Exposed Only a Little


Exposed only a little 

I tell myself in summer 

In the scorches of 


I tell myself stories 

About your smile 

Tell myself lies 

About tomorrow 

And the next day 

Trying to convince 


That the beach is 

Not a terrible place 

To be 

Even though I know 

You hate the sand 

That collects 

In the webs of your toes 

The white foam 

That soaks the cuffs of your jeans 

When you 


Me to the water 

You will never 


To curling waves 

Your mouth shapes 

Something thin like 


On my repeated 


That I never need to say 


Exposed only a little 

In these yellow spirals 

These fuchsia splatters 

At the art museums 

Where acrylics 

Speak to me in tongues 

Tongues that don’t yield for anything 

But purpose 

Where you stay 

Silent for what 

A little disinterest 

A little disrespect 

I wish you could 

Pretend for me 

This picture is my 

Joy of us 

Exposed only a little 

On mattress tops 

Under quilted covers 

With raw skin between 


And yet so much more 

Comes between 


I have a hard time remembering 

That feeling 

And remember 

My phobia 

Of scratching my skin 

My love 

Your personality comes 

From the thoughtful sort 

And yet 

There is something about you 


To me 


Exposed only a little 

When you play with 

My hair 

A chestnut coffee dream 

Dripping down 

Past my shoulders 

You like it tied up 

But it isn’t longer 

Than the photo strips 

Of two parted lips 

That plaster against 

My walls 

They run on 

We run on 

Between the sheets and 

Down the streets 

To the shores of 

Lake Michigan 

Remember it was 

A glassy gray 

But you were 

My friend 

Who looked alive 

When I look down 

I see the shape of 

Your hand 

Squeezing across 2000 miles 

So I don’t feel hidden away 


Exposed only a little 

Because I didn’t even press the flowers 

Then plastic bags 

Seal out the air 

But don’t really 

Preserve anything 

To be sought after again 

Is a lovely thing 

But I wont give 

My name away 

Until I know 

What it is 

What I am to you 

Do you even remember 

A time before 

The hurt 

Memories marked 

With lighter shades and 

Brighter days 

When everyone was flawless 

Foolproof and 

They couldn’t be smeared 


But I do remember that night 

When the mattress 

Was half-empty 

It was a bouquet that only 

Beamed with good intentions 


Exposed only a little 

If the hands have 

No boundaries 

I am my every day 

In front of you 

I show the 

Plaque on my teeth 

I love that you don’t 


If I Forget to brush 

Stay and move with me 

I do the prettiest dance 

With the trees 

I sing the loveliest song 

With the wind 

But watch me channel 

My rage into waves 

Ripples of doubt into 

Ripping downpours 

I have weathered the 


That is myself 

Without you 

Meshed it all into 


In my old-fashioned blender 

I find 

The colors go well 


Like you and me 


Exposed only a little 

You who are my mouth 

My eyes 

My lips 

And my greatest sorrow 

In you I etch 

My life 

I engrave my love and 

Memory into stone-like skin 

With my fingernails 

Where it will never be 


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