Release

You can keep your programs,
Your book’s lustrous dust jacket,

All the black and white photos
From lives I don’t know;

I don’t care about the summers
Our understudy spent in Tucson,

Or at which midwest college
Our poet is sweating for tenure.

I’ve only come for catharsis:
The crying — in a crowd or alone,

The sawing through of sternums
To poke at hearts held inside,

Grasping at strangers’ hands,
Your shared intake of breath,

Cautious houselights rising
Reflecting wetness on cheeks.

To paraphrase the poet boys
Of late-90s American backstreets:

I don’t care who you are,
Where you’re from,

What you did,
As long as you break me.