i come over 6


I’ve always been drawn to sentences:

spent sunrise picking at covered clots;
veins growing lush with unsheltered heart,
profuse and spilling drops that
take years, nights of self harm but
eventually amount to
one abrupt and disconsolate
flood. I’m upright;
soaked in streams:
red rivers and caged
in sore body and
the newest sun.
smear some copper from my thumb
as I pick up my phone to
take a picture of my torn knees
in the rising dawn.
find a filter first.

to cloak my embattled joints
(hide your armor)
before I send you the veiled snapshots
about it.
I’m not obvious in
torture, I’m not obvious
in scar.
I’m a smirk on a lynx peeking
through a grove of bush,
dead quiet in stalk and
low to the ground
holding steady for
you will feel my jaws
land before you feel the beat
of my pulse.

if I am anything first,
it is a woman
of course.


give it to me, God
can be a risky request.

immured in soft crystal, I felt
on the verge of therapeutically unhinged
all winter.
my hair was combed,
my lips were never chapped,
I wore blush every day and
stockings with no
runs. my tongue was tied
so no one asked
what I may have needed.

chased an impartial sun
half of December
and spent the other half
soaked in flower essences. I preferred
helenite draped in tiger’s eye so I’m more
sudden hot eruption than slow boil
but tonight I try more benevolent blooms
and pausing
watch my flimsy, cherry-dipped
ylang ylang fingertips
shake unsteadily
and without any observable provocation,
suddenly stop untying my velvet collar,
suddenly shy away from the mirror,
suddenly lunge and land
on my ball of green sheen obsidian
delicately scraped from the bottom of some
extinct volcano;
still mired in sudden climax,
rinsed and smoothed for my
handling pleasure. now
pressed against my sacral as I spread my arms wide
on the mattress making way for my
own coming crucifixion.
it was
“heart chakra activating.”

for wisdom.
for understanding.
for love, for love, for
soft, soft
l o v e
with protection.
and my heart;
poor, twisted carnivore
always unsure of when the next meal will
can shift her way into a
permanent snarl
“with protection.”
I stomp into the other room and
shatter the glossy carnise bowl
he let me borrow
so I could smoke my way into

I leave it broken, shiny
on the kitchen’s peeling
strip my skin of clothes and scent in
a hot steam bath
and let the pieces
watch my step
around the house
for now.

my place,
one carnelian cobweb,
can’t be swept.


Lick the salt from the crest
underneath my elbow
where the flesh is softest
and my nerves are most
on end.
You know I’m antsy,
itching to grow the
space between us large enough
to span states
(it’s all about the wait)
and you
let your lips rest on my arm,
timidly ask me where I
plan to stay.

The polar vortex
has passed:
it’s Saturday
and the sun is out.
I am lying on my side
facing a suitcase
that is only
half packed
nearest the crack in the
window and I feel a
breeze. I hear
a sparrow call me.
I hear
a car pull away and feel
a wet tongue trace
the blue tributary underneath
the skin of my arm
in wonder,
are you planning to

It’s Saturday
and the sun is out
but winter is just
getting underway.
I am homeless.
I am boundless.
show me your bondage.
I am possessed by
love again.

and the sun is

It was the second polar vortex in four years to hit Philadelphia this hard. Pounds of algid air stood packed behind her so she felt immediately boxed every step forward. There was no escaping the weight of this winter. The air was heavy and devastating and the winds picked up every few seconds. Her eyes were brimming with tears that wouldn’t leave the bottom of her lids. Between the tiny wave that wouldn’t break trapped in her eyelids and the blanket of white she had to cut with her forearms to get through, she could barely make out what was in front of her. Each cheek was red and beaten by the tiny chunks of ice slapping her, like clockwork, every ten seconds at least. The ground was just a giant ice patch covered by white fluff. It had been snowing for days on and off. Living here for years, Camelia knew, each snow wreaked havoc on the concrete. When this thawed and dried out, there would be giant craters in every road, the gravity of the storm will crack the pavement in the shape of a golf course making it nearly impossible to drive. That’s not even accounting for the militia and blockades headed this way; for the difficulty passing on foot or road, for the town arming themselves to the teeth; for the long awaited eruption by everyone trapped inside. Either way you sliced it, whether natural disaster or man-made war, Philadelphia was devolving first and settling in her resilience ready to burst from her squalor cocoon to grow into something else; something big with jaws and starving. Something dying to get out. These storms were the first test of her steadfastness.

Camelia’s eyelashes were coated in tiny snowflakes and she could hardly make out the building in front of her. She had been drawn to a light in the window. From the original distance, when she left her car, it looked abandoned. As she stepped closer, she could see there were candles, maybe a soft lamp, burning in the upstairs window. Everything else was dusky; an ashen gray, a midnight lake. There was no sense of welcome here. Let it be a party. Let it be jovial and light. Her car was still somewhere behind her, stuck. Trudging in baby heels, her bare arms nearly frozen, Camelia was also quietly erupting, becoming something else too. She reached for her neck instinctively to hold the sapphire locket that contained him. She was almost frozen. The prick of the cold metal didn’t even bother her. The heart-shaped amulet was her only comfort. Only about thirty feet from the door, Camelia was struck with a sense of panic. God, give me strength. She paused at the edge of the yard and allowed herself to breathe. She crushed the straw in her right hand. What do I look like to them? She must have been blue as her dress. She must have looked like a corpse. She must have looked terrified. Give me warmth.

Continuing to accept the dust of the frozen rain smacking her cheeks and her ankles twisting uncomfortably with each forward step, she allowed her body to be frozen in motion as she drifted up the short driveway and headed to the door. How did I even get from here to there? She turned around. All white and black air and miles of storm to come– no sign of her car. Her bell shaped gown became a shadow on the front step and she lifted her right hand, still clutching straw as her left hand was still clutching blue heart around her neck, to the top of the door. She thought she heard someone laugh inside.

God, give me grace.

She began knocking loudly.