A string of teeth marks aligning with your ribs, I kissed them and promised revenge, a

shotgun down the mouth of a gator, my ankles deep in thick clay stained red with yankee blood.

The buzz of mosquitoes in the air almost as thick as the heat, spreading sweat from navel

to collar bone.

We shared the last cigarette in my pack, and you coughed so hard I thought you would

spit out your heart then and there, a shuddering, lonely red mass on the balcony patio.

I counted the number of times we said “I love you,” [1278, to be exact] in crecent moon

fingernail indents down your spine, across my neck. You let mine heal and so I carved them back

in with the split plastic cup you ripped to shreds waiting for me to get out of the shower.

And when you began to remove your sweaters from the bottom of your suitcase, you said

“We’ll never go back,” in a voice deeper than I remembered, I exhaled a snowstorm between the

gaps in my teeth, and frost crystallized across your raised eyebrows.

I say, “Never is a big word.”

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