Recreational Antacids (For Whom This Heart Burns)

You do realize your voice feels as velvet does when it caresses listeners’ ears, right? Hearing you tastes like ayahuasca flavoured with tears, and resembles when eyes close the glint of sunset reflected in the scales of a corn snake basking in a desert of pink sand.
          —Dialogue Between a Courtesan
                    and a Gentleman
                              (Overheard Breakfasting
                                        at a Brothel)


No fluids exchanged or received,
     as though this were our currency,
     these deposits of seed. So through
     with it, this hell of my going
     toward your emptiness with no
     clue it’s connected to us both,
     this need of ours to be left. How,
     in leaving no trace of our pasts

but what mess attests to conquest,
     we let no one else touch this wealth.
     Wet with silence, understanding
     nothing gets across better than
     what we get off our chests getting
     off. That, if not ferocious, then
     what? Regret breeds weakness, and now
     I’d rather forget. You were best

when you weren’t letting memory
     swallow, in its attempt to help
     me remember an hour spent held,
     every hollowed bone hunger
     held out holding onto until
     our souls twinned. Helixes of breath
     pressed, pretzeled, into near-misses
     of tenderest togetherness

our flesh sealed with sweat. Rich vastness
     of uninterest bridged, for some
     moment, by your going in and
     out, as a needle does. Mending
     but not fixing this hole strangers
     bent in their lavender-shaded
     anonymity filled faded
     with indigo shadow. Nameless

invaders relentless as old
     enemies flown in to answer
     my ravenous going out with
     blown sparks of fire worked slow. Those spent
     torches your own scorched down to ash,
     burnt-out clowns tasked as we both were
     then with putting on our sad shows.
     Doing repetitions of these

rehearsed emotions. Cads doing
     bed-bound motions without showing
     any or remorse at all, but
     growing forlorn as ennui’s bored
     entourage approached open-palmed.
     Begging our encore at the stage
     door our bedroom portals became
     as we awaited a storm’s greyed

overture knowing better than
     to applaud an act we were changed,
     captured, chained, and captivated
     by becoming anybody
     but ourselves. When we both were what
     love the other, in the drab, drained
     mechanics of our rusting lust,
     had in mind. Now, you want what flame

others had to buy! Pay no mind.
     Devastate without saying how
     you’re not staying. Suffer better
     in solitude this bargain. Low
     this light by which illusion’s haze
     illumines my pain’s lowered gaze!
     Away, away, you who attempts
     with patience to embrace my waste!