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I shoved the twenty
in my jacket pocket
to smoke later

all my dollar bills
are resting at the bottom
of my bag in an
envelope, unsealed

like my lips after the first
time i let love leave
my mouth, from beneath
the blanket, naked

and i took the twenty
out my jacket pocket
still sealed in cellophane,
unpacked

they’re something
for me to open up, pick
apart and burn and breathe
in as if they give me

my fucking life
because they do at times
give me something left
to do despite how thin

the envelope gets
it’s always thick enough
for me to cloud my mouth
with smoke

in lieu of anything
said, there’s a shared
silence, a full-flavored
blend thickness

in the air as we let
the smoke seep slow
from our mouths
and hang itself

around what bent light
it can grasp then refract
looking like the ghosts
it will one day make of us

and of everything
heavy like the words that sound
so weightless when I hear
myself say them aloud,

and even when my voice
trembles out my hollow mouth
it’s a reckless kind
of shaking that leaves

my tongue feeling light,
not lighter after saying
the same words i’ve tired
out in time, in truth

because it got easier
to mean it, so much harder
to hold onto, as if only
in absence of love

and its reciprocation
do i remember its feels
i know love through living
without it, love is delirium,

is losing sleep together
on purpose, knowing we both
carry our baggage below our
eyes, beneath their lids—

my memories are wedged
in the blood brain barrier
on my skull’s underside
and i forget them there

for the words I want
to have ready for you;
i keep them in the corners
of my mouth. I practice

the way they feel when
said by mouthing them
to the ceiling while you
sleep.

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