Corey Van Landingham

Because, in hindsight, the sensory deprivation
chamber may have been excessive, after the
drugs & the finger sandwiches bitten into hearts,          
everyone else pilgrims to the fire escape,
forgetting the frost threatening the metal steps.
God, how we gamed all night different realms,
hesitating only to kiss one more time before dawn.
It kept not coming. I read Tarot cards artlessly,
just in case the party might die. We spent the day
killing ourselves fictitiously, & I knew you
liked the story about the look I got from
Mr. Hardware when I bought the box of razors.
No, I’m sorry for more than this. I’m sorry for
our song we made up while you left your
poor body in the machine’s lukewarm water &
questioned the heavy crown of marriage.
Rudely, I forgot our guests. I forgot to
sing you back from sleep, to swallow my pride,
to say No, I can’t gift you all my injuries
under this cold & constant moon.
Versions of nostalgia were coming undone,
were sticking like fish bones in my throat.
X-rayed like that, filled up & dangerous,
you wouldn’t want me forever. I would have
zero chance of outlasting the sun.




“A lover may bestride the gossamers / That idles in the wanton summer air, / And yet not fall. So light is vanity.”—Romeo and Juliet, II.vi