kiss her fingers and say:
you are a jungle.
and out falls a
What does love feel like?
and out falls another.
kiss flowered mouth through teeth
like a wet machete
ripping through the jungle
“This is not about love.
This is about
a c c e p t a n c e.”
–responses from God during meditation, Wednesday, 10:58 pm
I am not a series of
I am no conclusion.
I am not in a hurry.
I am not a period in time.
I am not written for you.
I am a tiny quivering ellipsis
as I quake.
but there is nothing remiss
it’s core is
always actively engaged.
I stand, a long sentence
punctuated by the piqued heels of
opening the bottle, looking to see
where the cap dropped.
it is sedate, watching the light flitter across your rafters.
I am walking on dry dirt in bare feet,
it is an unreachable itch in blue tights
stalling under a black globe,
shifting in snow boots,
I am ordering Indian for one.
it is asking you your meat preferences,
eyebrows raised slightly,
lips curled in furtive
I am kneeling in sweats & sports bra
to pick my Tibetan quartz off the floor.
it is partially naked, shivering without fuss,
placing glasses on your windowsill.
there is no glass of water.
you are smirking,
I am finishing undressing.
I am showing you the dressing.
it is the next morning: crisp,
it is lonely.
I’m parting my hair differently.
I’m dyeing it blond.
I’m full of mercury caps &
warnings so I’m crazy &
grinding my teeth into my gums,
it is still a black bob,
bangs on my lashes
overdrawn in blue pencil.
I am the oxygen:
screaming at the mirage
across my closed eyelids,
while I’m still hanging there
twinkling from your rafters,
light dancing off my sallow clavicle.
we are started.
it takes everything.
it is the movement.
I am the fit it takes.
is contentment the space between two forms of
I say to the ceiling, not expecting
a return call, and 3:31 am, in a fetal position,
diagonal on my top sheet:
what finally becomes of feelings?
not expecting to suddenly
breathe easily or
take swift flight
in a different direction.
you can shake your fist at any
foaming coast but her
break remains unscathed,
her scorn in
her calm in
wet snarls pacified in
depending on the stage.
you are barefoot,
some pedestrian gesture of worship,
avoiding the shells
and ghost crabs
that litter the beach
you’re roaming again.
seek to slice wrists with guilt
notice your veins rock,
life’s a seething blade and
the ways you have learned to assuage are more
permanent in placement
if you say it.
you watch your arms become
your feet become your fingers
watch your toes curl in
sand before you start wading.
you are seeking a quiet rest
inside of yourself.
you are seeking the wreck
that laid you.
Once upon a time
We were ghosts
draped in human furs and red velvet
to keep ourselves warm.
on either side of town,
using illness as an anchor,
refrigerating whispers before we regret
finally saying something.
I was a grave when I wanted to be
Twirled to the sound of your fluttering lashes:
broken and sloppy,
untimed, the way you glanced
towards me sometimes on street corners.
I could tell by the books you held,
the women you didn’t,
shield of solitude with heavy eye contact,
a light coat and no gloves and no verbal complaint
about the term “addict” being thrust upon us that
you didn’t just act strange–
you possessed it.
Sometime around the reemergence of allergies,
I sniffled patiently, sipped hot water with
lemon and basil.
Someone sang on a makeshift stage of
upside down milk crates.
You looked sidelong, gingerly,
an afterthought that led me here.
I played with my hem and insufferable silence.
You make me feel young, I mouthed
to the ground.
You returned the gesture with a half-cocked grin
that looked rehearsed and returned to
The ground fell away and
I was a picked thorn.
Some perspiring flower,
I knelt in a corner
a stem growing from a red plastic cup
watching the fireworks
knowing this crowd rocked you
|in her drunk cradle.
You walked by with cotton candy
and no one else and
a relentless aposiopesis.
First sight and I’m swallowed,
swollen with ideas of our
Come first light,
I will be buried in drool,
all blue everything
wandering around the whole self centric town
for a chance
to pass you.
Barely a move.
Watch you pass effortlessly
like my continual gap years.
Turning to give each other one last glance
over our now bronzed shoulders.
Adjust my strap so you think about skin
(I’m swimming in it. )
That chilly way we do:
show a little set of teeth and move on
in a pool of cool air and unresolved disorder,
I keep coming back to the idea of first
circling your block,
opening my mouth,
making a statement
you can’t rebuke.
I need that
like a shark needs
Rafters lit with strobe lights,
broken paneled reflections of
31 years of bottled insights,
Air laced with metallic smiles,
sporadic flickers of someone else’s lighter.
I twirl absentmindedly.
Plume by Loscil.
I have no business here.
You watch me with
smile wide and big and
sides of me are split,
Your laugh some
You watch me with 10 plus years of
a bawling inner child,
that end in stifled violence,
milky looks and a muted
I am wearing
my best calf impression:
doe-eyes and stealing all the glances,
blue tights, black heeled sandals that scuff the floor as I
daydream in public,
rub a soft elbow,
sip a virgin seltzer tonic with
cherries and some other light garnish
(stay as close to God as possible)
watch you with marrow armor and
I’m a blue-black swirl of approachable silence.
Twirl somewhere nearby and deign to give you
open eyes for at least
twenty seconds at a time.
Laugh a swaying knife.
You asked for it.
miseries I keep:
pictures of me glowing at seventeen,
overwatered plants that are never springing back,
insatiable sugar cravings:
the cavities they take,
the first taste of irreversible loss
(my brothers ashes),
ideas of you glancing towards us,
an infinite well of
me glancing at you,
and you never turning back.
covered in hot water & onslaught,
broken like the bed we used to make it
in, I wanted to
to get rid of your fingerprints
but I didn’t want to be noticed
instead, I sat cross-legged
under the shower
for forty five minutes
to steam some of it out.
it was a waste of water,
you might have said.
I usually go to bed by nine pm
swathed in cheap sheets I picked up
from a trash can: moth-bitten
and low thread count and I washed them
but you’re right it’s a sense of self-deprivation
I wrap myself tightly inside every night,
tortured by my low self worth,
absent flowers, cold feet,
lamp on next to me and
wax all over the unfinished table
you were making
before I threw the chair you had finished
down the stairs to get you to
here is what I need,
I might have screamed
but it ended in a soft bite to your
neck and a cloying kiss
you can tell has been rehearsed before.
my tongue flush with
little darted lullabies.
I’m up now and I
linger in the hallway,
nothing in my hand,
wave in my throat,
watching the front window,
voice hushed and brusque
and barely noticeable
when I finally move to speak,
to make my command on Earth,
withdrawing as it creeps
from it’s host,
like low tide,
“did you think I wore this city without pain?”
i’m with you
in a ball
on a quarter of my side.
you’re taking up a quarter of
my half of the bed with your engulfing
speculation and a partially harbored
rage, marking pages you skimmed
to later find your place where you felt,
at the time at least,
some things are better left theorized
than openly in flames.
I’m investigating an inner stillness that dissolves when exposed
(to ten, my sponsor said)
contusions around my throat.
you’re learning about economics
hyperbole & statistics;
which way my freckles move
depending on my
the likelihood of a temper tantrum over
soap scum on anything I scrubbed,
unloved refrigerator pictures circa 1995,
premature forgiveness when I’ve still got to
fuck the bitter out but
someone gave me two weeks of yoga passes
so I’m suppressing it in down dog and polite nods
on a borrowed mat on the other side of
I’m crooked but
I’m hiding my scoliosis
the amount of times my palms moved from open to
across your cheek and at what velocity;
how much of my useless back will face you tonight,
how long before one half of the bookshelf is cleared out,
how not to trust
you’re a poor investment, Sarah
anything that has to do with
(count the marks on my throat)
you already know
(inhaling without prompt)
(my Christmas tree is in a dumpster)
some things shouldn’t be touched
( I’m in child’s pose)
and you should:
never bet on
I tried using
grow something from our
jasmine to lighten the darker parts of my libations
that hold me under the bath water,
but give it a fragrance of cure.
violets, honeywort, honeysuckles wafting from the roach holes,
mugwort to get my blood moving again,
Easter lilies the cats shouldn’t touch so I hang them from the rafters
and let the leaves fall brown one by one;
let the paws scatter the ashes of that,
mice, my previous
cheery dandelions in the cracks of the linoleum,
bromeliad at the doorway to protect me with her spikes;
self-effacing, straight and strong unlike the
hard, twisted ways I grow to be.
orchids to wilt in too much sunlight when I’m
doting myself to death,
a bouquet of roses to give my daughter when she becomes
moss in someone else’s garden,
feral evocation an arboretum
started at the ankle. or
a whole cherry tree,
something sweet to chomp while I’m choking down
the new full sun.
I prepare the dried lemon balm
in the mason jar,
two cups of hot water,
watch the window blanket itself in white flakes
embrace the change in seasons
without a phone call or text,
much incident at all
considering our history.