You rest so still during the precipice of night,
peacefully articulating the sleep-talking language of dreams
at the edge of blue water, while the burnt-orange sunrise approaches the West Coast.
This California desert heat.

I decipher your words & rehearse
the things I want to say when you’re awake…
But I cannot always speak when my heart burns through my vocal cords.
It’s a strangulation that made sense in the congestion of New York City.

I’m changing. Fast.
This otherworldly kind of love shifts perspective & my bones quiver with recognition
as I look into the mirror of my own soul.
By dusk, my voice has altered once again. You have altered me.

This is so…This is so unlike anything I’ve known before,
channeling the mythic romantic archetypes of past lives,
modernized for the 21st century—an arena of disambiguation.
Once, you would have been the Mark Antony to my Cleopatra,
but now you are the Richard Burton to my Elizabeth Taylor. Modern love, chaos averted.
And so we surrender, together.

You walk into a room & I feel you before I see your startling eyelashes…
blazing as though you’ve just walked out of a fire, unscathed.
My Dream Warrior. Killer-Beloved.
You sing my body free of saccharine and leave the salt.
& so my bones quiver with recognition as I look into the mirror
“my shadow-twin, my next of kin…”

We—the broken-hearted, hopeful cynical romantics.
We—the tentatively hard drinkers, the smokers, the kind & weary sinners
wizened eyes within deceptively young faces & excellent posture,
intermingling moments of tension & tenderness.
We are not the first. We will not be the last. Historical love. Modern love.

How I want to pour it all into you,
through fingertips, skin, the shredded morning vocal cords.
How I want to carry your scent on my neck like a decadent perfume,
bathe your broken heart in saltwater tears and sew it up again.

How I want to wrap around you so tightly that it destroys every nightmare.