Timothy Liu

Carpe Diem
April 23, 2019 Liu Timothy

CARPE DIEM

You won’t live
long enough to see
who will win the next

election, the blood
clot deep within
your artery breaking

free. You and I
won’t make it to
those island dunes

we planned on
getting lost in—
all the money

gone. I tried
to tell you not to
worry about if

the per diem
would be enough
to cover everything

we had in mind.
I tried insisting
it was time for us

to splurge, go
ahead and come
on my chest!

I said, this is close
as we’re going
to get to play now,

pay later. You
mumbled something
about desiring and

resisting, resisting
and desiring,
thanking me for

breaking the cycle,
your cum drying
on my face that I

refused to wash off
as we lay there
stunned, the TV on

with the sound off.
Forget about where
the remote ended

up. Forget about
how much room
service was going

to cost us after being
locked up for five
whole days, a do not

disturb sign hanging
on the other side
of a boutique hotel door

undisturbed. So what
if you ultimately
lost your kid or if I

lost my job. So what
if our carefully guarded
names were nothing more

than shit by the time
we walked out
of there smelling like

French-milled soap,
even sneaking out
an extra bar

from the undocumented
worker’s cart when
she had turned a blind

eye. Forget about
leaving any kind of
decent tip when we

had clearly outstayed
our welcome.
Nor does it matter

whose name we chose
to register under,
smart enough to pay

cash, leave no paper
trail behind for
the resentment patrol

to find. If we had to
do it all over
again is not even

a question. Maybe
we were incredibly
selfish, stupid to

think we’d get away
with any of it,
smart phone discarded

under the bed
meaning one of us
would eventually have to

go back and answer
those messages
and texts that kept on

coming. Even you
would’ve agreed
things had gone on

for far too long.

Timothy Liu’s latest book is Luminous Debris: New & Selected Leger- demain. He lives in Manhattan and Woodstock, NY. timothyliu.net