“Live! And have your blooming in the noise of the whirlwind.”

-gwendolyn brooks

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My entire life has been informed by the absent space between us; not the physical space but more the way I crave it desperately. The pervading eyes and I am (smiling) seeing the space close in around me.  The way there was once twenty feet between us but then I looked too gaily upwards and then suddenly there was ten feet (I am smiling), then five, then one foot and the ubiquitous hands on my shoulder, on my middle back, my lower back and the phrase “you’re too pretty to…” (I am still smiling) and the way they trail their fingers further down. But in a huddle. They are all in a huddle. So many of them and no space between us. I am smiling because they always make sure to tell me to do that.

 

It is important they tell me I am too pretty to frown.

 

“the men”


the first thing  I do
is line them up
and dare them.
I never back up.
I tell them I won’t back up
and if they charge me,
I won’t back up.

“I am prepared now to force clarity on you.”

 

–Louise Gluck

You? you will know me by
the devil etched squarely on
my thigh and the red
index nail that is tracing it.
the microphone,
the mini skirt,
the high laughter,
the long legs beaded with sweat
as I saunter right in,
the three thousand women behind me.
the way I told you so first. 

if you write the book,
no men will want you.

I am at home later
wearing nothing &

laughing,
braying,
eating cashews, watermelon,
sipping mint lemon water,
air conditioned.
alone and contented.
alone and chased,
chaste, Artemis.

watching it drip
from my lips
like little magic
fits of rave
& fury recorded
for posterity.

“the women”

send him a polaroid
of one tear rolling down
your cheek and don’t tell him
you got suntan lotion
in your eyes.
prove your
f ee l i ng
and that you have
f ee l i n g sss.
when I was a child,

colors came out of walls
to talk to me and said:
to survive
place yourself in a box.
so now I live in a box.
it’s about

10 x 10.
and when I walk,
it moves with me.
10 x 10
and I am screaming inside.
and everyone wants to

see me cry
and my mouth is
set sternly but
more importantly,
I have had a recurring vision
that I will kill myself
at the age of 34.
over and over I watched myself
leap off the bridge.
I just have to not kill
myself and I get to walk right
out the ancestral curse
and you’d think
well certainly
easier
than crossing
a tightrope
or tricking a man
into switching places

but the thing is
this box. 

“the box”

 

 He pointed to his name tag, “I’m Orion.”

 

Marisol yelled from across the room, “XXX thinks he can be the constellation that attracts his true love to him.”

Part 2: How did you get here?

 

“a question marked swallow hungry for an answer.”

 

I have three cuts through
the devil on my leg
and a small bruise to the right of
it, a large bruise on
my left thigh.
when we met,
you had a large bruise on your
right arm
and I don’t know where
I got it.

you are careful.
I am unsure what to say.
I don’t either. 

 

I begin to tell her a dream.
he begins to tell me a dream.
I am in the middle of a forest.
it feels wet, dark and cold,
at night but it starts turning
into maybe dusk.
I guess dawn but it feels like night is coming
right around the corner.
she is in front of a fire
on a log, there are logs set
out like it’s camp
or there are others expected.
and all she says is
wait, be careful
what you say
and holds her hands up.
she kind of walks towards me.
she is young but her.
but like also her child.
like, I mean, if she was
a child.
walking up,
hands out saying
be careful what you say.
and then I just wake up.

and then wake him up

“datura moon” or “the story of us”

 

there are two giant
bruises on each thigh.
I am careful not to hit them
with my fingers except
I already have
and I shriek.
you don’t even ask.


I spent most of my time
that late winter
searching.
what you would say:
combing through options,
in flux and in search of
weight.
and some guy,

a stranger
in my house, said to me
after I had given him reiki
for money, for rent,
for phone bill,
smirking on my apartment floor:
“Smile.” and added.
“What do you look like naked?”
and added
“How much to see?”

and I stood tall and robust
like a weed in Kensington’s
concrete garden:
stepped on but
won’t go away
and  then
suddenly growing
into a gun.
not only that,
but suddenly
making rent.
fuck.
ok.

you don’t even ask. 

“doors #5”

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