“do not seek closure here.
endings have all passed.
you are synthesizing. Girl,
you are just beginning.”

–responses from God during meditation, Wed 11:01 pm

I spent a week
cleaning out the bookshelf
and trying to decide what toread in the short
time I had left with
his books.
I was also debating
how I should present
myself next:
wholly, or
with my rigid cuts.
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
just chewing the inside
of my cheeks
as you pick up the boxes,
leave the antique china
cabinet you promised
you’d keep.

“the bookshelf”

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
(too tired to change seats)
out of love. 

“the rebound”

I was staring at my dresser, at the framed picture of the fox and a little ways past that to a mirror that felt warmer. my brother’s ashes which didn’t cause any alarm or overwhelming grief so much as the polaroid of my dad next to a backdrop of a dark woods so the two blended. I looked back up and sat back up. opening the notebook again. it’s hard to focus on anything. it’s best to comfort yourself too. “tail wraps inward for Virgo, outward for Scorpio.” I’m on my south node journey. . I’m simply observing the process of what I noted and what I’m noting now as I’m reifying my old words into the alchemy. I am looking around my room a lot. not in alarm, it is safe here. no one has been in this room but a couple people and no one has ever slept in this bed with me, or fucked me. not in this room on this mattress.that thought is soothing.

“no one had ever fucked me in this bed,” I say aloud again. 

I was really watching the picture of the fox but also noticing the table. all my furniture is heavy antique wood, scratched but really what I crave. cumbersome and a chore to carry up the stairs. a secret joy at watching veins in men’s heads pop as they lift these things up and down. I only have wooden furniture. you can burn it all.  but then I wanted it gone. rolled down the stairs. push it away so that I have more room in here. I wanted a dresser gone and the table and the mirror and the antique chest full of costumes and drapes, tablecloths, glitter. things that I have used to make space, gone. get rid of everything. there’s too much stuff. the blank white room filled with antique tables and notes, superstitious things. I begin to rearrange the fox and the glass ball next to it, a gift– black glass and brown jasper, solid and fun to hold. then  the brown jasper pillar next to it. I wanted all three facing me as I lied down so I can look at them. I have these flashes of Midsommar and my dad and my mom. even though it is close to the anniversary of my brother’s death and my walks have been flocked by cardinals, I haven’t been thinking of him that way. I’ve been thinking of him alive a bit as a kid. there is no harm between us. my family and I really loved each other. I’ve been thinking of my parents dying. the house rotting with all the mold and moisture and crickets. me having to go clean it out, afraid of the cockroaches. me wishing my brother was here. me grieving the future and the loss of my yearbooks, our garage. having to bury my parents alone. the pandemic is close. no it’s here. grief is transformative. 

I was laying down again. I felt overstimulated by the room. I enjoyed color and art so my room was full of any number of things to settle on but I needed nothing. the blank white room. the bed felt safe and I sunk in it a bit. I began to rub my hands all over my head. I’m just trying not to touch my face. I began to pull at my temples to uncrease them and then rub my thumbs downward, pausing at the congestion area above my lips. mild acupressure. ten seconds, release. I rub my hands back up and squeeze my temples. I place each index finger by jaw and forcibly, yet slowly, unclench it and massage it. I have to take the pressure off. it’s mounting in my head. this is a common practice of mine but not utilized enough. I rubbed my jaw and along my neck and moved my neck over the mattress in a serpentine way to release any tension. and breathed. I was breathing again. it was elation contained. you have to take the pressure off, (redacted). I sat for the chorus. it was my voice but deeper. my voice but further. in repetition. and also sounded multiplied, like there may be a few people also chanting that it was time to take the pressure off. you have to take the pressure off, (redacted). over and over and in threes and my voice but deeper. I was hunched over slightly but breathing. I wanted to throw up. I see the golden heart on my hand.  I’m on drugs, I  reminded myself. I always remind myself on my drugs.

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
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
you tried to hug
me but I am
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,
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
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 crooked
cocks 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.


I can smell you

one block,

 no headphones and
susurration of crickets
in a distance.

my stomach rushes.
it’s night, in shorts.

i’m nowhere near to
getting there
but it’s August
and I’m alone.
that’s a step,
I think.
being alone and
dropping the quarter
without notice
cuz I have a pocket full.

I think,
you have a pocket full
of quarters and you’re alone.
that’s really something
to have kept the townhome

it’s the end of August,
8:42 pm, 81 degrees
but dropping.


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