Softened Butter

I tilt my head to look more into his eyes,

I like how tilting is more, it’s the most I know.

I am twenty. I know how to tilt into eyes,

I know how to remember when I want to:

the younger sisters of October, a middle name,

a maiden name, a stepfather.

I like how he repeated words after me, trusting my pronunciation.


More felt like a soft gaze, a gazeless gaze, a drishti, from one chair to the next,

A small squint gaze… see, I am listening.

Because you can never look at someone too much when you are listening.


A gaze with no purpose

like pushing marbles into softened butter.

I tilt my head the other way, still listening.


The west coast only asks that he never stops reading;

a tilt into how he was raised. I’d recognize that tilt too.


It’s the most I know.

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