Born Again

vertical green and white awning
reminds me of you two
the kind that hangs at country clubs
or a funeral home
love’s gaze is potent magic
your trimmed black beard
and blood shot eyes holding
miniscule inky pupils
I confuse withdrawal
with emotional unavailability
the magnetic pull
when you look at me
am I blind to your nature or
do I see all of your potential
the tension in a cheekbone
from chewing gum
during a staring contest
both of us won

I didn’t go to the cemetery
his expression in
the casket at the wake
was more than I could stand
smoking Newport Lights
under the awning
with you was the eulogy
you slipped inside of me
like a myokymia I mistook
for a heartbeat

you don’t have to talk
I need to keep you how I imagine
pushing the edge of flirtation
seismic waves when you
place your hand
on the small of my back
guiding me through a crosswalk
subconscious pose around pedestrians
like this afternoon stroll is normal
like you haven’t held a gun on teenagers
using the money you robbed
to buy dope from them a half hour later
like I wouldn’t scrape both my knees
on the gravel behind this dumpster
and take you in my mouth
to stop this aching inside my cheeks
I’m born again edging this fantasy
over and over trying to reach
the point right before it dissolves

Lauren Lauterhahn is a writer based in New Jersey. Her work has been published in Hobart and Joyland. Follow her on Instagram @lauterlaurenhahn
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