I Could Kill You


I could kill you if I tried.
It’d be so easy.
You’d never see it coming.
After all,
I’m just a ghost.

I could strangle you
with my two bare hands,
or a wooly scarf,
or a silken tie.
All I’d need is leverage
and the upper body strength.

I could hit you with my car
on a dark and icy night,
put a big old dent right in the fender,
your body sprawled on the side.
All I’d need is a car
and to know where you are.

I could slip poison in your soup.
Tile cleaner, rat poison, Drain-O;
Crime shows have shown me
all the deadly household items.

I could hold you underwater
use all my strength to keep you down.
Tie rocks to our ankles,
drown us in a poetic murder/suicide
agreed to by neither of us.
Or her, watching from the shore.

I wouldn’t do any of this, you know.
You know me at least that well.
After all, it’s not you I want to kill.
The memories of you,
the ghost you left behind.
The fucking bastard
that just won’t die.
No matter what methods I try:
crushing, poisons, knives, and guns,
Still, it won’t disappear.

All’s that’s left to me
is to wish you well,
for her sake, for mine.
So live well, my torturous ghost;
Be the man I loved
for her sake, and for mine.
Make her proud,
be good to her,
for her sake, for mine.

And maybe your ghost will
finally leave me be, and
one day, I won’t want to
starve you, slap you,
smother you, electrocute you,
punch you, spear you,
shoot you, asphyxiate you,
cut you, kill you
love you.

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Don’t Look at Me Like That

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
You’ll still be thinking that
of me twenty years from
now.
We’ll see each other in
a bar, and I’ll admit
I stole your hall pass sim-
ply because it was yours.
Too embarrassed to con-
fess, I hid it in a
hole.
And I fear the day they
find that ceiling; and I
live my embarrassment
again.
And you’ll make me feel as
incompetent as you
always did back in the
day when I took it.
So don’t look at me like that
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Twenty years from now you’ll
feel the same when you see
me in a coffee shop.
And I’ll just want to die
because it will be the
one time I wear your sweat
shirt;
the one I ‘borrowed’ the
night I let you go where
no boy had gone before.
Hopped up on caffeine, I’ll
admit that I took it
meant to be in exchange.
Then you’ll know what you didn’t
(’cause I never told you);
it will be so strange.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
And nothing will have changed
in twenty years when you
nervously edge toward me
to make awkward small talk
about work and family.
I’ll tell you I have your
DVDs, as if I
just found them. But the truth
is I’ve found and lost them
a dozen times since then.
And you’ll make a joke that
will put neither of us
at ease. And I’ll admit
I think of you every
time I post a letter
and laugh every time I
walk because I know how
you’d balk at me walking
alone down the street.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
That’s how you’ll feel about
me in twenty years when
you see me again at
our friends’ vow renewal.
We’ll drink red wine as we
discuss the pink-hued past,
and share the sepia-toned now.
And I’ll admit that I
donated your sweatshirt
years ago ’cause I thought
we were a hopeless case.
You’ll laugh, shake your head, say
‘you’re right, of course’, and I’ll
feel like I’ve let you down
even though we both know
it’s the other way around.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.

Don’t look at me like that;
I know what you’re thinking.
Nothing will have changed in
twenty years from now, when
our work will overlap;
You’ll be there with her; you’ll
see I’ll be there with me.
And by then I won’t want
to punch you in the chest.
But I’ll tell you how I
fantasized I did.
And I never listened
to your music again,
But I kept the earrings
you gave to me back then.
And if you read between
the lines, you’ll finally
understand just how much
I loved you.
So don’t look at me like that,
because I already know
what you are thinking.