By David Diaz
It tasted sweet the way you pulled away from me,
my lips reached toward you like a leaning drink.
Charms of cars and metro swathed behind us
as silence made her entrance.
Curls of moisture masked the sun
pouring water over blocks of dirty
brick and treated glass.
Happy-hour on siesta
until things loosened, when heavy shoes
track mud angels on the sidewalk, and bound
over opal water tie-dyed with city frantic.
We were at your lobby door before the clouds arrived:
you propped open the entry
and stood on the bottom step.
The lighted hall behind you bleached the stairway
to illuminate your lines: to blanket me,
this sidewalk in your ghost—
I savored heartbeats clicked between our teeth
as the sky began its mourning,
and the rain kept you beautiful, then.
Why is it evil that you’re more precious
than music? My brain reminded
truth’s too good with outside context
as I retreated eastward to dwell on what I’d found:
to recollect your blurry body climbing
up the stairs behind the minster glass,
water gathered on my face
and I repeated your number in my head.
Although we hadn’t happened yet
Sitting by the window I smoked
until my teeth were sandpaper.
Stronger coffee watching people
walk their ugly dogs and mislead their children.
My father dying in the spare room
hooked up to every outlet.
I had hoped to watch him rot like this,
tingling apart. Wrath peppered on his sleeve.
He drank until he had to stop to let time treat him
worse, and with much more acuity.
He grappled with his variance:
when his brother burst into a hundred shrikes,
over groves and lines of wires
away from common history.
I made my moment. I created it and let it slip around the hallways
like a serpent, venom gone but patient for sleep to come
to wrap itself around me.
The jagged line pulsed under the door
filling the house with chirps and scheduled drops
of morphine. Later day looked hazy as I left my phone
and locked the door behind me, quickly off.
Still sun hung above the freeway.
I fled west to ignore the hiss
and make happy ours all at once.
David Diaz is a 26-year-old bike tech and part-time editor pursuing his MFA in poetry at Cal State Long Beach. He writes and lives in Lakewood CA, creeps around Los Angeles, and tries never to stray too far from the ocean.