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I shoved the ten
in my cardigan pocket
to smoke later

all my bills are resting
at the bottom
of my miumiu
in my purse, opened

like my lips after the first
time i let love depart
my mouth, from beneath
the sheets, naked

and i took the ten
out my pocket
still packed in cellophane,
unsealed

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

this fucking life
because at time they
give me something left
to do despite how thin

the rolling paper gets
it’s always thick enough
for me to blur my mouth
with smoke

in lieu of everything
said, there’s a shared
oblivion, a full-flavored
amalgam thickness

in the air as we let
the smoke spread slow
from our mouths
and linger itself

around what bent light
it can clasp then alter
coming off like the ghosts
it will one day make of us

and of anything
heavy like the letters and
punctuations that sound
so weightless when I hear
myself utter them aloud,

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

my tongue feeling gentle,
feeling lighter after saying
the exact words i’ve tried
out in time, in reality

because it got easier
to spell it, so much harder
to cling on to, as if only
in presence of love

and its reciprocation
do i remember its sense
i know love through existing
without it, love is hysteria,

is wasting sleep together
on purpose, knowing we both
carry our feelings below our
eyes, underneath their lids—

my memories are frozen
in the blood brain barricade
on my skull’s undersurface
and i keep them there

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

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