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

-gwendolyn brooks

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it helps me to fall
into haze in these
moments of adaptation
or just  length,
time that has
to pass and my
adjustment to fluctuations
in my general
circumstance or
mood is dependent
on the haze.
i like fighting, I smile.
I have a few blocks to go
and every man is facing me
forming a crooked
cock so I just step
into the haze.

I remember this
one day where I met you
to get a Slurpee to
cool off for a while.
your face was most open
outside
drenched,
you tried to hug
me but I am
closed,
drenched in day old
bourbon sweat,
show up unshowered and
in a deep swallow;

a persisting contrition
coated in plum wine,
whatever else I just said,
Bourbon,
I wave my hands over the glass.
that was last night.
that was last night and it
was pretty bad.
but we sit side by side
like it’s something
non-contagious about me.
well except when you smile,
he said.
but I blush and I couldn’t
stand that so I

focus on my knees
remembering
what it felt like
under sheets
and I fell open.
then there’s my brother.
then there’s the new
hard edged smile
on the top of a frosted mug:
ubiquitous half smirk.

“I used to be in love,”
I say out loud
and I’m about one
block from the El
in front of another group
of men with their crooked
cocks and leering.
I close my mouth,
probably drooling,
adjust my strap,
walk forward.
I wake up like that
often and here
sometime,
in the middle of Kensington.


“July/September” 

I can smell you
everywhere.

one block,

 no headphones and
susurration of crickets
somewhere
in a distance.

my stomach rushes.
it’s night, in shorts.

i’m nowhere near to
getting there
but it’s August
and I’m alone.
that’s a step,
I think.
being alone and
dropping the quarter
without notice
cuz I have a pocket full.

I think,
you have a pocket full
of quarters and you’re alone.
that’s really something
to have kept the townhome
also.

it’s the end of August,
8:42 pm, 81 degrees
but dropping.

“Fall”

I’m invincible in
execution only if
carried everywhere.
people don’t change,
I think, and having second thoughts
throw the dinosaur
you mailed me away.
the birthday card he gave me.
the set of text exchanges.
people don’t change.
I empty the bin,
make space for lipstick.

“Venus in Leo in 12th house” or the “act of chasing things”

this is fresh.
the way I put on blush
and got my bangs cut,
properly at a place just
to show up once,
just to take my scarf back
and without a hug.


like the last word
someone said
          I was hoping we could talk about this
or me finishing packing up
anything belonging to my
ex; an entire bookshelf he left
which leads me to a shoebox
to stuff the card my new
ex-thing sent.

find old photographs
of myself unsure in blue hoodie
set to the mountains
at sunset like I couldn’t
imagine not being there.
it was such a casual stance
to permanence I carried.
the last time I look at a place.
the impassable space between
states, abysmal and
the plane ride to my
brother’s coma.
it all comes back.
this is fresh.


this is the last time I’ve ever
seen or heard from someone.
my intrepid cool affect
pushing edges further back
to margin;
my rehearsed gait.
the way I asked how are you
three times with a nervous gesture,
without listening or waiting
for response and then
a sudden turn away.

I spent all my time at the beach
as a child
watching waves take things away.
I’d throw sticks in there,
seaweed, sometimes bottle caps.
draw lines in the sand with my toes.
throw hermit crabs back.
the day the sky was black
and cut with
lightning, swollen
with compulsion,
a tropical storm touched the
ocean and on instinct,
it swallowed itself.
I was there at the edge.
watching waves curl up to
my chest and
my aunt screamed,
came to grab me as I touched the
shore with my hands and
carried me up to the house.
(redacted) why did you do that?
the whole way up,
I was crying, screaming
about a flip flop
drifting in the current,
begging her to go back.
I remember it to this day.
it had white soles and  yellow and vinyl
ribbon tied into a bow
at the toe.
I was trying to go back
into the water to get it.
you can’t tell anything
about a statue
except it’s resting form:
cool

but if you ever saw the contents of
my purse: the twisted straws,
the clutter, lists of
things to get or hold,
the collections,
you would see
that peevish child
taunting the ocean’s
grip and dashing,
longing for her
endless swaddle,
and everything that ever
existed too.

“Veruca Salt”

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