Against Decoration

  1. You left your mark on me, the bruise
  2. purplish and dark. In time, it faded.
  3. I want to say it was variegated or
  4. mottled or resembling the press
  5. of a brush barely dipped in Tyrian.
  6. Pointless, really, to give a bruise
  7. so much weight. Leave it alone.
  8. Let it be just a bruise on my neck.
  9. Bruises fade. This morning, as I
  10. walked the trail by the beach, the ice plant
  11. was starting its change, the fibrous leaves
  12. dense green turning pale and then purple.
  13. You understand, right? Things like this
  14. prompt the gears in my head to start
  15. their labor. Again. Memory needs
  16. no such decoration, such labored desire.
  17. What I am trying to say, what I want to say
  18. is that I think of you at the oddest times.
  19. The ice plant, the bruise you gave me
  20. so long ago? Unnecessary. Work.
  21. I have spent a long time with pen
  22. and paper, and even now I am tentative.
  23. Who doesn’t love melodrama, sentimentality?
  24. Love is fierce. Love is brutal and fierce.
  25. Let me remember that. Let me forego ice plants
  26. and bruises, sand turned weapon by the wind.
  27. I have hidden behind the beauty of metaphors
  28. for too long. I have been hiding for far too long.