Christmas Eve with Roger and Mark

There’s three major references working in this poem. The title and the overarching theme is a reference to the musical Rent (a close friend of mine was cast in a community theater production of it recently, so that’s been on my mind of late.) The first stanza is a reference to Jason Bayani’s  poem “Troubadour.” The second is a reference to the song “Passenger” by the Deftones (which I’ve referenced before in the cut-up poem “On Again, Off Again.”)

Anyway! I’ve got to write twelve poems over the next four days, so expect to hear a lot more from me (and then probably a lot less…)

Except for the quiet passenger

Who stayed behind,

There is nobody left here


The cool night air is curious,

Hungrily lapping the warmth

From our bodies, eager to see

Just how many licks it takes

To get to the center of a man


In these lonely moments,

My memories of you keep me warm

(The topography of your body)

(The shades of your skin)

(The harmonies of your laugh)

(The way we fit together

Folded like living origami)


Sitting shivering, I have placed them

All in a line, judged them one by one,

Weighed them carefully


And burned them in the furnace


(The night is bitter and cold,

You understand)


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