some friends don’t care about red flags
but i’ll waste one poem on you
and it’s this.

that was the first red flag..
please never come back and be
careful what you wish for me
as mirrors have a way of sort of
pushing you head first into them.

 I recall sort of hand crawling
up the stairs drunk,
had been slurping the eye dropper
of a THC tincture, vodka based,
until I finally just drank the jar.
spinning in bed,
feeling my dad close to me.

he would have wanted me to relapse.

3

it’s hard to say when it started:
when they fed me black tea with milk
at 6 pm when I was only 8, or
the thought of it; I saw
an elegance in the way my aunt’s neck
bent to meet the lighter,
maraud about the backyard barbeque
with a red Irish Rose smile
in a blond bob wig and tan,
        even with thin hair, we can succeed
or when I felt the burn of
it in my chest for the first time;
the clear fire and courage
to approach
anyone, anything
with gumption.


it’s not sympathy I’m asking
for but an understanding
you can’t possibly imagine
unless you live it.
we are born with it:
the constant want,
desire to be both content
and normal, but also elevated
in euphoria even while
just grocery shopping,
feeling a tingle as you
palm the tomato,

yes, yes
tonight will be excellent.

1.

but you can always make it better.

2.

I’m suicidal.
(don’t tell them you’re suicidal)

“I’m not suicidal. I’m fine.”
there’s a telling pause but they are exhausted,
diverted by their self obsession,
clueless.
“ I just want to be seen.”

every time they slap the bracelet on,
relief. like a falling blackness
lifted to reveal a net,
a retrieval.
a temporary spark of light
in my persisting
midnight.
“I’m fine.”

“the hospital series”

“I just want to be seen,”
I am looking earnestly up at him
confused about why I fell down
in my house and couldn’t get up easily.

I’m, at this time, 34 and
my blood levels are fine but
I have taken
and I begin to list
them…

ma’am, are you suicidal?

“the hospital series”

sitting in front of the fish tank
again,
after now having what i believe to be
my 9th panic attack,
there is a man with his ear
bleeding.
I am familiar with this place.
“I’m fine.”

you can take your knives in here.
they didn’t even notice my taser this time.
I am concerned that I am going to
suddenly stop breathing one day.
and you will,
the little girls tell me,
if you keep mixing drugs this way.

but remind the audience that no one ever believes you
as a precursor to understanding how
badly

you

just

want 

to be seeeeen.

“the hopsital series”

but i’m a martyr for this,
I crave
repercussion;

even self-abnegation
needs an audience
or else it’s just plain masochism
                  lonely and caustic
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 brook,
and baneful.
my bloodletters will wash
the splashes from my feet,
take their time
with each laceration;

stitch
my gashes
into temples.

“Lilith”

I saw this quote. I had written it long before I understood what it meant. shifting from one section of the Earth to the other without leaving my house, I read it again tonight.  “I am a boundary to something else, but I don’t know what.” I was a thread.
Soon after, we took a bath
in chamomile
and I told him
every scary dream I ever had.

********

but I feel the root rot and darken

without altar, water

or speech.

you walk in and

I’m here now

growing into a black stem.

you walk in and look

right at me

and I don’t know

where to begin.

but I found the

aperture.

you walk in and

look right at me and

my shiny white teeth

forge a new smile.

I begin to grow,

unfurl, hum

softly.

“datura moon”

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