I remove the rest of my top
and close my eyes deliberately
to show you the length
of each thorn.
wear my eyes like a hooked rose.
tongue pressed
against your chin,
my lips trace
your jaw       I am softer.
having been tempered
and forced close:
you know,
darling,
let my teeth hit your lip

I have never
become divine without first
becoming storm.

 been learning
performative emotion
to keep the ones I’m fettered
to warm, and to feel their
slippery manacles tease
the tops of my feet
like feathers as they pull
me back.
paint my lashes black


and they’re wet 
and
shaped like little
bolts.

1.

I’m obsessed with process
and transition;
the form it takes.

metamorphosis– freeze,
liquefy and
precipitate, or the moment
before– just to
reform without final
shape. stuck.
or testing permanence
with concrete.

after all that patience
and miles of crouch
through the city,
knees broken,
admiring chalked mortar and filling
the jacket lining
with lip gloss, your ardor
growing big and bright
pulling things towards you
like the moon; oh
to be suddenly seized
by your habits again.

your hand on my back.
it’s just one breath,
that’s all it takes.

“the men” 

the medium between
complacency in vengeance
or complacency
with photosynthesis
Is God.

“transition”

when I moved to Philly,
I developed a good working
relationship with every Whole Foods
in the area.
I wore noise cancelling
headphones and an olive green
bookbag.


I want to be remembered for the
ways I never starved,
you are only as
sick as your secrets.


no, I am only as sick
as my father,
but say it out
loud in self checkout.
with imprudence.
with temper.

and never tell them anything.

“the secrets”

I think at some point

you have earned the right to say

I know already because you lived it

without acquiescing to

authority so I asked

to see it first:

the river’s mouth,

even though they said

I’d never make it.

I never said I didn’t

deserve it–

just that I could outrun it

if they gave it.

“the alligator” or “uranus in sagittarius”

this next section is called:

The Woman who saw her lover’s death

this was years ago.
the first time I told them about it.
sitting on the edge of the bay
on a borrowed blanket,

I was vomiting up
an Everclear Slurpee
and peeling back the bottom
of his parent’s quilt realizing
I had covered the entrance of the
ghost crab’s home.
embroiled in my own
deafening philosophy
about the closing of the day;\
the way it moved–
death,
like an itinerant wave
that followed me
and only me,
everywhere.

I coughed that up second
to tell him
the rituals (pinch the
straw, doll) were there to
keep me safe.

the tide crept back
and I heard him light a cigarette,
felt myself starting to drown again
and then his hand on my thigh,
then nothing at all.
pain subsides in very
miniscule amounts
of time
if  you don’t
repeat the
story.
(do not repeat the story)

my head is eighteen visions a second:
someone getting their face smashed
with a brick, someone getting into
a plane, slicing the skin of my fingers,
blood. blood. blood. blood.
and matching the numbers to the proper
order.    reorganizing mantles.
bleaching my teeth and
every inch of my house.
first, you have to feel safe.
I begin to build the glass
around me.

and turning to you again, I
implore you to pick a title and
stick with it.   for me, I say
cupping your baby soft chin,
(Alaska is safer than Australia):
do you like warnings or do you
like to drown?

“warnings”

Saturdays and the 1 pm
alarm clockon snooze,
the bare-faced evenings
in throw blankets;
languid, but there is still
a rabid tongue
between fits of sudden inspiration.
moved
from sheets to
cushions to sheets
to type it down,
to shower
once a week
if you’ll allow yourself to feel warmth.

graze your chin, scalp,
untouched thighs.
open your chapped lips to the sky.
feel the water rush your neck and
trickle down your navel
to soak your unseen toenails.
do not question anything
for those three whole seconds;
it is the closest thing to orgasm
you can manage.
it has been a tough change in seasons:
costuming yourself with
sincerity, (you’re vulnerable)
tights and boots
and an expansive blankness
that still drives your body around
to pick up soy milk.

finish something you started.

there you are.
some cooing cobra.
the chills that almost ate
me: winter.   several
in a row.
the darkness and
introspection of how
I’ve chosen to succeed,
lone and the two of swords.
thanking my institutions
for showing me how to carve
pure copper into
green or sharp to hold,
the likelihood that two things
look identical enough
to both be chosen,
that I will learn the
ways of mask
and holster. 

there you are.

“rage” or “the fifth wave”

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