pretty basic

when I trim nails, shave,
put on underwear;
put on pants
and a tight black shirt;

when I read a bright-ache text
or coded visual;

when I drink;

when I hear a punk song, a rock,
a love song;

when I drink;

when I stroke the steel hair
of my much-used instrument,
make a new old noise,
twelve bars of years and decades,
twelve bars of cold sweat —
when I’m in
a cold sweat —

when I’m fucking and I have to stop myself
from saying your name
because it isn’t you

(First published in Cottonmouth)