Unzipping Flies


I wanted to give you pleasure
as well as love, make you fluent
in me, want no one else, that was
then, when I didn’t want to please
my Self, impress perhaps your head
first without having to bend to
convention, overwhelmed from my
heels to my lips at addressing

by name someone so staggering,
the stress of performing for one
so adored what so many more
before me had said before, might
warm your heart this time, and save me
the chore of giving it my all
in return for being scorned by
calling my work my “creative

efforts,” which hurt, not to the core,
but wore thinner the veneer I
wear the way a frame sometimes wears
out the picture it holds dear, not
to mention my dedication
to my craft, but to measure out
in diminishing words any
demeaning shout would far better

my ego endure, your missive’s
dismissal, formulaic though
cordial, yes, is yet easier
to handle than extending one’s
lone hand only for it to be
ignored, tremors tremble until
night’s wide chamber amasses their
impulses, tears mocking jewels,

milk-dabbled stars hungering hard
after comets the way vastness
collects echoes in its breast, clothed
in derelict nakedness, warmth
cooled by a knee’s grueling bend
in service of servicing well
an actor’s unsteady study
of a man whose affection ends

in a second, dark harvest of
seeds, parts of this need’s deep wanting
already rotten from the soiled
beginning, both of us knowing
no one’s coming, fitting, then, that,
when first described by botanists,
just to torment us all, they called
the tomato a “love-apple,”


scarlet and fevered to bursting,
swollen-with-thirst doorknob of some
unsweetened Eden’s garden gate,
to this day no one able to
explain away why, for a fruit,
its flesh tastes so plain when bitten,
the fisted heart loves nonetheless
when some sensation knocks, knowing

not whom it addresses, this is
what mess Helmholtz attempted to
measure, noting no matter how
explosive or unresponsive
the intended recipient
of so very passionate, so
inwardly intimate, even
forever to never once be

returned, so unrepentantly
bent or worthlessly inverted,
an unprompted sentiment, our
nerves conduct a thought’s messages
far, yet no faster than eighty-
feet-per-second, what I feel in
my chest when I press “Send,” and wish
I never had, necessitates

more than a massage after such
stress penning, without a pause for
breath or for any rest, what I’ve
already come much to regret
before you choose not to even
read it, a skeptic convinced an
imposter, no more an artist
than impoverished, could manage

to express this and mean it must
really kill, numb as you are now,
and I never was, to seeing
in what seems impossible ways
to manifest for readers how
it feels, the Braille of this thorny
loneliness an admirer of
forthrightness might otherwise heal.