my vegan lover is a paradox

That the sunny days do stick to walls
And then enter you
“There Is No Name Yet,” Dorothea Lasky

Because life is no more important than eating
“Why Poetry Can Be Hard for Most People,” Dorothea Lasky

If only one’s eyes weren’t visible to others, she thinks. If only one could hide one’s eyes from the world.
The Vegetarian, Han Kang

my vegan lover
takes me in her mouth
because she says
i am a willing participant

“this is for me”
she explains afterward
pressing her glistening lips to mine
pinning me down as if forever

taking me because she longs to eat me
consume me entirely
drawing me fully
into every opening of her possible

and then the merger complete
we are indistinguishable
one from the other
taken and given with eyes wide open

—P.L. Thomas

do not fret however my dearest

The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
“To His Coy Mistress,” Andrew Marvell

i told you everything in a dream
because dreams are where i tell all my lies

do not fret however my dearest

dreams are manufactured otherings
where lies are the most brilliant truths

we were together at some presentation
where the speaker’s microphone blared feedback

so you went to the stage in a white and navy dress
adjusting the microphones and sound system

all of this as dreams often are seemed quite natural
even though almost nothing of this was natural at all

except your ever-present legs bared by the dress

and then suddenly the dream transformed
into an episode of The Walking Dead with Negan

although i have watched only one with him
and stopped watching the series after that

i tell you this to prove a point i made above
in that part i was calm and everything seemed fine

just what are we to make of dreams then?
our minds unleashed from the demands of being awake

where everyone is watching everyone else
to catch those slivers of truth that undo us

each of us walking among the judgmental others
clutching baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire

o yes i love you achingly to the marrow
although that remains mostly silent and hidden

because the truth will set you free like a bashed skull
among those awake and watching every little thing

do not fret however my dearest

this is all we have and that is enough
because in the end this is all we have

—P.L. Thomas


i found you under leaves
or covered you in leaves
i am not sure which

brown maroon orange yellow

i do not know why we were outside
except you like the cool air
and public displays of affection

when i reached for your hand to help you up
you pulled me down instead of course

so i wiped the leaves from your face
to kiss your chilled eye lids nose and mouth

as we lay in the dulled autumn sun
you whispered to me like a child telling a secret

this is all i ever wanted you know

—P.L. Thomas



the hair cascading down the defenseless coccyx…
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides

did i tell you
i am reading Middlesex

she asked
from another room

i finished

the first time
he read Middlesex

he quit
not far into the novel

returning to it
and then unable to put it down

Middlesex has “coccyx” in it
she said

a word she had not known
before him

it starts slow and it’s dense
she added

we realize important moments
while in them and after

in retrospect we often say

talking about novels
while standing in different rooms

in one of which just moments earlier
her mouth exploring his coccyx

never could have imagined he thought

how love announces itself unexpectedly
warm and wet as silent lips and tongue

—P.L. Thomas



if you are

going to sit in this car
beside me without shoes

while we are

driving this far
your bare feet should be

in my lap


if you are

going to show up
with newly painted black nails

do not expect me

to walk through my day
as if you have not altered

the entire universe

—P.L. Thomas

just you (superhero jesus ®)

As soon as you’re born you start dying
So you might as well have a good time

“Sheep Go to Heaven,” CAKE

by being just you
you heal all my wounds

like the left hand of superhero jesus ®
feeding the multitude at Long John Silver’s ®

gifting the blind sight and coupons for LASIK ®
and handing the mute megaphones for love

while skating smoothly across a pond in July
to raise money to end all leprosy

but never quite figuring out how to force
a camel through the eye of a needle

because even superhero jesus ® in the end
pales against the warm lips of just you

—P.L. Thomas

oasis (the weight of that stone)

Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to, I will
“I Will,” The Beatles

she fell in love with him
because he felt like an oasis

a welcomed and needed sanctuary
from anything—no everything—else

found she believed in this otherwise drought
this wandering the desert of loneliness

alive and sustained now she faced
this dilemma of confessing his gift of life

how to tell him “you are the everything
without crushing him under the weight of that stone

—P.L. Thomas