Tommy Kessler

Do you know my name?

I don’t go by one,

but the pressure’s been on

ever since I wanted to

kiss you last December,

when I thought about

ripping off your necklace

like a cat on the precipice

of some liminal space.


Do you know my name?

The muddled word rings hollow

when it matters most.

If it matters at all.

This question lies at the heart

of my choking, begging me

to wash my hands.


Do you know my name?

I ask three times to beg you

not to answer; there’s a hole at the

bottom of the ocean swallowing

creatures we’ll never discover.



The floor is covered in the remains

of memories she’ll forget once grown,

but the flood won’t be lost on me.

I’ll remember for her;

I’ll love her in the forgetting.

Bodies keeping score of joys

fading with time, getting heavier

every moment.


A thousand words to recollect

a lifetime of laughing recklessly

through the dying.

A thousand words to smile

in the face of angst.

A thousand words to show

that love is relentless.


She sings while grabbing empty bottles

I pulled from the night before

as the clocks reset;

as my mind went brown;

as nothing was made new.

The guilt of loving someone

willing to make sacrifices back

is unbearable; she shouldn’t

have seen me like that but

loves me despite manic moments.

This is all I could wish for.