Reprise (A mind you can recognize)

…and baby this cigarette’s
not getting me any closer
to you or anything that
resembles your weathered memory,

this mortal tribute to every
nihilism you worshiped
with a seductive glance and
cold irreverence,

this relic of a time
when your tender presence
could obliterate
the malevolent empiricism

of all the demons
wreaking havoc
on my psychological infrastructure.

The enchantment never outlasts
the portentous gleam of ember,
but I can’t stop thinking I can
conjure another sequence,
another verse,

a perfect bridge of
perfect words,
a connection that outstrips
the cold geometry
of conscripted circumstance,

the witless strife,
the final try
of everything
I ever built, ever wrote,
ever dreamed for us

reduced to a smoldering filter
smothered under my bare feet.

…and lately I’ve been coughing up more than just the acrid phlegm of our mutual disease, the blackened sickness of festered agony, you can’t hear the broken mechanism of my heavy breathing, but take my word for it that the amoxicillin’s not killing the cancerous remnants of what you’ve done to me, the dissociative quotidian of unrealized odysseys and everything we’ll never be,
you never wanted anything but a body haunted by a mind you could recognize, and honey the infection seeping into my chest is just my displaced adoration manifest, a culmination of antipathic disregard for everything I am, I detest these apathetic wastes of poisoned breaths, the nihilistic one-man debauchery of loving you alone, but I’ll cherish to the end the chance

to be the kind of person who will sit outside with your shadow
and make sure that the heady flames between our lips don’t ever die alone-