My words flower through
your eyes—mouth
                     to mouth
we pass flecks of streetlamps,
           unfettered horizons. We
ingratiate ourselves
           to the wind. 
Of course time passes—the bump&grind of your teeth is
           a freeway,
                      an abandoned shoe,
                                  a pothole, someone
                                                       else’s keys. 
All of these you stack & restack &
wait to hear the story,
           your name called
                      on the loudspeaker.
I can’t keep doing this, you know,
my sales figures are nearly up
& your hair is
          too sleek, your eyes
My mouth streams gravel
& buries us both. Streetlamps wink
off down the street. I am loose
& gaping eyes, I am hands
           tucked & feet pounding
                                the pavement. 
I am a shaved casing
           filled with powder
                     (tight, bracing) & your
fingertips spark my return.
         (I could never truly leave) 
And now you are ferrous,
         brambled, in lockstep
with my sigh, & in each hour
sits a paper lantern,
          for your


Melissa Reddish