We were a midnight gas station with nothing else
around it for miles—that is,
and I knew this. I knew the tires
were low on air. I knew the air
was wet and thick with humidity.
It always is. This is Ohio. Or,
this is Pittsburgh. I haven’t quite decided yet.
No city holds a unique name
anymore, or maybe, never has.
You know how it is: McDonalds
late at night. Starbucks in the morning.
This is every city. We
were every city
we never thought we would visit—that is,
mysterious, but predictable. When I left
Ohio for college, it never felt like leaving.
200 miles rolled over like a new calendar
year—the first of every January
is a party. Twelve more months
till presents and trees and family and dinner and
And we knew this. Pittsburgh, Ohio,
what a city. He
was every disgusting summer I laid
bare-backed, glazed with sticky
air. A coat of sweat
I wear like paint
to protect my body
from every lake’s hungry
wave. And God,
what disgusting hunger. Undesired
desire. Every sex dream is filled
with the internal. We were never meant
to explore the insides of the human body.
Like the deepest depths of the ocean,
with its effervescent volcanoes,
its alien life-forms, its unrelenting
darkness, the internal was never
meant to be plunged into. But,
oh God, what hunger. Sometimes,
I wish climate change would speed up
so that the waters would rise
over every skyscraper
and we could drown so sweetly,
just us, these bodies,
and the din of panicked church bells.