Little Matchstick Girl
Have you ever noticed how wanting
burns you up
from the inside out?
Like one moment I am whole,
but then I hear
your voice on the phone
and I swear to god
three blocks away from here
they can smell smoke.
Improper Emergency Procedure
You have more fucking fault lines than California,
but I’d still settle somewhere along your coast
if you’d take the time to stop shifting for a moment.
I’m not afraid of the ground moving under my feet,
but I’m a little worried about your tectonic plates
grinding up against mine in a way
that sends people running for door frames.
I am always moving towards you.
On my bad days, I say to myself: “then you”.
Sure, this now. But then you.
I will keep tossing myself life lines.
I will keep writing myself afloat
until I don’t have to write a poem
for every mile marker
from here to California.
You and I together is the most foolish thing
I’ve ever hoped for. You and I apart is more foolish.
When I can’t sleep at night, I dream up
conversations with you. I never call. I never push.
I try not to whine. I just write it all down.
Sometimes I want to apologize
for wanting you out loud,
like too many people know the reasons
I am going to have laugh lines.
Sometimes instead of distanced pillow talk,
I want to curl up with the phone
and read you poetry.
Instead, we just talk about it.
You say, “honey, how was your day?”
And I say, “today I wrote another poem
about your coffee cup mouth
and all the ways you still keep me up at night.”
I hear a sigh in your smile.
You make a sound that reminds me of
fighting with my bags at the airport;
but you’re still too far away.
These poems are found in Trista’s new book, The Dogs I Have Kissed.