written on the card

I usually don’t do flowers or feelings.
I’d say that I fuck and run, but
one-night stands always leave me empty,
staring up at a strange ceiling, turning
over on a strange mattress,
watching the sunlight play with shadows against the wall
as if I don’t want to run for my life.

I’m good at drunken confessions and stilted
morning-after poetry;
I’m good at putting up walls
and pretending my poems scratch the surface;
I’m good at saying, “Fuck her,”
and I’m good at saying, “I fucked her.”

I guess I could do cut carnations and red roses–
unless you’re allergic to stupid displays
of moderate affection,
in which case
just dump out the water. They’ll be fine.

I swore I’d never write for you long after I wrote for you,
and I swore I’d never like you
but then
but then
and your pants were loud, and you’re not my type,
but last May I proved that I’m shit at boundaries
and last May I proved that I can be weak
and last May you proved you do something to me.

In London, I didn’t tell you
that I liked a girl named Anna with heart-shaped
lips and loose brown curls.
In London, I didn’t tell you
that Temptation removed her red dress
the same time that Ferguson burned
the same time that English protestors stampeded
the same time I realized
that I couldn’t do feelings with her, either.

Anyway, I hope you don’t mind cut carnations
and bad decisions,
and I hope you don’t mind
this bad poetry scribbled in the margins
of my exam.  And if you don’t like the flowers,
just dump out the water,
they’ll be fine.
And if you don’t like the flowers, let’s pretend
my stupid friends made me do it,
and we’ll be fine.