my lover is an invisible lover.

he makes his home
in the hollow of my stomach,
at the base of my
spine where the diamonds are,
in the slimy recesses
of my throat where
the words are all fetal, gestating,
almost ready.

my lover is never reproachful or
wary of the lines i waste
on him, the stories i weave
nightfalls in bed
involving Donne's metaphysics,
man's purpled papacies.


the trappings of my love —

what i speak &
what i act upon; the wrecks
my body has been through,
the scyllas, the stakes, the
shine of words or skin, mottled
& medieval against
my own —

my love draws him up out of his invisible self
like Botticelli's contorted Venus,
like the rib we all are fashioned from.

i create him/imprison him within
a stifling set of parentheses, as
he could never (in his art, in his pain) create me.

he is my secondthought, my table scraps, my aftermath.

Close your mouth, i say to his
just-beginning form, & do not let me drip out.