I’m invincible in
execution only if
carried everywhere.
people don’t change,
I think, and having second thoughts
throw the dinosaur
you mailed me away.
the birthday card he gave me.
the set of text exchanges.
people don’t change.
I empty the bin,
make space for lipstick.

“Venus in Leo in 12th house” or the “act of chasing things”

this is fresh.
the way I put on blush
and got my bangs cut,
properly at a place just
to show up once,
just to take my scarf back
and without a hug.

like the last word
someone said
          I was hoping we could talk about this
or me finishing packing up
anything belonging to my
ex; an entire bookshelf he left
which leads me to a shoebox
to stuff the card my new
ex-thing sent.

find old photographs
of myself unsure in blue hoodie
set to the mountains
at sunset like I couldn’t
imagine not being there.
it was such a casual stance
to permanence I carried.
the last time I look at a place.
the impassable space between
states, abysmal and
the plane ride to my
brother’s coma.
it all comes back.
this is fresh.

this is the last time I’ve ever
seen or heard from someone.
my intrepid cool affect
pushing edges further back
to margin;
my rehearsed gait.
the way I asked how are you
three times with a nervous gesture,
without listening or waiting
for response and then
a sudden turn away.

I spent all my time at the beach
as a child
watching waves take things away.
I’d throw sticks in there,
seaweed, sometimes bottle caps.
draw lines in the sand with my toes.
throw hermit crabs back.
the day the sky was black
and cut with
lightning, swollen
with compulsion,
a tropical storm touched the
ocean and on instinct,
it swallowed itself.
I was there at the edge.
watching waves curl up to
my chest and
my aunt screamed,
came to grab me as I touched the
shore with my hands and
carried me up to the house.
(redacted) why did you do that?
the whole way up,
I was crying, screaming
about a flip flop
drifting in the current,
begging her to go back.
I remember it to this day.
it had white soles and  yellow and vinyl
ribbon tied into a bow
at the toe.
I was trying to go back
into the water to get it.
you can’t tell anything
about a statue
except it’s resting form:

but if you ever saw the contents of
my purse: the twisted straws,
the clutter, lists of
things to get or hold,
the collections,
you would see
that peevish child
taunting the ocean’s
grip and dashing,
longing for her
endless swaddle,
and everything that ever
existed too.

“Veruca Salt”

I turn the headphones up.

you gave me a bouquet of
weeds as I was drinking
my third cup of coffee.
you had picked them from
our backyard when I wasn’t

you were smiling
big, and I thought I loved
you. I had gone upstairs to
change into a sundress
and tore a muscle near
my spine.
I called down to you.
it feels like I pinched a nerve
and am having trouble breathing.
what should I do?
you looked up the staircase
on your way out
the front door and tossed a
I don’t believe you
my way.
someone else drove me to
the doctor  and doctor
confirmed it,
prescribed me Flexeril
and wrote me
a note for my unpaid
I laid in bed waiting for the
drugs to subside.

you came home and attempted to justify
why you always felt deceived by me.
I lay numb, relieved of feeling anything
as you recited
everything I’d ever done
that bothered you.
you weren’t sorry,
it’s Sunday and I feel
nothing for you
I drop a pair of panties
on the sidewalk
on the way out and
someone calls me from
the corner.

I turn my headphones up.

it’s Sunday and
it’s true, this too shall
pass and
I feel nothing
for you now.


I think a lot about my
own divisiness and the ways to get
more or away or someone.
how I mask it.
what I can do.
what I’m doing.
how what I thought I about
yesterday compares meekly
to the euphoric way the sun
hit my shoulders just today
and no other day will compare to
this feeling so I mold it into
tangibility, twisting a straw,
photographing the figures of me
opening the door for someone
on way to get my second load
and thinking, so happy
to witness.

I love probability
what’s the likelihood I’ll see your
friend again, seeing him three times
already and you never there cuz
I don’t set foot on your lawn,
your territory, not mine
to fight for and
what is it going to take to hypnotize
a small crowd and at what cost to my
well being and I was practical so
how much money will I  make
if I devote myself entirely
to one thing vs. side things
and how honestly bad I
crave the hustle
but also I would like to crave stability
and statistically speaking,
we have to look at patterns,
not just equations but
trends so then here comes
more of the past.
I’m real used to it:
being three places at once
if I’m any less than nine.

II. (uranus in sagittarius in fifth house)

I scream in the corridor,
as you pick up the AC you
left and make your way
to your fifth meeting of the week.
me? I’m
chilling in bed, reading Louise Erdrich
and when you see me again,
I will be serrated.

all day long I do equations
in my head.
as I walk to the laundromat
shifting the hamper beneath me,
I think about how many quarters I brought
and what that will get me doubting
my skill– yet every month,
I still have some left in my cup.
what chore is coming next.
I need to wash the windows
and also I’m ankle deep in someone
else but that might
be conjecture
I think as I place the bin on the
ground knowing I have two more
at home and three flights of stairs
and I think       that’s an understatement

I think.

1. (mercury in Virgo in First house)

my childhood is never coming back.

I learned to drift young and
listened to my Papa’s
stories, my aunt’s stories,
the whole family telling stories
and I learned to joke
too. it’s about knowing
what people respond to
but also a dauntlessness.

everyone in my family
laughed big and loud,
smoking cigarettes sitting around
the picnic table,
a pretty red-wood covered
with some tawdry pear-slathered
yellow and cream plastic cloth
made to absorb ketchup
and beer cans everywhere.
the empty ones there for butts.
and bottles of Coke in giant
two liters      their tan slender fingers
and the confidence of lighting up.
I perfected the flick of an ash
off the end of a burning cigarette
long before I held one.

it’s ninety percent the way
your neck looks when you’re listening
and ten percent what you say
when you finally move to
enter the game.
I learned to grift.
there were many ways.
more about fun then–just how to sneak out
at night to grab cigarettes
from the bowling alley cigarette
machine; a preposterous
thing but came in handy.
I would sometimes crawl out of
my bedroom window,
my bed right beneath it and
able to slide the screen right open
without breaking it,
it was easier than the back door.
I had to tiptoe.
we had thin walls.
I slept with my door shut,
pitch black and covered with
pillows scared of my closet.

sometimes we took beer from my friend’s
parents cooler,
or candy pocketed from 7-11
or lip gloss from Eckerd’s
or something from a man’s house,
anything really.
I liked to take photographs of them
and items of clothing to smell
before they leave me.
sometimes I would stare at the pictures
he left out on his dresser
suddenly. not sure if they were planted
or just forgotten as he
offered me a shot of tequila on
his barracks colored carpet;
that off-white every sailor had;
stained with Friday nights
and teenage vomit.
movie ticket stubs falling
out of my coat pocket.
I always took my shoes off
out of politeness even though
I could see the scrape of dirt
from welcome mat to
cot and today:

a picture of him and his wife
on the rocks on the coast
of San Diego,
a card she left him,
something in spanish.
I would listen to the CDs he played
on repeat to get over her, later
alone, more holding the sting
and the shattering way
it felt forced to be fucked
to music like that.
fascinated that grief can transcend
between two people, same song,
two different ways.
two different meanings.

where are you running to now?

I’m at Lehigh and 2nd
giving a man directions
to the 15 stop and he is asking
me where I am going.
I have no job or friends
but tons of antique wood
furniture and I kind of nod
to myself without answering him,
just keeping that buoyancy of
knowing that
acquiring objects is half the battle.
the other half is unearthing.

“walls #1”

I repeat the question in my head.

yes, he was my only brother.
it is much easier to disappear
but the house moved with
me; from freeze to open
like an unattended mortuary
moved to resurrect itself
after years of
neglect and

did you know,
the bones given a soft lick
will sparkle white
  like fresh-caught ivory
and once it feels the brush of
will file any joint to tip
with tooth
and gore the things that touches
it, that holds it
near to chest or
safely in its palm?

as it shreds the flesh from
crown to feet,
someone says to me,
with sincerest sympathy
and I fall into a fog.
was he your only brother?

as I pass a trashcan,
I fumble a little,
  make room in my bag
for lipstick.

“the sympathy card”

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