A Little More Than What’s Left

I will not die with blood on my hands
nor on discarded panties; not on the sheets
a spot on the basement floor; under your nail & the stories
chortled, drowned in beer; not buried in the front yard;
not speckled the color of brick
across every opportunity that comes for love;
will not wear your musk another day and the pine needles
of your unshaven cheek will not scratch a tally of comings and goings on my belly.
I will not be your phlegm cleared for a speech you never deliver;
eyebrows raised like anticipation when there is nothing worth expecting.
And your words will not appraise me special, important, or not.  I will not die
with my eyes open, will not be surprised by death
and there will be no loud music in the foreground of any fear.
I will not die a shout in my ears, a whisper in yours.
I will not die without loving you first and then you can, me
and then maybe we can consider forever. But first we will agree
that neither of us will die with black lungs; fatty livers;
cataracted to trust; not with pink fingertips, nor palms
smeared with numbers and letters; pages empty
like we never knew the words.
I, for one, will not die without scars, and I will not die a wound.
And I will not let you die that way either.

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