The Province of Sleep

          Looking at ourselves, talking to each other,
the mirror was like a brother, now it’s a bother—
     no one lies better, tries harder to start something

          than what our s(h)elves stock in moments we falter,
walking lines between abundance and poverty—
     bereft of sighs, passion flees, interest flies for

          distant expectations, skies far off, nothing
offered to console, to control tears we bottle—
     your exile parallel to mine, driest spells spill in

          double-time, chorusing lines across porous skin
indifference wrinkles, poker faces telling off and of—
     what we say means nothing, staying speaks

          volumes of indecency, implying we might see
through decadent streaks and perhaps sleep—
     your laugh wakes reason monstrously

          in the province where integrity rests, holidays,
and vacations when impatience overturns verdicts—
     judging ourselves innocent, we seek absolution, prey,

          and pray-as-we-go, the plan is to talk until glass breaks,
until sharp glances shatter bad habits, patterns of codependence—
     until hearts happen to burst and devastation makes

          us face, taking time to admire what we missed
in the first place: a kind of imperfection only lovers taste—
     mistaking vanity for validation, oh, how we have it

          all wrong, a song is a song is a song until it’s not,
and then it’s a shout or a prayer, or dialogue players spit—
     this is a complaint; fitting, you will say, for a faggot

          wanting himself in another, walking off when what’s
offered is nothing compared to ignored truth, when love’s not—
     for the present, I resent this gift; I just want your kiss.