Don’t read me.
If there has to be
any small measure of distance
between your consciousness
and my soul
then don’t read me
because I smeared my blood
on that sheet of paper
and the mere sight of it
will make you queasy.

Because your heart
may be too faint
for the brutality
of my honesty,
don’t read me.

Because you think
poetry is about words
because you open your eyes
each morning
or walk out of the office
each evening
and ask yourself,
what can I write about today?”

you don’t understand
that the best poetry
isn’t the product
of any effort
to produce
but the failure
of every effort
to suppress,
so you can’t read me

Because when I can’t sleep at night
or when I wake up to
a total solar eclipse
because when life gets too heavy
because when my heart gets too full
I regurgitate words
into my laptop’s keyboard
to seize back my sanity
and the mess might be
too much for you,
don’t read me.

Because you spend
so much time
perfecting the art
of expressing things
as if there were a short cut
well reality check, baby:
to sound like you really mean it
there’s no way but
to really feel it

you should have spent that time
getting out there
and feeling something
instead of trying to give names
to other people’s feelings

because you ventriloquize
living vicariously
through your own
fictional poetry

because you would not write
about real people
you pay empty tributes
to the perfection
that does not exist
without the slightest clue
that that very flawed humanness
could give the wealth of imagery
that eludes you.

Because your selfishness
is such that
you would not set aside
the best metaphors
for when you are writing
for someone you love,
why should I waste
any metaphors on you?

Don’t read me
if you’re going to make issues
about how
uncomfortable I make you
with just how real I can get
as if it’s deplorable
when you and I both know
even my mediocre
is better than your best.

I’ve lived and died
and been resurrected
more times than you have blinked.

Don’t so much as
put your finger
within an inch
of my poetry.
Any one of my days is
longer than your eternity.