In the hospital bed

We thought we loved each other

Thought and felt and knew-

And as our bodies touched we thought

The closeness only grew-

Each brush of skin and fragile

graft a flush of breath two lips which

crash and each exchange would cinch

the last ’til our bodies spliced together.


We hoped we healed each other

Hoped and tried and failed-

Each kiss we gave we tried to stop

Our faces growing pale-

One bite to make a rosy

patch one scratch to change the skin from

black a desperate thrust which served to

mask our pieces dying, losing purchase.


So we poisoned each other

Killed and maimed and bruised-

And for a while believed that all

Our ailments could be soothed-

Injected pain and sadness

passed through open sores a growing

mass of disillusioned joy; at

last we identified our contagion.



Not that I can remember that clearly,

as if it were important to me,

but I think that’s how I felt when we were grinding-

and him, almost-kissing-me.

I felt that spark in my gut of winning

more than my fair share-

of breaking some rule somebody had set out for me.

It was some sort of window to the Europe

I’d been promised-


by housewives who’ve been pining for it since.

I never took myself for a housewife.

I never signed their contracts, willingly

I thought as it was happening that I knew the best way

to always keep myself free.

I didn’t, it turns out, and neither did he.

Does that make him a sucker?


Some days I want to be a sucker too.

And some days I think I’m better.

That’s the danger-

while you’re getting away with something

you never know who might be busy

getting away from you.

Future Lover

Future lover

We are getting ice cream.

I see you in the crevices of light, little chinks of golden glow between the palm leaves.

You are the reds (of course)

And the greens

You are burnished copper.

I never thought that sunrises were as spectacular

But you did.

We’re with your family, and they

Tell me sunrise is better.

Future lover, I took you for tea

You fell in love the way I did with

Nostalgia stacked,

What I had left.

You saw all I had to give.

You loved me.

I am more than enough,

My family tells you,

Get married in the morning.

You nod your head and silently smile

You know some things

are better.

Working creatively with your love interest

As a videographer and director he is more dominant, less insecure, and a little less patient. This is the thing he takes ownership of, like I take ownership of my writing, and it is clear and obvious in the way we slipped into two different roles for our project. We were two parts of a five person team entered into Emerson’s 48 Hour Film Competition. He, the leader and the teacher. Me, the observer.

The world is rife with advice about how to work alongside your significant other. The most common commandment is Thou Shalt Not Mix Work and Play. You are encouraged to separate your creative life and your romantic life; don two different costumes, and be able to hang one of them up. After all, it’s as easy to slip back into “professional colleague” as it is to pull on a raincoat at the door of your suite. Tongues in mouths and pens on paper exist in two different dimensions, and for good reason, or else nothing would ever get done.

Except that this is bullshit.

The cheap and obvious panacea is that having a good relationship will mean having a good working relationship. Our good relationship meant kisses after a successful shot, but I was left with other feelings, too: did I contribute at all? I was the journalism major posing as a VMA, hoping desperately to learn and mimic what they did. Did I compromise and swallow criticisms because I was an outsider, or because I felt deferential to him?

I can’t help but feel smaller than him. I didn’t understand his reasoning for certain creative choices, cutting this, spending more time on that. I worry that he doesn’t think I’m smart because when he’s admiring classic directors all I am qualified to do is admire his intellect. And, because he’s good, he has given me reassurances about this. He liked the fact that I wasn’t perturbed by his idiosyncrasies on set (like the orange socks he religiously wears while filming). But for some reason I felt like Luke being complimented for making a tin can twitch, while Yoda was creating a steel castle with his mind.

The following recommendations were the missing links during my own experience: the things I needed but didn’t act on. The most important thing is to carve out your own space in the project- claim a talent that the other doesn’t have so that you never feel superfluous. If you don’t know about camera angles, focus on upholding the continuity of each shot- use your eye for detail. Channel your ability to talk to people by organizing marketing for your film, or your artistic skills to design the poster. This idea applies to any collaboration, like being in a study group or group project with your partner. Above all, you need to talk to them: fear is nothing except for the absence of communication. Confronting my insecurities with him as they rose up might have slowed us down, but it also wouldn’t have hit me so hard after the fact. And finally, set up an opportunity for them to watch you doing something you’re great at. We had shared our poetry with each other before but he didn’t truly see how I had a writer’s mind until I helped craft the film’s story. Someone in their element is someone at their sexiest- and we could all stand to see a little more of that. YM