Kyle Marbut

Late Night

Sleeping in a moonbeam, I dreamed
you were on fire, and I loved you
anyway. Pyre of loose clothes
and crackling skin, blackening
pine cones, red tongue in a grove
of cedar trees. You promised
to keep me warm all night.
I am doing my best
to be right here, to have faith
in the words I know.
I want to believe in something
other than weight and closed
books, the ghost in the blue dress
at our window who looks
like every woman my father ever wanted
me to love, who watches me fall
asleep in your arms, her palms
pressed against the glass. I want to know
you meant it when you called my name.

Setting for a Fairytale

My hair has grown so long
I can hide behind it.
I leave the window
open so the men
at the crosswalk might hear
me singing nonsense in the
+++++++I used to speak
Latin—I used to know
spells for love, but now
I can only cough up
the names of flowers
I’ve swallowed when
you’re not around—petals
spilling from my mouth,
whispering Larkspur   Daisy
+++++++Amaryllis        Gladiolus
+++++++++Rose   Rose
++++Lupine     Lily    Daisy
+++Poppy   +++Poppy
+++++++Bleeding Heart
Dandelion        Dandelion        Dandelion
till my breath runs out, asking
et tu? et tu? to un-spell
the slammed door, to contain
everything laid
bare—the black candles
gone out, except the tall one
with the crooked neck licking
my lace curtains, wall
of fire, new doorway
to the world you left
me for.

KyleMarbut lives in Ohio where they write, lie on couches, and long for spring. Their poetry has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry and Up the Staircase Quarterly, and they can be found on Twitter @KyleMarbut.

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