VENOM by Wil Gibson She sprouts a sunflower from her top lip, says “what I miss most is the fireflies,” I call them lightning bugs. Now I'm afraid to ever write another poem again. She thinks I’m gonna die young. Told me so in a morbid pillow talk and I think maybe she’s right. I don't tell her that. I say I'm the strongest man alive, that I’ll live forever. She smells the lie like fresh cut grass and waits for me to say the right thing again like I always knew I should. I try to be clever but the attempt is a strike three in the top of the ninth. The bases were loaded with questions about the way other people feel and suffer. My whole life has been a YouTube video waiting for better resolution. I’m not anyone’s new year. I’m barely enough time to be late for my own funeral. Someone told me that I look good in green, seems to fit my skin tone more than another broken window. I envy her confidence in the face of fear and long for my own private grave site near a river somewhere so my ghost can’t cross the street. I don’t want to haunt anyone. I just want to be with someone who won’t make me pay a toll to wrap their mind around my shoulder like a torn robe. The last time I saw a light so fractured I had a seizure. Sometimes my seizures are more real than I am. More denim than silk, and I have no room to hide this empty bus seat. This is just another fire to burn and I wish I didn’t already know that she is all smoke.