That I wish you would just
Stop looking at that screen and,
Just look at me.

What If I admitted
That love is too expensive
The supply of your affection too limited
My demand too high
That I can’t afford the vulnerability
At least, not in this economy
Because this isn’t a relationship
This is a game
This is a power-play
I have calculated the odds
The cost of a new heart
I can’t pay for a transplant
I won’t show you my cards.

What if I admitted
That I want to build a home in your arms,
But I understand the risks
I’ve reviewed the statistics
The cost/benefit analysis
The overwhelming evidence
Which suggests
I shouldn’t gamble with my trust again
Because I’ve learned the lesson,
That the house always wins.

So go ahead,
Ask me one more time,
Watch me tell you,
“I’m fine.”

If only

I keep meeting men
With the same name.
By the time the 5th one introduced himself I said,
“Seriously?”
And just walked away.
I never explained.
He knew I was a writer.

I turned from my scotch to the snow,
Closed my journal behind me.
Perhaps he eyed the cover,
He asked if I had somewhere to be.
I said, no.
I was just thinking that snow
Means something different here.

He asked if I performed,
So I recited a poem for him
At him.
I brandished my weapon.
Then he asked my name
“I just figure I’ll be hearing it again sometime soon.”
I smiled,
“If only.”
And he told me,
“That can be the name of your next one.”

Take away as much mystery as possible. What is left?

Draw five cards.

In dim-lit psychic parlor
In back corner
Of old Boston building.
Between cobblestones and church bells.
The receptionist said,
It’s very rare to see a woman request a male psychic.
Well, if women can’t be honest with themselves
How can we expect it from others?

I sat across from Keith
Perfume of incense,
Con artistry and divination
Conversation and prestidigitation.
I asked him to tell me of love
And all the other usual nonsense.
Then I drew 6 cards by mistake.

Keith broke character
Holy shit, there’s a lot going on here.

I don’t know if I agree
With what he told me.
His warnings of the second week of January.
When evidently,
Some lover with whom I have unfinished business
Would wander back in.

That must mean this is finished, then.
But go ahead, call me lover again.

This is coming at you one way or another,
You can’t stop it.
You just have to let it
Run its course

I’m not sure if this counts,
If I have paid my dues.
I’m not sure if I believe in Tarot cards.
I’m not sure if I believe you.

This is like something else, some other moment.
The strangely familiar landscape
Of his apartment
Prisms hung in negative space
Everything is white,
Except the wine.
(I am trying not to spill)
There are mirrors everywhere.
There is limited candlelight.

I know this book.
This photograph.
I saw it during that museum visit.
With Johnny,
Right before I broke his heart.
I know this shirt.
I bought it for someone once.
This word.
This room.
This overwhelming sense of déjà vu
Seems in itself familiar.
How did I get here?

I asked him to tell stories
Of best and worst and histories
I asked him of his fixation
On his own mortality.
He kept saying
If I make it that long.
I asked him
Do you make a habit of bringing home
A lot of women?
Less of a question
More an observation.
Choreographed foreplay of glass of wine,
Can I kiss you now?
Can you,
Promise me something?
Promise me that no matter what
Happens with us

That you will still give me
Your smile,
And sometimes a cookie.

Last time I was here I left with
Another woman’s hair on my sweater.
Last time I was here I assumed would be the one time.
I assumed he wouldn’t explore my writing.
I have compiled a lot of assumptions
About this one.
Go ahead, kid
Prove me wrong.

I have grown accustomed
To New Yorkers
To their wandering attentions.
I have become more like them
Though less jaded, more fascinated
Thing is.
I thought there would be more poetry in this.
Instead,
I just heard the same story twice
We were friends, we became lovers.
      She is like a sister to me.
   I still talk to her at least once a week.

The bookshelf was rearranged.
Last time
I spent the morning dissecting it.
Plotting my escape.
Humming along to Nick Drake.
I never admitted,
I have always loved this song.

This time, he
Pulled out a black box to show me.
Have you ever seen these?
 They are designed to break creative blocks.
Then he said,
Draw a card.