california, midnight

under the wet ransom of california stars all calling
and coyote strings weeping vibrato in the mountain-lit
immediate blackness you talked to me
about something abstract as love and alcohol. and alcoholically i kissed your
melancholy eyes, half wicked mouth–i loved that mouth! since its first
existence–but ah,
there were the stars among us, so much more perfect
and awful
than our quick existences: their absoluteness, their absence. and aha,
laughing, us — drunken half-moon adulations — aha! us, still there
despite it all
in that night, tethered
to our kinda young, undone, beings. Our quick souls. Don’t die, I thought. Not yet not yet. Hands on the damp wood. Holding tight.

California wildnerness — grim cherry black, the wine color of night trees, spill of wild things, your heat. 
Behind us brimming with sound. & in the
sleepy shelter of a fake wool blanket, later, you wept some
insanity into my skin. told me lies. fucked me. 
spoke in knotted language, tired with love. 
your voice, rooted and course. I said cruel things, one month later. On the train back home to blank, thin-skinned upstate new york, under those tin skies. Winter, by then. 
I told you I didn’t need you. But didn’t you know? that was just
new york. That was just the low tracks. beige daylight. dim bruised limbs. The way your hand felt on the base of my neck. 
 — it had nothing
to do with those merciless
perfect nights
when we lay, kids still, still, kinda — talking madly about what was left of us. sour wine, tensing
happily at the awe of it, all of it, all of it!: us,
still young, nearly. in love, almost, & shivering
beneath the brief, endless wild
abruption of stars. beneath
the wasted ruin lovely cherry black howl of that
mad-blooded California

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