michael king

stack of stained pages, redacted love letters, spilling ink, pressing it into tomorrow

what ifs.

what if i told you
your name is
the missing word
on a hundred
crumpled-up love letters
in the corner of
my living room

what if i read you
a list of the small things
you do
that birth quiet tidal waves
against my sternum

what if i shared the
story, up to now,
filling in the spaces
i left empty so as
not to ask for
too much

what if i promised
i want nothing in return,
no need for even a
response, i just need
these feelings to
know honest air

what if those
promises were just
new lies, new
ways of painting
myself safe

what if everything
crumbled, my palms
acquainting again
with the roughly paved
road of being the one
who loved somebody
more

what if i kept
holding my breath, just
for now, while my
mind argues with
my heart, pointing at
the past, gesticulating
wildly, we have
tread these rocks
before

what if you’re
waiting, aware in
some quiet way,
flowers already bunched
in your shaking palms

Three Houses

i want to say.

i want to say,
in the hard and harrowing
days, i wrote my finest
poetry, found words
for the wordless nights, kept
hope in the loneliest echo

i wish i didn’t cry
on the nights i drink with
you, but at least
i can say i am crying
because i can’t believe
you’d join me here
on the concrete

and i want to say
thank you, to
everybody, our eyes
meeting so you
feel my sincerity, i
have kept every
story of you
from the years
already yellowing
on windowsills, i
remember all your
youngest days.

poetry