After the night I overdosed on poetry,
I woke from a dream in which words
ran through my hands, leaving salty paper cuts.
With throbbing fingers I stared up at the dark ceiling.
Where sticky, glow in the dark planets
had hours ago lost their light,
wishing I could write you a song.
Not a love song –
but one which you could sing on a rooftop
as the sun sets, skimming rooftops,
sucking a last drag from a cigarette.
On dark ceiling I played out the night
we confessed our mutual crushes
over glass of rum and coke,
wondering if there was a poem
in the way your damp fingertips
pressed against the small of my back,
and you breath tickled the hair behind my ear
as you asked me about my boyfriend,
77 miles away and sleeping under the same plastic sky –
one on which a faceless girl from a time before me
spelled out “I love you” with stars he’d never bothered to peel off.
The words, only symbols, always lose their shine,
that spontaneous, heartfelt gesture
now as crusted and brown as the melted stars –
meaningless and silly –
a song heard too many times.

—> First published in The Homestead Review, Spring 2001

© 2000-2010 Tara Laskowski

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