One shoved my chest

like lightning that starts

in the middle of the sky.

Two had scars

I kissed before sleep,

one on the shoulder,

the other above the ribs.

None of them snored.

Two shed hairs into my mouth,

and for one,

I swallowed them.

Two whispered

I’m not enough for you

and I left them both.

Only one recited poetry.

At least three were straight.

One was my friend’s

boyfriend and we didn’t

use protection.

Four had boyfriends.

Three tested positive

but I didn’t

hear it from them.

One tried to leave

but I grabbed

and bruised his side.

He stayed. All of them

reminded me

of myself.

Two I peed on,

one accidentally.

Most started as bottoms,

but then wanted to be tops.

One always thought

that he was falling.

Two had been attacked

and had metal plates

in their foreheads.

One thought he was dying,

but it was just the DT’s.

One wanted to be a lawyer.

One wanted to have

a son, and I told him

that I would, with him.

This is the one

whose hairs I swallowed.

Who I never told

that I still carried

the others with me.

He knew anyway.


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TRENTON POLLARD is a Teaching Fellow at Columbia University. He previously studied poetry at North Carolina State University and Bennington College. He has poems forthcoming in Passages North and Dialogist, and has recently been published in Bennington Review, Denver Quarterly and North American Review. He lives in Queens.