lilith postcard i am the dark thing inside of me


but i’m a martyr for this,
I crave

even self-abnegation
needs an audience
or else it’s just plain masochism
                 lonely and acerbic
without the gentle recompense,
the moist poultice,
the final amends:
the touch of her
sadist’s fingertips
after she laid her.

all cathedrals use pain as payment
and my crucifixion,
while self inflicted;
is just as spilling
just as baneful.
and my bloodletters will wash
the splashes from my feet,
take their time
with each laceration;
needle and thread
and bonded by spell

they slowly stitch
my gashes
into temples.


Lick the salt from the crest
underneath my elbow
where the flesh is softest
and my nerves are most
on end.
It’s a spot I never tell
them about.
You feel something in me,
something growing,
you know I’m antsy
itching to grow the
space between us large enough
to span separate states
and you
let your lips rest there.

The polar vortex
has passed:
it’s Saturday
and the sun is out.
I am lying on my side
facing a bookshelf
that is only
half unpacked
nearest the crack in the
window and I feel a
breeze.   I hear
a sparrow call me.
I hear a car pull away
and feel a wet tongue trace
the blue vein underneath
the skin of my arm
in wonder,
My hands contain
a deluge and yet
you hold them,
drink from my fingertips.
I hear you say the slow word
I strangled:
s t a  y.
and the sun is

I wish I had more words for

just another verse
picking at its stitches,
grunting from the dark and
taking educated guesses at the Rorschach blot
that spreads across its skirt.
but writing with cadence,
inflection, downplaying
it with rhythm as you
try to capture the humiliation of
all the little violations
that add up to today
without one strong word
or accurate verb
to describe the way a knife
sticks for a second and you moan
the wrong way.

what sounds better to you?
I say over coffee, trying to
finish some titles.

“besieged” or “PTSD,”
or simply

“the act of naming things”

you tell me your preferences
with a bit of a clenched fist
and I know you are fighting
some primal scream that turns you into
the thing that beats the submission
into me, licks me clean
and that is
I’ve been around.

I’ve dated men
plenty of times:
saved their leftovers,
moved their crossword puzzles, watch,
socks from the floor,
ignored their predacious attacks on my
ignored their violation of
contract re: respect and space
and “I’m too drunk to sleep
with you.”
ignored their wandering eyes,
wandering hands,
wandering notions of pre
consent when I am now too drunk
to stand.
I’m proud to say I’ve adjusted
to many morose habits before.
in fact,

my newest craze is
find the trauma and puncture it,
bleed onto my palms and
taste it; the way it felt
to be used like that and years later
the aftertaste       swallow
another old neg or two,
a curse word, a punch directed at the wall,
a public critique of an outfit or body part
or everything at once.
a light strangle, a light
choke in the sheets;
a little sexual coercion to get me roped and
in heat.
(I’m ready for this)
       that means you were tired but wanted it
sometimes the body is replete
with blockages and I just
feast on past rapes
until I’m plump,
obese with past places
that rocked me gently to sleep
        I was tired but wanted it
like a noose,
but worn tastefully.
                 that means privately and quiet
ass swamped with little taps
at crowded parties,
“honey, smile!” and “where you going, whore?”
hips full with sudden caresses on
the subway, at the office, at the party,
after school, and other places too;
my fingers bursting with strangers’ hands
that grabbed mine in the bathroom
when I was sick and he
assumed a slumped girl over a toilet
wanted to touch him, wanted to
prove something could rise
from her grip.

lungs heavy with little moans at the
wrong time, little “nos” they just can’t
hear over their own gasps,
over the bed creak,
over me slowly falling asleep
underneath them.
(that means I wanted it)
my sacral remembers every single score
of every man that touched me while I was
peacefully sleeping in my inebriation,
        that means deserved
and every man that grabbed me on the subway car
and every thirteen year old boy that rubbed me
as a five year old girl
and every man that watched me hang myself
before he would either remove his dick to get
the law involved
        baby, here are my words, they are the law
or believe me at all.

I’ve dined on my own tongue;
loyal and quaking
flush with recollection and
shaking prologues for
so long,
even a yawn at the wrong time
causes her to shrink
in ignominious retreat.
honestly,  it might be fun to have a little help
disappearing completely
               no, no, you sit, I’ll stand, I’ve taken up too much space anyhow
if we both get started
there may be nothing left of me
by dawn to hold onto
or photograph or
follow with your car,
tell me what you think about my style:
my gritted smile,
ass, boobs, hips, and face.
put me in my place:
print those pictures and
exploit me,
deny my needs,
deny my history.
whistle slap gaslight,
intimidate in alleyways when I’m trying to
get home and you’re trying to feel
giant, or when it gets going–
           mind the rope there

with all the kinks possible,
wouldn’t that still be something
kind of new for you,

“you up?”


I had visions. I had sudden trances of sight in dreams and in waking life. My body would open like a door and things would walk right into it. My body vibrated and I froze and then a flash of insight would overtake me: a phrase, a song, a sign, an animal. The thing would walk right out of me. Foxes would stop me on the river trail. Woodpeckers would move into view. Beavers would leap onto the bridge.  I remember walking in the pouring rain one anxious night. It was a bad daydream night and I just had to leave my house. You can imagine the stress a psychic writer succumbs to sometimes. I had been muttering something to God and twisting my straw and fighting back crisis when suddenly, without a making any sound or movement, a giant possum materialized on the sidewalk in front of me. We exchanged a look. We froze in our places.  I went on, staggering and the opossum stayed frozen. I kept walking. I kept moving knowing something else would cross my path soon. It was like that all year. I asked God for guidance. Play dead for awhile. I asked God for guidance and a crow flew above my windshield. Follow the dark. I asked God for guidance and a spider wove it’s web in front of my door. Write it. It happened so often I stopped telling anyone. Sometimes I wrote these things down. Sometimes I just let them pass. Sometimes I got lost in obsession for weeks or months at a time. I am not able to let go so easily. I am not a merciful master. I held on to those premonitions, those clairsentient experiences, those spinal waves. If it was a dream, I paid even more attention.
“God,” I began one night, spine sharp and straight like a knife. I was centered in sigil and my apartment was lit in black and white candle, protected by saint and goddess and large silk strands. Breathe. I am breath. “God,” I started again, “who’s answered prayer am I?”