there was a glance of sadness
or kindness or
something else,
and a hurried
sip.
my jealous zealot lover
then attempted to go down on me
sixteen different times
to prove his might
to absent men.

I took a slow slip of
the everclear slurpee
he made me,
and continued filing my nails
into razors.

I was ready for him
next time.

“the bay”

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scratching at your chest,
and other places to let
the mice know
what I own
in case they forget
what I did,
who I am to you,
and come back
hungry for a hole
in that
home.

they cut across the black cat
lying surreptitiously
under porch rail
licking the flecks of skin
from her paw,
but they don’t cut
far.

they are mice
lying down
that are ripped
like the line of your
spine,
neck to base
in shreds.

lick her dried up
wounds.

tongue the ripped
birthmarks
overflowing with
rivers of wasted utility,
and her proclivity for
production or else the day
was shot.
feel her twist in her own
mental ardor for things
that will slaughter her
if worn too tightly,
or if worn at
all.

grab her hips,
her obsessive self- pity and
smooth the wells of past
Christmas that curve her
so crookedly she is hanging
low and arched and
slowly cowering to her own
funeral march.
rush to her thoughts
like you are thirst,
like she is well.
wet your lips and
kiss the soft spot
under her elbow.
there are bruises lining her
thighs that mean
nothing but clumsiness;
even when she’s idle,
there goes a falling
tower where she
stands.

lie open palmed on
her sternum
under her chin.
hear the unsteady wrestling;
her plagiarism
of a living girl
and know you are
very handsome
and kind,
a true giver
inside,
but you are only
half-heartedly
skimmed.

she is lying in your
arms

              (I love you)

thinking only
of herself
again.

6.

I’m haunted in several kinds of
cadence and burdened
with unmanageable lust.
I’m replaying the way
you never said my
name, the way I keep my nails
short in case I turn on myself
when I’m turning myself
on.     The way I begged
to hear a magpie at my window
some mornings,
the way I long for it still.
The way in which I elongated
the word u           s   

so it looked bigger on paper.
I let it last
a whole year;
grow leaves, grow fingers
dotted emerald green with pink flowers
and then sorrel and bare,
baring its brown
bones to the birds
who perch in earnest search
of shelter so they can call on
one another in fight,
famine, or flood.
I watched us
drift to the floor
in detritus,
becoming
a new organism that grew roots,
that craved sun,
that lapped water and pollen and
seasons.
Letting it fall
in frost.
Letting it crown
despite us.

Kiss me in the light of
these new found
bedevilments,
I lick the mirror
with feeling.
It is December and I am
already freezing.
I am relying on roots
for nourishment.
I am hibernating,
and emptying.
All year, I am sturdy and foreboding
like a honey locust
dripping thorns down her spine,
dropping leaves all down your walk
so you will always be reminded of the
pine that encircled you when you first heard
my forest chorus:
the long form u     s.
Look at me again and
again and
again:  I am leaving.

I am becoming paper.
I am becoming waste.
I am becoming the spines of books,
archaic adjectives
that you chase to replace your
chilled silence with a word
that offers anything but
a returned question mark.
You thought that all devils
wore black and sauntered
and spoke coolly with promise,
but I am the devil
who wears anything
the world will offer,
including white,
and offers some
warm reprieve
like a velvet-lined casket
floating over the open
sea.
I am listening to you.
I am wide open
and encasing.
It was never us
you came here
chasing, admit
what you are
drawn to.
It is waiting.


“death”

I was born
in the arms of a
weeping willow
near the edge of a
placid lake.
The day was warm,
and expecting me.
I faced the sun without
question of how it came to
be there, or why the tides
were under the control of
the moon, and not the
sea.
This was thousands of years ago
when I first decided
to take the human
form.

I had watched with
increasing wrath
people all over
fall in love.
My envy grew as my clouds
did; above it all,
and you
watched me turn from
red to black to red
to blue, and languish
in my hopes of touching
skin with skin, with tongue,
with heart.
We had been discussing
the idea of touching grass
with our bare toes,
plucking grapes off a green
vine around the gates of
palaces,
feeling rain in our hair
as we chased through labyrinths,
and the way ecstasy  might coarse
through fingers and feel
things that we can’t
hear, see, or
taste.


You said things
take sacrifice, and I
agreed.
We were giant, and we
both would shrink
to fit inside a
cavity that would carry us
back to each
other.
You always proposed
the meeting place,
and I always proposed
the time.
We both loved
compromise, and we both
understood sacrifice.

I promised you sometime
in eternity, and you
promised me somewhere
on Earth.

“The gauntlet”

Lick the salt from the crest
underneath my elbow
where the flesh is softest,
and my nerves are most
on end.

Ask me where I would
like to live
next.
“Saturday, and the sun
is out.”