5:05 am.


Photography by Adam Coleman

I hold her

as an hour

glass.

perfect.

creature.

sand that

tick tick

ticks

through that

neck.


in night,

I hold her

on her side

watch the still

the pause

of time.


in night,

my hands,

once heavy

hooves

that blow

and thrash

turn soft.

nurse glass.


my big dumb

heart

unhealed.

stubborn

as a rodeo.

adolescent bull

at the gate.

eager to love

no under

standing—

how?

such a tender thing.

my hands,

too big

to hold

the gentle

pieces.


baby

Baby

babeh.

I die a little

when she reach

for me.

happy

happy

and.

heavy heavy

knowing

I can’t appease

that boundless

need.


hungry,

hungry,

I reject

the eye

that wanders

that big pupil

of her thirst.

my belly

button knows

better.

she knows.

I smother

her

licked silent.

let me have

just one more—


youth is a quicksand.

I dare not blame

her well-meant

notion.

I dare not open

that chest

of tinny fear

briny ocean.

how to fool

that great wet wary?

huddle closer

let me taste.

one day I’ll have

the strength to—


if I just stay

in this

bed

she may forget

to remember

upright.

she may forget

the swill of sand

that flees

through hands

of dumb-love

thumbs.


I opened a drawer

and our whole life fell out.

I saw it’s pieces

from a bird’s nest.

that view.

you.

You.

You.

the most beautiful

loss

I will ever—


damn me

for sight to see.


she says it plain

ly. on the verge

of sleep.

secrets slipping

between sheets, she—


in dark she con

firms the question

I know

the answer

to in light.


fear makes

a hardened child

of me.

I want to be tender.

I want to be tender—


Kid. Tomorrow

you’ll give

my name away.

I can’t help

my self. I.

brace for impact.

place my body

on that sacrificial

stone

to be crushed

as tin cans.

I’m weak.

I crush

first

attempt

to jump

the blow.

but no.

No.

No.


she tastes

sweet

bites hard

feel her in

the back

of my throat

p u l s i n g

I’ll never wash

that metallic

—taste—

that honey-

cured

coin

from my copper

mouth.


bullets sway.

slow. mo.

one day

they’ll hit

the artery.

for now,

they strike

and rebound

off bone

leave their ding

ding

dent.


words fall

in my ears

from sleepy

mouth like.

like how we forgot

to blow the dance-y

candle out. care-

less. like.

cocktail swords

piercing drum.


I shuffle

my shoulder

beneath her

weight

Just so

rest primed.

for grief’s stand-

by cloak.


One day,

but not today,

she says.


I'll be a story

told to other

lover's lips

alone

with light com

ing through

the night

time wind

ow

in beds

where

i

have never

slept.


i’ll be gone.

washed down

the river

the bath

tub

drain

of re-collect.


tonight.

tonight.

tonight,

of still black

morning

I breathe

her in.


she dreams

on my chest.

each breath,

a hello

a goodbye

all the unsaids

on the tips

of fingers

that stroke

her honey

head

as she drifts.


I let her lead

to where it will

or will not

end.

secret prayers

for never

never

never.


you’ll never know

the private moments

in which I’ve loved

you

as you slept.

studying

the constellation

of freckles

across that collar

bone

the rhythm

of that beating

piece of god

inside you

to never forget

the swell

in my—


i kissed

your thigh

and said

I will still

love you

when you go

and if the know

ing I will lose

you

is the cost

of loving—

I accept.

worth

every ounce

every breath


hand held

sandwich

shared

every laugh

every curve

of your smile

every touch

of your skin

every bus ride

meal shared

years carried

tears wept

nights slept

love bed

wife said

shower

plane

river of

your veins

carrying bliss

into my heart

the end

the start

my most

precious

friend.


late to say.

i’m sorry.

I fell short.


I listen

to the trash

trucks

and hear them

taking me

away.

I stay.

in that bed.

hold your head.

as long

as you will let.

crawl inside me.

take what you need.

I’ll give it free

ly.


little flame,

I’ll keep you

burning.


little love,

I’m only

learning.


late to bloom.

and right on time.


I saw you stand

ing on a corner

in Soho.

rainy after

noon.

accordion

of time

crumpled

and knew.

I saw you

complete.

nearing thirty

a woman

a beautiful

woman

with that you

inside.

and me,

in a rearview.

could kill me

to say I didn’t

see.


radiant creature.

could I love you

enough to—



Written by Jennifer Parkhill. 2019.



  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Vimeo
  • SoundCloud
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Vimeo
  • SoundCloud
  • Black LinkedIn Icon