I am 13. My crush is my Valentine.
I buy her a chocolate orange and meet her
at the Berkeley public library off Shattuck.
She has blue hair, wears spaghetti straps,
loves someone else.
I am 12. I sit on a concrete tube in the schoolyard
and tell myself, “I will remember this moment forever.”
Wind rustles the crumbling leaves
of Berkeley’s perpetual autumn.
I am a young man. The Warriors just won the NBA finals.
We go out in downtown Oakland.
She has a nose ring and an avocado tattoo on her
smooth left shoulder.
The cheap carpet flooring in our flat in Edinburgh is always sticky.
I show the Scots how to build a gravity bong.
Hands dusted with chalk from the climbing gym,
I make myself red curry rice for the third time that week:
grilled chicken, bell peppers, pre-cooked rice.
We start drinking at 4 in the afternoon
and we’re still up twelve hours later,
sitting around a candle singing along to the
guitar strums of a guy named Monkey,
simmering in the smell of hand rolled cigarettes,
finally going to bed when the last girl goes upstairs.
I tell her "I love you" when she finishes me.
I didn’t mean to! It just came out.
I just graduated. I’ve been getting high on
my own supply, and some darkweb stuff my friend shipped in,
making art with dirty pastels,
locked on the couch while my roommates watch
No Reservations featuring Anthony Bourdain.
We’re cuddled in the fresh plastic walls
of our 6’ x 6’ greenhouse, high on acid,
gazing at our prized collection of succulents.
She starts to cry. I feel it too.
It’s the thought of us sitting in front of these same plants
as they grow, and we grow old
maybe sitting next to each other.
maybe nowhere near.
So the story of my life is the story of my love for Luci.
No, the story of my life is the story of my love for women:
Emma from RISD,
Jane from 3rd grade, who I later found on Facebook.
The story of my life is the story of my love for M.K.
Michelle is standing in front of her house,
which is a giant snail shell
across the street from my columnar startup palace.
She wants to collaborate with me.
Up close, her eyes are fractal florescences
beaming quadrophonically in extra dimensions.
I am waking up asleep
the morning after heavy drinking
in my tiny bedroom overlooking the river in Providence,
on my balcony in the aether world
where the coral grows from the flowerpots.
A voice made of light says,
“We are all everything.
You am I or our I we is world.”
She is darkness, the glinting surface
of a polished obsidian blade.
The knife maimed deer
chooses a place to surrender:
a matress of secret moss,
a pillow of forgotten ferns.