Discount Champagne and a Silver Ashtray

You curled in the upper left corner of your bed,
wrapped tightly in the sheets, a wolf in no clothing,
as I tugged on my jeans still cold from the floor’s embrace.

Ran your fingers through the snowy thickets
of my misshapen back, searching for scratch marks on the trees,
while I laced my shoes, watching the sun blossom
through your window slits.

Kissed me naked in your doorway with
half-shut bedroom eyes, and wide open bedroom lips
before I shuffled into the frostbitten street.

My cane taps across the Tarmac like a clock’s back hand,
always pursuing, never quite in step,
reminding me that soon the sun will set fire to the morning fog,
and the day must begin.

I pause to light a hearth between my lips,
the fire giving temporary life
to my seizing knuckles as it leaps from my bad omen lighter
(as though either of us needed worse luck)
the smoke curling like the 4 a.m. of your body
pressed tightly against mine.

The rush of hot smoke is well spiced
homicide across my tongue,
reminds me of the taste of the fluorescent
blood beading on your split lip,
how it mixed with the champagne into so sweet of a drink,
reminds me of exchanging funeral plans, of how
hot your skin burned against mine like the night was a shroud
of black silk and our bodies could set fire to it,
reminds me that no matter how pretty we dress it up
we are all just ashes in the making.

I zip my jacket higher, fists of muscle cracking
branches in my back, wracked with an involuntary spasm,
the wind crawls into all of my cracks, the inescapable cold seeping in.

Beneath my sleeves I can feel my scars darken
like the leaves which have still yet to fall
and I wonder if beneath the blankets, far down the road
in your apartment alone,
the unspoken grievances of your skin darken the same.