i miss you because you were a war--
springing up from soiled pages, eraser-mark trenches,
a man wrapped in papyrus bandages.
i miss you because your words
were like will-o'-the-wisps and i could never remember
they meant harm.
i miss you because you had poetry glistening between your lips
instead of saliva. music instead of anger, me instead of
i miss you because after all those things were gone,
you traced good-bye songs on my skin
and now they burn.