Since the night fanned the air into a dark
cool enough to never have to reach
for the other side of the pillow,
I propped my screenless window open
& let it inside.
When I woke, it was 3 in the morning & still dark
& the mosquitoes had covered me
in the red scratch of their feasting.
Sometimes, the word I want
slips away into a nothing full of stars.
I sat on the edge of my bed & itched & itched.
The tree outside shook a leaf onto my floor.
When I am done wanting, will I know?
There was that night I couldn't sleep
next to you, & you might've woke
at some odd hour to find me at my desk,
bent over words that no longer echo.
Do you remember everything? Does it
haunt you like humidity? Follow
me back & back. To the soft sound
kissing off your lips. Can you
rub my back, you said. Last night
I scratched & itched & scratched.
There were places I could not reach.
You know them. Those bits of muscle
rising up between the bones beside my spine.
Where the blood is. Sometimes
I feel you feeling them. I slap
to make the phantom go away. It
does not. You
do not. I
do not want you to. You
are still here.