bare bones jealousy/the secrets of a petrol station run

i am what you want me to be
the shade of his hair in the sunlight, maybe the pink tint of their heart-shaped sunglasses
the same colour as her lip gloss

favourite smells are good icebreakers
let me ask you on our first date if washing the earth in the storm–
bathing the soil in water droplets if the scent of petrichor brings you back
to our first kiss in the rain.

i’ll be the way he dances at home in your arms
the way you kiss them, the way the living room moves when she’s in it
i’ll be the way he looks at you with peace

let me ask you for something memorable
pick something you can put in a washing machine and when the cycle
is over you feel it and you can love me all over again

i’ll either be home or the foreign
body in the bed after your second one-night stand
i am only the same myriad of human as the songs i wrote when i was fifteen
green like envy or growing stems, i sang about loving when loathing rolled
off my tongue as easy as dreaming about her was

i smell gasoline on summer days
because of that one time you drove me to a petrol station
because after the tank was filled you laughed
fill my heart up like that. it won’t cost $2.20 a litre, i promise

what did you know at fifteen?
the feeling of her lips in the back of a car that wasn’t hers?
charging our brains with sugar water and machine-made love
the mundanity of february

my favourite smell is the iced coffee we bought at the petrol station
the taste lingers, awake, on your lips

i still don’t know how to pay for gas or kiss people
i am what you wanted
i am what loving could have been and what love is

Featured photo by Aleks Marinkovic on Unsplash.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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