all day long
I vacillate between intention
and immediate withdrawal.




“Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.”


-Louise Gluck

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.

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
through a grove of bush:
dead quiet in pursuit,
low to the ground
holding steady for
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.



the way he held her

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,
to the last bit of his scent,
to the worn corners,
to the post for stability,
to the both of them.
painted blood red and in heat,

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

“12th house”

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

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
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

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
or really,
much incident at all
considering our history
with winter.