Behind the Dive Bar
we touch hands
& the dark settles upon us
like a fog of bullets, the sky
turning itself to embers.
love does not want your body.
love watches your organs
fail & tells me to find
another. i do not listen.
instead, i ask each bottle
that passes your lips
how to snatch away the night
& call it freedom.
if you live until the end of this year,
how many of those days
will you use to love me?

whether the booze
or your flesh will kill you first,
i don't know. i shatter
every glass in the house
anyways. i listen
to all your excuses
& make them into a lover.
your chest stops moving
between breaths & i am already
halfway to the phone,
my fingers clutching
at your exposed neck.
love is the way
you wring each good moment
from my damp hands.
love is the scent
before your body arrives—
plastic cherries
& another mouth.
love is the police car at noon.
exhaust curling
into the sun, like you.
rising from the wreckage
above the water drowning
everything. nowadays,
i tell everyone
how i held you once.
before the bridge, the bottle
the wind pressed faithfully
to your back.

Tyler Tsay is a student at Williams College. His work, both past and upcoming, has been or will be published in The Offing, The Margins: AAWW, BOAAT, Vinyl Poetry, DIAGRAM and others. He is the recipient of the Bullock Poetry Prize, awarded by the Academy of American Poets and judged by Camille Rankine, the former Editor in Chief of The Blueshift Journal and the Program Director of The Speakeasy Project. When not doodling, collecting quills, or composing cello pieces, he loves a good view, though having an atrocious fear of heights. And yes, fezzes are definitely cool.

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761