if you can  handle everything
real illumination brings to things,
and know,
 it will be something you never expected

you can have it.


-responses from God during meditation, right now, 3/21/2018


you want to ask about inspiration
without asking what’s become of
the ones before you and
I want to get to the bottom of it. 

“I have opened it.”
–Alfred Tennyson’s last recorded words

marrow cage
pinned under his sex and a
a grab for steady wages,
three thousand pages of unique
wrists bound with a little
self denigration,
a noticeable attachment to water;
anything palpable,
a noticeable longing for windows,
my veneration for absence.

a noticeable longing for doorknobs,
my admiration for sadists,
an unwavering self-beratement
tightening the joints of bone bars,
the interminable door slamming shut
and less concerning,

a noticeable absence of love.

“my place #2”

“He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”

–Love in the Time of Cholera

restraint is an art
I intend
to master.

but my jealousy is erupting
into fits of flowers:
yellow roses for the look,
  it means friendship
jasmine for the scent I wore,
one vine of honeysuckle to
to bind you to summer where I was
wet and still and your personal
swimming pool you could
wade through,
catch some respite,
I’m sending her a bunch
with no clear note


the scent is everywhere in your
bedroom and the bouquet is
sitting there
much like the way I sit:
carefully arranged
and full of
tiny thorns waiting
to be grazed with cheek
or thumb.
waiting to be praised.
waiting to be

my place:
mostly brick with
one cast iron door;

bright azure and tall,
no windows so you cant really breathe
any fresh air in here.   you hear
the click of my boot heels stepping
further away from you and my hands
turn the knob.
interminable door slam,
the echo of a lock,
the impenetrable absence that thirty plus years of
disengagement birthed.

and you stand there;
stubborn diamond blade,
hair tucked behind ear,
eyes face me like open streams
when you know i’m just thirsty.
you stand there and

place your hand for support.
you manage to find a soft spot
in the mortar
and start biting your way into
a door.

“my place #1”

I step on wet cat litter
on the way to the mirror
and ignore it.

my feet are bare,
my knees are tired,
my legs are still spent from cartwheeling down your block
all summer: bruised, broken spindles
of scabs and bravado.
I’m ignoring the gravel
under my toes.
I’m plucking my eyebrows.
I’m picking out tights.
I’m meeting someone soon.

I try on several lipsticks;
take my time with each palette,
each gloss, each burgundy line
of delusory affection drawn into
a wide, wolfish smile.
I’m nude for a while
in front of the sink;
my dry hands are
unwashed but I can smell flowers
on my nails as I tease my split ends
into hair bigger than it is:
rosewater from the quick spritz
to my face to pace myself
when I feel the urge to
go back in time,
erase and retrace things in
illusive reception,
name them things like
us or
enough so I learn how to

unfitting for grown women
and I’ll continue to falter:
cut my hair unevenly
to the nape of my neck without
      be incorrect
and often
without attachment to its correction.
take my time with mopping things,
take my time learning ruby liner,
onyx lashes,
diffusing for a while.
spit in the faucet without washing
the couple spots the stream missed
and I stay waffling between color schemes
and themes of conquest.
I remember the years of unnamed longing
and I scream as I
suddenly soften.

heels are the last to go on.
they’re uncomfortable but I
like how tall I am as I prowl past your place
so you get one last double take.
I clack over the litter without a glance back in
its direction on my way out the door and
if I’m lucky,
if I am very lucky,
I’ll teach my daughter how to shapeshift her way
to knighthood without compromise.
without insertion.
she can keep her crooked breasts,
her imperfection,
her relentless gaze towards clandestine martydom.
her overused adjectives that she breathes
even in her sleep,
works into every passage
(how many times can one really be amenable or
but I am often.
and sorry, how many times she is sorry
when she meant to say nothing,
when she meant to say don’t call me or
yell I’m starving.

my love will have a cradle and a blanket and
a mobile with the planets hung crookedly and
carved into the center of Jupiter
hovering far above Earth,
her mother’s favorite emblem of luck and
with a butter knife and an old eyebrow pen
the only poem I felt strong enough
never to rework:

rest girl,
you do not earn your birth.



it hurt
but not as much
as memory;
not as much as looking back.

not as much as hearing it
on the bridge.
        I told you so.
not as much as living long
enough to see you go and
slip and live frozen
underneath the giant
white sheaths of ice
where I leave you to unravel
in a dream.      where I leave
you for the last time.

a spider said to
“write it.”
that was rule number two.
you can call it the
act of taming things.
they’ll think it’s about you.
get them to read it out loud
and curse themselves.

when I danced with her night
that night,
she whispered
 say my name
and you are mine

I woke up in silk
and horns and you were
flying: a bright, blue butterfly
right into my arms.

“death reversed”