Arden Eli Hill


Boxes close. Rooms empty.
Ghosts grow loud to fill the space.
I listen because to converse would be crazy.
It's May, a month left, at least, to breathe.

I was born under Gemini
and so June sings to me,
licks cake-flesh
from between its claws.

July offers ideas:
Hold you head
under stagnant water.
Piss the bed to halt
the fire in its sheets.

August is my twin full grown
in air so hot that when I try to cut
him out, the blood comes cool
from underneath my skin.

I measure days
in drops waiting for you
to do what has been done.
Instead, you linger loving and I ache

impatient because of it, aware
that the ending is worse than the end,
that reprieve, when it is granted,
is nothing close to peace.

* * *


Monday morning, you cut your face shaving.
I watch the blood dry, disappointed
in skin, in your feet on the floor, your shadow cast.
Dr. G. says, It's good to part with false gods.
Still, this hole has the feel of a funeral.
I swallow. That hypothetical bullet
I would have taken for you hangs
heavy around my neck as lead.

In the beginning
was an unexpected dark
and then less light.

The air is too heavy. It holds everything
off so nothing touches my skin the way razors once
caressed the blood out. I miss ritual.
A net of scars is armor. I miss touch
that does not sound like a copper gong.
There was always someone on the radio
inside my head. This new nothing space waits
impatiently for something to drop down.

Your hand crawls over to my thigh.
You tell me I look nice in clean clothes
out of the wringer, pressed flat. Amen.

Arden Eli Hill is a graduate of Hollins University's Creative Writing MFA program. He is currently a poetry editor for Breath and Shadow an online journal of disability culture and literature. Arden has had work accepted or published by Sein und Werden, Willow Springs, Ghoti Magazine, Concrete, The Hollins Critic, The Windy City Times Pride Literary Supplement, Best Gay Erotica 2008, Boys in Heat, and the Lambda Literary award winning anthology First Person Queer. Arden is very thankful for the support and encouragement he receives from his friend Trip.