With love


In My Apartment Alone Together

I am all heart-torn open, all breast exposed, all bone broken,

to dissonant discords of piano rhythms and saxophone hymns.

Our legs curl together across the coffee stained couch

while my toes knot themselves in dull white shag,

picking up lint like I pick up men.

Our feet rest on the edge of the oak table, 

like bodies on the edge of desire.

We stare in a stone-mouthed silence,

my weighty, filtered words like coffee grounds lurking in my ceramic mug,

choking me as I swallow and spit them back up.

Here, I learn how to love when he is all cauterized blood and gut, all anesthetic body.

Here, I learn how to look in his eye and say yes 

when his mouth spreads thin like an ellipsis.

His mouth incomplete like puzzles without edges.

Here, his eyeless smiles dilute the saturated silence.

But after all, it’s just teeth.

Elizabeth Hsieh