Not Looking (/Not Liking)
just light touch, like lil skim, like
fingerstone. skippin cross the lake
screen. gather bellyfeel where it pools
into magnifying glass. press it twice
dainty-tipped like a boy who locks
his door. and still feels watched. when drunk,
jab like rotary. if reach ruinous pause (/when
reach ruinous pause), retract. new pic,
same face, does its hold, soft eviscerates.
take her gaze and give it back. suture app.
don’t follow. just stop. tether will
to a weather put into earbuds and loop.
place finger on the day and scroll into
and out of a feeling. blame astrology.
for this foreshortened will. say private,
better yet delete. in another lifetime you were
narrow-chested, golden boy hair between your
asscheeks and caught him at the lip of the
Fruited Plain. tucked a glance behind a boulder.
took mulch marks to your knees and mulched
a family line beside a half-dead tree. arched out
after, slung over stone, bones under stretched
skin beamin your rays to the same satellite
the cops use to call all the sheep of Sheep’s
linger like a look, return to slink round
that same time-stained spot the whole humid
dew-long. ask after, amid crush of calloused
knees into wet leaves. never find him.
it’s possible the bridge folded up that evening.
the way he moved like a story told first
by you, then everyone else. what you
wouldn’t give. fingers. certain organs.
hair, for a little while. pride.
risk the tap. that need to know. can catch
whole weather on this goddamn phone.
back to useless in the future and one wrong
song weaponized a feeling. don’t touch. nothin
light. tap too and you leave your lil heartmark
and then what. eat red. hari kari. so what
if you’ll die dreaming of how to take
what you know you knew strewn
and communing with someone else’s
sun. time, like a cut. how his knee
bled and you licked it clean.
in the plain hot light, with your hard
day lost in his. how you need her to know
her knee bled. tasted like the sprung cells
of our mothers’ years sending—
put down. shut face. hold fingers. no telling
spent decade or next. even light touch risks
irrevocable trace. abandon a draft. bridge
unravels. two lifetimes down line, sun bends
like July, lets us loose cross the mouth
of this blip. ‘til then, each glint in this half-
fingered hand read as a sign.
Tyler Morse lives in Brooklyn. Her writing can be found in Blunderbuss, Scorched Zine, Birdsong Mag and Swaddled with Ease (Bermuda Triangle Press).