This is a rewrite of an old poem.
Q. What are the colors?
A: Swipes of your green plaid flannel–
like comet tails trailing across
the white of my tank top.
Red as brilliant as a scarlet ibis,
warpaint smeared on your sheets.
Q: What’s the texture?
A: The slow dread filled scrape
of fingernails dragging on sandpaper,
the slug trail stickiness of your lips,
the feeling of deep scratches
across a record made when the needle
refuses to stay in the grooves.
Q: What’s the weight?
A. Heavy as oppression and the pressure of a pin
being thrust through the thorax of a specimen.
Or, when added together:
roughly the same weight
as the the lid on my coffin.
Q: What’s the size?
to the point of nothing fitting
but you force the pieces anyway.
Q: What’s the temperature?
A: Both the scalding red fever
found in a blush
and the blue basin of ice
that exists in a shiver.
Q: What would it feel like to hold this in your hand?
A: Fresh, hot tar.
Q: What sounds does it make?
A: The pitiful mews
of a just born kitten,
blind with new life
and unable to take the dropper.
Your voice ruining the name
my mother picked out for me.
A gun being cocked
and aimed at my head.
Q: What sounds would you like it to make?
A: My mother brushing my hair
and waking me up
from the bad dream I keep having.
The sound of us shutting the door
on the house I grew up in
for the very last time.
Any sound that is louder
than every memory of you.
Q: Does it move or is it stationary?
a hardened clump of clay
mixed with grit & crow feathers
that sits at the base of my throat-
a lump that doesn’t dissolve when I swallow.
A choke that goes nowhere,
and seasons everything with the taste of your hands.