I send you a thank you card
in the mail just to remind
you I exist.

you could tell
I was very longing.
you had told me that was merely
absence doing that to me,
we were sustained.
I agreed but
I was cutting all my hair
off and I needed
diversion from
picking the skin off
my lips: something
tactile.
  I began to
recite all the things
I was grateful for daily.

*watermelon
*mangoes
*apples
*Alize

 

it always starts the same way.
something I can eat,
my cat and then I see where my head
is at:

*the tiny aberrations that make up
my brain. 

 

“the tiny aberrations ”

things that I remember:

painting my toenails blue
outside under a clear sky
and a very bright crescent moon.
we sat in front of each other
on a bench outside of the supermarket,
and you were amused
that I asked if we could
stop walking so I can paint my toes.

 

“that way I can stay out later,”
I said.

 

when you said
you wanted to see me more.
I make myself recite
love is patient
from Corinthians daily,
however, I let too much time
pass and I always have to go
back to the first line as
I am learning it but
today we are at
does not dishonor others
lucky you,
I think.

I’ve been reading some
leftover Anne Waldman
and your Eastern philosophy,
lucky you,
today I eschew making
myself a porcupine
and then making things brittle
enough to break
  and
just chewing the inside
of my cheeks
as you pick up the boxes,
leave the antique china
cabinet.

 

“the bookshelf”

you’re distracting,
I’ve heard before.
used to get moved all the
time in elementary school,
away from my friends only
to make more friends
and get the class chattering.
me, I’m just a little
hummingbird.

little innocuous
sending
you some mailed cryptograms
asking you if you like
peaches or nectarines
better. I’m becoming juice.
how will I know
which citrus bed to
plunder, slather
myself in pulp you
can just lick right off?

 

me? I’ll go you
know, I’m wind,
so just take it.
just tell me what to
line my neck in.
you know it takes
you three years and I
show up head to toe
doused in rosemary
anyway,
choker dotted with
every piece of
tourmaline I own.
a tiny cross in my hand
from my nana’s broken
rosary. me?
I’m wind, I’ll
go.

kiss your cheek and
gesture to my attire,
wrapped in silver to fight
the dogs of moon,
whisper got to keep
those ghosts away,
yeah?
me? I don’t mean
a thing,
breeze in hall
just scenting the
tops of your books
like I’m right to own
them. you?

you will know me
by my officious
typeface and choker
tight around the throat
lined in polished,
black stone.

“the letters”

when we met, I was
inching my way back
to my robust self  having
established myself as a
case manager. having
scraped my savings to
buy an oil leaking car
that almost caught on fire
in the first week of work
back in August.
I then borrowed money
to buy a car that didn’t.
I had paid rent for three months
without much to do.
I was high on repayments,
seeing I could repay,
in fact,  and

adding cookies back into my diet,
unworried about my teeth
for seconds at a time.
the party had vegan brownies and
I made sure to get plenty.
still I  could touch my ribs
and almost wrap my hands
completely around my waist.
a measure of security.
I often squeeze my ribs to
see if I’m still thin.


when we met,
I had freshly chopped
pixie hair and clear skin,
green eyeshadow to make my
brown eyes pop.
limited eyeliner and a shy
way about scooting next to
you, feeling contagious.

when we met, I had a wardrobe
that consisted of colorful
and flowy items,
hand me downs,
and a reticent entrance.
I was seeking incorporeal
thrills via touch and
you were freshly
out of love. 

 

“the rebound”

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
and 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 cocks
crooked and leering.
I close my mouth,
probably drooling,
adjust my strap,
walk forward.
I wake up like that
often and here 

in the middle of Kensington.


“August pt 2.”

I show up early to
make coffee,
drink coffee,
steal a couple pens
and a few donuts before the
meeting.
I’m here to look
good and watch people.

 

I am covered in
sweat by the time I sit down:
tan and thin from
the obsessive calorie cutting
that formed as a result of
penurious heritage,
bad timing,
mercurial interests.
I’m skinny and all
about it, wearing shirts that show
my sternum leaning hard
against the skin. that means
when I stand in front
of you, you can see the outline
of my bones.

 

I’m skinny cuz I’m hungry.
cuz I have been portioning
crackers. cuz I allow
myself only one piece of
bread a day.  once took a spoonful
of sprinkles in my mouth as a
treat and didn’t eat anything
else for hours.
I’m letting my clavicle
show, my shoulders bony
and in front of everyone,
glistening like olive marble.
hard.
I have two tokens in my pocket;
one to get home and
one to roam.
I cross my legs in front
of a blond haired boy,
take a sip of my seventh
cup of coffee,
someone begins

 

you are only
sick as your secrets.

I am 120 pounds and waning,
olive marble.

 

“confession #”

 

I tried making dents
but they just looked like
three dots leading
my pretend audience
somewhere else.
I spent most of my time,
what you would say,
combing through options,
in flux in search of
weight.

And some guy, a stranger
in my house, said to me
after  I had given him reiki
for money, for rent,
for phone bill,
smirking on my apartment floor:
“Smile.” and added.
“What do you look like naked?”
and added
“How much to see?”

and I stood tall and robust
like a weed in Kensington’s
concrete garden:
stepped on but
won’t go away
and  then
suddenly growing
into a gun.
not only that,
but making rent.

“doors #5”

I am surrounded by men
who are wolfish in detonation
but repenting for a lifetime
of substance abuse
so we nod when they say
things that are aptly
reflected instances in which
they felt a guilt greater
than themselves.
they usually begin with things
like
I took advantage of her
and I cross my legs.

I am wearing brown tights, brown
heeled boots and a cream turtleneck
sweater dress.  my hair is
short, uncombed and strange
and I am mostly plain.
I wear light blush, mascara and
chapstick but I don’t spend all
day about it.
it is important as a woman
to catalogue what you were wearing
and how you generally look.
also I had gained some weight
first, before I  discovered that
counting beans will gain you
phone bill money.
when you tell the audience the story
they can gauge reaction better.
were you homely, girl?

I was neither homely nor
exceptional,
merely watching the blue chips
of nail polish flake onto
the floor as I found
my hands to be urgent
suddenly.

“confessions #2”

 

the day I arrived in the hotel
in the financial district of New York
to meet a Russian photographer
who promised me a night in an expensive
suite and a binding contract
that has been violated over time
without my awareness,
my nails were painted
blue to match my
bruised knees.

spread more, all the
way.

I thought that was
cute. he gave me a fishnet
black onesie I ripped a hole
in but wear on dates
to remember us by.
 and even though
he took advantage of me
and you felt betrayed
by some unshaved labial
part of me,
I made my half of rent
for once.
in the car from the bus
stop on my smile
spread and the bickering
couldn’t dissaude against
the new confidence.
the way money feels
in an envelope.

ok, chill.
fuck, I got rent.

“doors (#4)”

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