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

-gwendolyn brooks

Featured post

first, he showed me the block.
waved his hands over black ice,
concrete, gritted
      you know how to make things work

he walked several feet ahead as
we did a loop between two identical
intersections and stopped in a booth so
he could pay for the affection:
a vegan milkshake to soften
the contrast between two
nearly identical snow-lit
worlds; two winters in two
time zones but one was green and blue
and foothill-lined
and  one was bleak.
this one hung in the air:
gelid, tense, a dense and
mutable gray that changed from
partially cloudy to
biting fang
but what is more concerning is the
space between us.


I slurped the vanilla coconut cream
from the plastic straw without making
eye contact or anything known
and he laughed at the things
that just rolled off my tongue
in these little allayed fits. it was January fifth,
the middle of a
polar vortex and I hadn’t seen
the center of the city yet,
or west or anything but
Kensington.
I kept mumbling about the
loose trash  and he smiled.
my nose was running so
I spent the evening
in silence wiping it.
trembling, 
cradled in his iron abdomen.

under my therapist’s guidance,
I switch chairs to talk
to my inner predator.
now now listen to the guilt,
  it’s talking,

I decided to have some boundaries;
lined the edges of my bed with
geranium and lilac threads,
lined the sills with limonium.
my tub dripped nightl:,
altar of salt and lavender.
watched my toes glide to the surface
by a dozen votives.
forgot everything.

my entire winter
was littered with
shards of celestite
and low violin.
I could see the sky when I wanted
from my dining room table
or on a brisk walk
to pick up oranges and Earl Gray
for the morning.
but I mostly stayed in my
warm hole.
rediscovered medicine in prayer
and herb and
open mourning.

on walks, I held
one shout in my throat
in an effort to
pacify myself.
protect myself from myself.
it’s so tiring;
anorexia with
insatiable mouth.
planned outfits.
a  mandible chest.
I return to the chair,
tellher

I plan to spend the year
fat, fed…
replete in web
and feast.

“gestalt”

You can be more examining
without persecuting.
Working through irascibility.

My childhood was colored by screaming;
Yelling and screaming
and a general longing for touch
that didn’t shame as it held me.

“Uranus in fourth house”

I hated the stairs that cut through the center
and the backyard, too small
now lined with green safety fence,
chicken wire, he held up to show
me.  ways to keep the cat
safe inside.
months later, I will
take it down,
pluck out all of
the crabgrass in the tiny
backyard by hand, no gloves,
appreciating how quickly
my skin calluses,
the encasement for my
straws but utilitarian today,
productive today,
making things happen today.
the way I threw away the
windchime and its broken shells
littering the ground like it
meant nothing to me:
a childhood emblem I’d
had since I was eight,
tossed in a large black
carpenter bag.

none of this is mine.


all the ways I’ve entered
contracts on a whim,
the things I’ve collected
and the interminable slam
of a door or my body
as I show my thorns.
I’m remembering
every step I’ve ever
taken; steep,
knees fractured,
ribs protruding,
crippled by both indecision
and unabating pacing.

and don’t forget
the time he slammed you
on the bed, the voice says.
the voices begin.

“doors #3” 

ah, a whole day of cravings
curbed. feeling lighter,
drinking coffee out of
gifted blue and white porcelain cups,
enjoying as it sustains and suppresses
an appetite.
I am cataloging
food as it relates to money.
the less I eat.
the more I save for
other things.
I do not tell my partner
this; merely produce
cash for electricity,
merely thin myself
like I’ve always earned
to be a paper waif.
just kind of
feather away.

realize that my bank account has
nothing in it for the third time in
my life.
the way I cradle the welcome
gifts from his mother,
these dishes, these pots:
all bright tangerine or
carnation yellow, and
red bowls.
red plates.
orange sequined quilt
across the bed.
care for them like they are
children.

and the money tree.

she decorated the place while we were out
hung a portrait of a pineapple
in the kitchen.
he reminds me
none of this is yours.

“doors #2”

I am buying toilet paper
with my Access card..
I am dog sitting;
house sitting for
money in Queen Village,
and I spend the days
drinking their hazelnut flavored
Keurigs,
sneaking their chocolates.
using their washer for my own
heavy blankets,
and walking the pit bull
without the choke chain
she gave me.
I observe the doors of people
in Society Hill:
clean black or mahogany

with the numbers painted on
them or in brass next to their
outdoor lanterns, their empty
flower boxes soon to be leaking
zinnias, petunias, geraniums.
soon to be fingered,
picked by me.
I am obsessed with the material
possessions of others
and knowing I’m no good
marked this place for
later:

we should rob them.

begin to circle the area
with the pit bull
understanding clemency only
gifted to the few who
have smiles like
little sunshines
and white skin;
tanned but porcelain
otherwise.

“doors #1”

when you come home
with the giant brass
industrial art piece to hang
at the top of the stairs,
first
I noticed
it had no smooth
edges

like a pinwheel
fringed with daggers.
in fact, I was afraid
it might cut me in the middle
of the night and the second thing
I noticed was
you were a libertarian.
I had the grace to not even
ask how much it cost.
I had bought us an entire chocolate
cake using food stamps
so I cannot judge and I
have learned
life is meaningless.

one way of coping
is ennui.
you become overcome
with a sudden boredom
bordering fatigue.
you can’t even argue.
you can’t aggress or retract,
almost as if you are floating
through it all.
but not as happy or light
as that. like you’re being
controlled by a beam.
it’s more terrifying the
grip this new surrender has.

your arched back,
your upward gaze,
some kind of nothing.
it is easier to yawn
than cry, but
their laughter
gets you–
braying:


so deep and
directed
at you.

“ennui”

I fight the urge
to dip my fingers
into the running
garbage disposal.
one of the few things that works.
challenge mechanism
designed to fillet
with one pressurized
tip.

I bet I could be the one
preserved.

“Saturn in Scorpio”

it’s got a tenuous feel–
like slipping  or promise,
these  government
fingers and really
buried hurts. resurfacing
in moments. in
explanation to someone,
detached, almost objective.
if not for that one watery eye
you wouldn’t believe that the
narrator realizes
the immensity of what they’ve
survived.

“Allegheny Station

first, he showed me the block.
waved his hands over black ice,
concrete, gritted
      you know how to make things work

he walked several feet ahead as
we did a loop between two identical
intersections and stopped in a booth so
he could pay for the affection:
a vegan milkshake to soften
the contrast between two
nearly identical snow-lit
worlds; two winters in two
time zones but one was green and blue
and foothill-lined
and this one hung in the air:
gelid, tense, a dense and
mutable gray that changed from
partially cloudy to
ang
but what is more concerning is the
space between us.


I slurped the vanilla coconut cream
from the plastic straw without making
eye contact or anything known
and he laughed at the things
that just rolled off my tongue
in these little allayed fits.

 it was January fifth,
the middle of a
polar vortex and I hadn’t seen
the center of the city yet,
or west or anything but
Kensington.
I kept mumbling about the
loose trash  and he smiled.
my nose was running so
I spent the evening
in silence wiping it.
trembling, 
cradled in his iron abdomen.


he mistook each tremor for the chill
settling in; a new house
that is, and I could feel
every sheath around me
crack like I just sprinted,
hit a frozen lake with my
cannonball skull heavy from
the weight of the unending pendulum
    think think think

and pieces of me began
to drop,
sink into myself
and what else?
(this is my 12th house)

 I wake up in his forearm
              biting through his moles
                  to get to you.


“first wave/grief”

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