You Never Only Say I Love You; You Always Say I Love You Portia
by Portia Elan
It is as easy as a car crash – a car & a body – a leaping body, a pedestrian body – witnessed from a cigarette sidewalk how a body is & isn’t. This is the summer I am so sad you don’t want to leave me alone for five goddamn minutes: you even shave my legs for me every morning before you shave yours & you drop me off at the Chinese restaurant next to the tattoo parlor where you work & I sit at a table in the back all day ostensibly writing ostensibly being but mostly just – not dying I guess which is enough I guess. I wash the cuffs of your shirts – blood & ink splattered – in the sink every day. You ban the words I’m sorry but I mean it anyway – the only Am I’m sure of. The moment when a woman is just a body & there I am frozen & want to walk out on you & the bar tab & walk straight back to bed please I’m sorry I’ll do better tomorrow please better tomorrow I will have a poem to show you a poem that lies about how tired it is, how it wants only to lay down beside the body & ask the woman her name.