show me how to be an angel,
sky.
I think I’ve been there before
before I found out what my hands could do
when they’re not pressed together anymore:

bring donuts for the office,
offer silence,
advice,
paint houses. mend fences.
pull the nails from my true love’s feet.
I placed them everywhere.
smile openly at strangers,
hold the door and inner bleating,
stop repeating anecdotes that expose the dark recesses
I’m engulfed in so I can save some space
for longing, for mystery,
for silence.
it’s the surprise that I can’t take.

I invite them to dinner,
ask them to bring a favorite song,
a defect they love.
I like strings and female wailing,
chords that are long, surfeit with unrequited love.
I want it to sound like a heart that’s starving for admission but will
take it with a snare drum.
I apologize profusely for how bright my apartment is these days.
I know you expected something darker, but I prefer a blinding scripture to the days I waded in shade and open constriction,
open haste.
they understand the situation,
and they offer me some gifts.
I waste the night with demands and curious
inspection.
Show me all the books you love.
Recite your favorite lines.
Are you some sort of prodigy?
I think the world is crawling with
caged geniuses that got lost along the way.
I need to see your insides and your
hands. Palms up to show you
aren’t hiding anything.
Are you the predator or prey?
Do you believe in martyrs;
do you believe that the devil traps the saints?
I’m no killer, I promise, but I’m
not the easy way.
Do you believe in chance?
I once watched my fate unfold across my eyelids,
two parties coming together in black and white,
a future that was possible, but someone whispered:
it is better to ruin this thing.
I believe in lessons.
There is no such thing as a mistake.

They show me teeth, piano, films. I show them
“Begotten,”
I show them a dozen ways to trample gardens,
I show them the drugs I bought,
show them my notepad:
do you see how I can write the future?
Look, I planted bombs everywhere.
I show them demolition.
I show them scribes can craft the wicked.
I show them what my insides look like.
I’m never naked for long but they need to see my
hopes. They need to know.
They know I’m a strange accidental channel and they ask
to see their grandma again.
They see my vacant stare.
I continue with the questions and they finally say:
Have you ever let a thought just pass?


So I repeat to them what I meant to say to you
the first time we met to explain
the danger of restriction.
 I’m pinned to pages
waiting for one of you to say
something.

“ricochet”

 

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