The way I see it, I gave you everything.

Driving you around the city in my ’91 coupe
while you painted your nails, sipped tropical drinks.
There was no AC in my apartment, I let you in
There was no money in my wallet, I let you in
took you shows you wanted to see,
standing alone under pulsing dim lights
finishing your drinks in crowded clubs.

I was the Kim to your Paris
the sanctuary in your neon gardens
always came back to me like you had no where else to go
truth is you wanted me as your unicorn
always third-party to your boyfriend
always third-rate to your crew
the smiling girls you called backstabbing bitches
but you were always posing together in pictures.

Even though you came from money
they handcuffed you at the Galleria
beat you blue and bloody
I wrote you a letter in jail
begged you to come home in the evenings
so you wouldn’t have to sleep with them
even made your bed like it was yours.
One night we were sleeping together
I caught you as you washed blood off your hands
Shaking your head saying honey you can’t trust me,
honey you can’t trust me it actually broke my heart.

That’s when those girls disappeared
thought it was just the two of us
sipping iced lattes by the pool
dive bars by Balboa when the wind was heavy and we were light
I carried you home, plucked sand out of your hair
you rest your head on my shoulder, smelling of vanilla mint
feeling the peachy roundness of our faces,
like we were nineteen again.

Then we both left on planes, in different directions
I chased my career, you chasing figures
me behind the camera and you in front of it
our calls to each other every week, then every month,
then not at all. like you had evaporated
me flipping through faded notebooks,
calling up those bitches asking Where is She, Where is She
and they just laughed in my face.

honey you can’t trust me honey you can’t
I remember bile pouring out of my mouth like rotten syrup
then burning our drunken poloroids on the open stove
I was young then, how could I understand
how you could inhale all my love my labor my passion
swallow the juice and spit out the seeds
of my existence, the two years I gave to you
the resumes I wrote, calling favors in your name,
nights we stayed up where you cried into my lap
you, letting me drown in my studio apartment
with two sets of brushes, and cups, and headphones.

Last night I think I spotted you at the Strip,
when I was out with a lady friend in my ’17 coupe
pointing out the facades of an age gone by
where nothing really happens anymore, besides bright lights and gaudy signs.
We locked eyes, exchanged no words as I pulled to the corner,
dropped her off. You stood there alone.

Your lips flutter, as if you were going to curse or greet me
Maybe I’d ask you if you were cold or where you’d be sleeping tonight.
But the light changes, and like constant routine the engine roars to life,
I speed off through neon lights, velveted streets, feeling the cold night air over goosebumps on my skin,
and look back, as you disappear past my rear view mirror,
into darkness, into distant memory.


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