Brian Chander Wiora

Tan Leather

That evening, we were in the back of a car
with tan leather. Every time I kissed your hand,

your other one would touch that smooth,
durable material, what once was skin. 

I felt your head vibrate on my shoulder
while you thought about something old and warm

like the sun. Your black nail polish shadowed
the cuticle white sky, as if fur pattering against 

the window. Its residue gathered on my lips.
Between us were bags of apples we wouldn’t finish, 

because we noticed that all our winter jackets
had tags with brands written on them, like animals

fattened with life, lined up for slaughter.



In that paper room
in front of the rotary hours
we brush our teeth in separate sinks.
And we know the rain’s jukebox.
And we wake up
the body of another tomorrow.
Whatever we’ve forgotten
from our momentary together
with ghostless bones.
Sometimes, in our sleep, they touch. 

Brian Chander Wiora teaches poetry at Columbia University, where he is an MFA candidate. He serves as the Online Poetry Editor for the Columbia Journal. His poems have appeared in Rattle, Gulf Stream Magazine, The New Mexico Review, As It Ought To Be, Kissing Dynamite, Alexandria Quarterly, and other places. Besides poetry, he enjoys listening to classic rock music, performing standup comedy, and traveling.