VENOM, Wil Gibson

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.

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