Devin Koch

 
 

DEAR TREVOR

I’m on a date with a man named Trevor. We’re at an amusement park, bodies moving in a constant circle. I’ve known six Trevors my entire life with hair that reaches past their shoulders. Trevors whose fists are buds that won’t bloom. Trevors who are stuck in me like splinters, whose faces are always looking through mine. I know my face is twisted. I know my life is a jumbled mess. My mouth is an eye that wants to be looked at. My eyes are ears that want to be heard. We go into a fun-house filled with twisted mirrors. Look. We match. Trevor says and I want to believe him. Our bodies contorted, heads shrunken down to our knees, and the only person who’s laughing is Trevor. When we reach his apartment, I know I’ll wake to the voice of Bob Marley at 6am—the alarm clocks that are never mine. I’ll walk home with Trevor splinters living inside me, but I won’t take them out. I don’t know which Trevor I’m addressing this to or even which Trevor whose bed I’ll be waking in for that matter. Tell me, Trevor, that you’re not like the others. I can’t get “Three Little Birds” out of my head. And when I’m alone, face to face with my bathroom mirror, I’ll look through myself too.

DEAR TREVOR

I want to paint our bodies the color of night. Walk down Main Street where people can look into us like they do when looking to the sky. I want your starry fists to burst, to touch me before my body caves in. I’ve forgotten what it feels like. I want to send you this letter for my very name’s sake, to see how or if you’ll respond. Devin meaning Poet, Trevor–Prudent, our bodies never quite able to touch. This is starting to sound like the perfect tragedy in the making and I’m trying to write this all down as I speak. Tonight, the stars are hanging low in Virginia as if straining to kiss the ground and I wonder which star is ours. You never did show me behind tinted windows, the small piece of infinity in which we’ve staked a claim—the one named after us: Devin and Trevor, binary stars. Bi meaning two, nary–belonging to. Belonging to their barycenter, a middle where gravity pushes and pulls aged celestial bodies in a hazy dance, their light stretching through black. It’s clockwork. It’s routine. From the naked eye they look like one. This is what you told me. When I left you in Nebraska you kept the certificate—the glass frame was worth more than the stars themselves. Do we see them just like the moon? The same side but in different variations? I like to imagine so. Maybe we’re just at the foot of Orion, his yellow constellation bones drawn from Earth’s surface. I like to imagine that too and not the fact that each day more and more people are claiming the night like the way I’m claiming myself through words. I want to be selfish but I don’t want to shut off the stars, even if I could. I’d like to think you’re chasing me and not the other way around. We’re still dancing nonetheless. Dear Prudent, don’t forget the future. Dear Trevor, don’t forget the Poet.

DEAR TREVOR

I want to say that this will be my last letter. But I can’t promise you that. I like to think your sex number is still eighty-three. But I know you can’t promise me that either. Eighty-three: the number of miles that separate our hometowns, empty bottles of merlot that were at our apartment for some failed Pinterest project, countries we wanted to visit, the cost of the room at the Rainbow Inn and Lodge you bought for our anniversary, and the amount of times I wanted to tell you I love you. You told me a hole is a hole (is a hole) and when you fucked my face, you asked if it hurt while I listened to the gritty screams of the husband next door. We couldn’t hear his wife’s voice because fuck this broken lamp, fuck 10-10 Cheers Liquor Mart, fuck your forty-second birthday and I wondered how we got there, how Garden of the Gods got its name, how you were an atheist but still somehow believed in me, if the two mile high club is one mile closer to liberation, if up here, the seasons change in the mountains. I wanted to tell you that a hole is nothing but what remains around it and in that night we might have breathed the same air. I tried listening to the wife’s snore and hoped that you’d hear mine. I remember the drive home—I wanted you to hold my hand and tell me you want to do it all over again.

 
 

 

Devin Koch is a queer poet from Nebraska. He is an MFA candidate in poetry at Virginia Tech, the managing editor of the New River and former editor of the Minnesota Review. His poetry has appeared in Laurus and is the winner of the Marjorie Stover and Vreeland Award at the University Nebraska Lincoln.

 
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