all day long
I vacillate between intention
and immediate withdrawal.

 

5/8/2018

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I’ve always been drawn to sentences:

spent sunrise picking at
covered clots      carpet soaked with
unsheltered heart:
profuse and spilling drops that
take years, nights of picking and
other forms of self harm
but eventually amount to
one abrupt and disconsolate
flood.   I’m upright,

soaked in streams,
copper rivers and caged
in sore body and
the newest sun.
smear some blood from my thumb
as I pick up my phone to
take a picture of my torn knees
in the rising dawn.
find a filter first.

“sepia”
to cloak my embattled joints
(hide your armor)
before I send you the veiled snapshots
about it.
I’m not obvious in
torture.    I’m not
obvious in scar
but I have spent
previous lives hung and
spurned for your enjoyment.
     define retribution.
when you finally see me
again, I’m a smirk on a lynx
peeking
through a grove of bush:
dead quiet in pursuit,
low to the ground
holding steady for
pounce.
you will feel my jaws
land before you feel the beat
of my pulse.

if I am anything first,
it is a woman
of course.

“lilith”

 

the way he held her

persisting,
somewhere close.
sliced himself some days;
let her out to roam free in my bedroom
some mornings
so I’m wrapped in wet sheets,
dissuading gaze,
I’m always waiting and
instead of sweat, praise in primal moans;
it was the way I held on,
foreboding
to the last bit of his scent,
to the worn corners,
to the post for stability,
to the both of them.
red,
painted blood red and in heat,
weak

amends of self preservation lost
in the latest incision he made
with his teeth
and I am left with bite marks
lining the inside of my thigh
in the shape of a smiley face.
and he is calling her right
now.

“12th house”

shredded letters I tried using
as fertilizer.
grow something from our
sudden valediction:
calendula,

jasmine to lighten the darker parts of my libations;
the ones that tease my hair and  
take me    pull me under the bath
water gently
as I kick and try not to
scream.
violets, honeywort, scent of honeysuckle wafting
from the roach holes,
mugwort to get my blood moving again.
Easter lilies the cats shouldn’t touch so I
hang them from the rafters
and let the leaves fall brown
one by one;
let the paws scatter the ashes of that,
mice, my previous
laurels.

cheery dandelions burst from
the cracks in the linoleum and
I keep a bromeliad at the doorway
to protect me with her spikes;
self-effacing, straight and strong unlike the
hard, twisted ways I grow to be.
orchids to wilt in too much sunlight when I’m
doting myself to death,
a bouquet of roses to give my daughter
when she becomes moss
in someone else’s garden,
feral evocation           an arboretum
started at the ankle. or
a whole cherry tree,

rooted and I can chop
it down to gorge.
something sweet to chomp
while I’m choking down
the acidic no,
extra pillow space.
my place: curtains drawn,
devoid of moons.
my place:
curtains open,
enveloped in
the new full sun.
my place,
giant cobweb stuck with
stem and black succor.

I prepare the dried lemon balm
in the mason jar,
two cups of hot water,
watch the window blanket itself in white flakes
of anesthesia,
embrace the change in seasons
openly without any phone calls,
any text, any hexed
postcard,
or really,
much incident at all
considering our history
with winter.

“perennial”

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
stare.
place your hand for support.

you manage to find a soft spot
in the mortar
and start biting.

“the door”

beneath asphyxiating tongue
and dress,
we lean on people like banisters
when we should just sit and
undo our own
zippers,
feel our lungs expand.
we stay heaving

like this is the first day God said
ok now breathe
and we’ve never even tried that
because we are just babies
so we’re gasping
and grasping for chests
that look like a womb,
or home or a tomb.
they are the same to me.

some concave bodies
collapsing into each other’s history
of war     some discussion of
scar tissue and
black cohosh when we
fucked to get the battle out
but once we
birthed a storm-
so that was aborted.
some managed self beratement,
some idea of each other’s self hatred
and neglect of others;
those we broke with stifled rage,
interminable disorder we hid under
elegiac prose,
Cheshire gaze.
before our fear of purpose mounted
and our general distrust of us
erupted,
we had an
elusive non-egoic love
where the two of us recognized that
               only in this moment
there was a full moon, some lilac
wafting through the air
and the other was enough.

I am almost undressed.
you tousle my hair.

I have moments I hold onto,
not people: precisely
thirty seconds of silence and
touch I experienced once
near a window.
there was no story inside of me.
and if it ever does happen again;
the unalloyed joy near the window–
I would remove another layer and
put my trust in luck.

“door #2”

“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 rejections
and my wrists are bound
together by self denigration.
a noticeable attachment to water,
currents or anything that’s
palpable,
a noticeable longing for windows.
my veneration for absence.

a noticeable longing for door knobs,
my admiration for sadists
and what they take,
an unwavering self-beratement
tightening the joints of bone bars,
my masochistic streaks
and the interminable door
slamming shut
and less concerning to me:

a noticeable absence of love.

“door #1”

miseries I keep:

seasonal allergies,
pictures of me thin
and  tan and
glowing
at seventeen,
dormant addiction,
overwatered plants that are never
bringing buds to blossom–
never springing back.
shards of broken glass
in the carpet
somewhere missed ;
then in heel,
then finally in trash.

insatiable sugar cravings and
the cavities they take,
insomnia and the
quakes of sobs
repressed but twisted
into nightmare at the
first minute of rest.
the first taste of irreversible loss
(my brothers ashes swinging
from my neck),
a hex in teeth and
ideas of you glancing towards me,
towards us,
just that once.

me,
back turned
at the time.
me, always clouded
in black.
me,
opening my mouth
and releasing it.

“memory”

I believe in altar.

I never write about blossoming but
I’m seeing inflorescence in
dejection in the form of
wormwood

creeping up my throat,
taking hold of nearest hopes
and igniting.

“Artemis”