I feel no real obligation to my impassioned
rectitude

my penciled plans to revitalize warehouse row;
syringe exchanges, my want for self that ends in
impatient provocation or
your broken smile
or three decades of self-oppression
escaping in one hollow
cough.

turquoise shelf i found when we were out:
chasing the one feeling of kissing under a tree
that I chased the whole way back.
I hung it,
blackened with your incense cones,
weaved my Nana’s rosaries through the cracks in the
corner,
rarely dusted and I
made no moves to straighten the pictures of my deceased:
unknown cousins,
guinea pigs,
first dog Pepper,
my first dead brother.
I want to be brave in all new ways.

now removed, I’m stripping the floral siding
with my fingernails,
peeling the paint back to white to present to you,
dusted,
a fresh start
a parting gift
and watching shellacked ghosts line the floor,
this shared townhouse,
sweeps hand over graffiti bread crumbs
our urban decay.

I wear skirts packed with yellow roses for the cats,
rain boots when I go out, drawn shades, broken smirk and
nothing
when you come about.
move freely;
a fleshy crystal specter,
sun scented,
in and out of the fumy crevices of
other people’s lives.
inner foxes smoked out, plains I’ve burned to clear the way
make space for other people:
other peoples’ stripped bare shelves,
other peoples’ rose-red things.

I’m looking at you in your eyes
holding space for clean kidneys,
muscled positivity, you said,
his ashes are still clasped around my throat
(where you hang)
singing stories of a better east,
lilac vine up your spine wafting gentle remorse,
honeysuckle, that little lie about
choice.
I want to squeeze you in this bad neighborhood
and you held on.

wild lavender sprouting from your toes through the hints of splattered paint,
a meadow in your abdomen coaxing foxes from their subsidized holes,
your knees touch, knock mine:
sudden sting
close and sharp (how you pulled me)
                the way memory sits on your skull
then pulled back (how you held me)
far away sometimes;
the tree at North Boulder park
making wind happen
blowing kisses from the pines.

kettle on and I’m cold calling the mountains
my broken back to you now.
my nails are brown tipped and filthy,
sweat from a hard night’s day,
and really,  
you’re unremarkable these days.
mind the carpenter’s paint, some gray cement garden:
no flora, no fauna, and even God told me to pause,
rest on my previous laurels.
but i’m a martyr for this
and I told God:
I crave repercussion

a yawning clanking watering can spritzing your open lips,
dolling up your stolid ground, birthing your stories,
pollen murals out of micro gestures,
grabbing cattails from the gales to comb out the tangles of your childhood,
where is your father?
fistfuls of mud
planting seeds in the tiny cracks around your chest that my own
sharp-toothed grief left when you
muttered the first
no

I flex my calves,
rest on the balls of my dusty feet,
drop the dirt in your throat,
settle and hear the canyons crack
in my ankles.

I stay in all new ways.

“sprinkler”

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