Apartment Poetry Quarterly

16A              16B              16C              16D              16E              16F


16e Riley Ratcliff




Dotted outline, their face in narrow fields

commissions clovers. The clothes I wore

In the panoply of streetlights a streetlight sifts

through drafts of my attention

maybe I’m not sweet enough for this

anymore than oneself to a friend. They mouth their

reasons into my collarbone; I read their

penis my hand a tactile map of the coastline

no way home. At daylight’s eastern edge

the sky pink and treetops black are crossed

they are peas, a latticed generation; then

the leafs will register pink against black sky.

I came out wanting; I would have let them

drive, mile markers the number of times I

stepping in and out as I slept. They cut lucidity

for fondness, long occasional thoughts into the

they leapt out at me; they lent me with perfect intention

books; I was locked in

looked into: I hacked into their tree.






Furrowed clouds, the half-lit yard, eventually;

sometimes to ask the wrong questions. It wasn’t

(wasn’t it) about what was right, what was left

of the companion season; was it

If I were successful — if we were success

would you find time for the next few months

years… wouldn’t I describe myself as

light against the railing, and my ears (eyes

out of season) as ditches — wine-colored mud

in my hair, behind the house… this shade of green

the evening in drifts and starts, fireflies damp

from the ground, or some part of me

taken up years ago; could I say that?

thought that it was what I wanted — you pointed

out that we have the same haircut (we don’t)

and I took that to say what you wanted, whether

or not you meant it, or just that the tree was enough

to make sense of the rain, the wide orange streetlights

flirting with recommendations, the electrical substation.