from You & Me, Forever!

In Kyiv they lived in the middle
of the night on brown bread
and butter they ate
cucumbers and tomatoes
with sunflower oil and pink salt
this was Kyiv
they'd already eaten somewhere
else but were so hungry
sometimes it would be fast
but lately it had been simple
food from the kitchen without having
to go out in the dark
and snow for what
was still at the table
he'd eat and smoke
she'd pace and make hot shapes
with her body in her mouth
she'd put food and look
at them in the hallway mirror
he looked like Rodin's sculpture
thoughts in sadness
she didn't think she should
return from someone that sad
having little to do with the philosophical
he was a painter
who returned to his hometown
given money and time
this was his assignment
this is what we want
but art is never as essential
as we alone would like
to think and be
it's been so hard
to do anything to get anywhere
I don't need myself
I already am me
I don't need any more
lessons in humility
just you
just you

she felt it exactly
having not written anything
or thought to in months
but love was taking turns
affecting a rock
but look at all you've been
just you
just you

or as he said
you be me
I be you
that's love

once a month they had said
no months would pass without
and so they hadn't
the flat was tall and old and cold
a small tree blinked
day and night
do you like our tree do you

she'd never cared about trees before
or this one just that
it resided there because he did
they'd projected so much
on the projector he used for murals
actors on blank walls
the same for their silence
the same for their talking
them of themselves
they'd close their eyes
and bite in perfect clarity
when they had the energy
they kept on
about white governments
and Trotsky
one time they read
one time they went to the ballet
once she tried to poem him
once he sketched her
you have so much pose
because I'm trying so hard

after she'd become nauseous
she wasn't used
to so much swallowing
are you going to come
come for me
if I fell out of love with you
that would make you a woman
who didn't know she was in love

in a voice different from their own
they blushed
you know I would never
do any of this if it weren't for you
I promise not to bore you

and she knew
this truth to be true
his simplicity
the simplicity
of a kind of life
of the kind of vulnerability
she wanted surprised her still
'I took a plane here
then I took a plane here.'