I remind you over text
and apropos NOTHING
you make sure to emphasize
to someone that my style is
and in all caps and
that I enjoy the slam of
doors, interjections,
a hand tight around my forearm
and learning the local
culture before intercepting about
the fine print of the law,
how to skirt
a shadow, what a savior
secret arsenals.
I present the trunk machete,
then the painted switch blade.
I mean no harm
simply seething as I walk about
tracing panes, cracks in
paint and you hold me anyway
and in a way that I oblige;

if I’m anything stasis
it’s anxious so
I at some point,
have to be blindfolded,
only feeling
the way the soil holds the bones
of those we’ve learned to mourn
in private:
eternally and quiet
with an airy tightness and security
like the rosary barbs the
knuckles when it’s altar
or when its storm and I’m all fist.
the way the heavens hold the pious,
the mob holds the riot,
or the torch of arrival and
the way the ocean holds all that
falls below that deep blue
surge of sea.
a gentle immensity
lifts me in my
fits and that’s the way you
see me still;
intense and poignant,
pointed in her comments
but rather distressed about it
all so generally forgiven
for her onslaught.

squall hits and I
drag you under to show
what made me.
you’re surprised by my
physicality and stature,
my apt command
of rooms
so far
only seeing me flit
and not sticking around
to see me pull out
the skewer and demonstrating
all the ways in which a weapon
and in front of
everyone like I feel most
comfortable in combat,
agitating and leading
regimes before.
like I’ve never once
had an apprehensive

and tall.


let’s celebrate it:
our arrival to temperance.
throw an anniversary picnic
and let a year go by
shining underneath the map,
resplendent from the previous

show up weekly and
listen, share, open
vulnerabilities but listen
to them carefully.
gain their trust before you
censure To wives and the ways
these advantageous
players play,
then let your serpent spine
sizzle in its case,
one day stand up,
call them all sexist,
balk at the coming year’s celebration,
do nothing but exit
and get all of the women
to leave.


express the value of life
in lines and

Add the girl’s lids and
tinted lashes,
fixed eyebrows,
her lace collar under
overblown cloak.
Hair tucked beneath hood,
chin tucked to neck,
subtract her gloom
with an upturned lip..
Highlight her cheekbones in rouge.
Add breath to an otherwise
achromatic lover.

Add her troubled partner in the backdrop:
blue-gray with a hint of black at the corners,
small silhouette of a rainstorm
receding over the edge of the horizon.
Add some balance to a ruminating giant.
Subtract her moans.
Erase her nose.
Sharpen the clavicle.
Thin the waist.
Add some plum to the lips.
Add some gaunt to her face.
Add a remark.
“This will not do.”

Grab the Hi-Polymer.
Try to capture the gleam
of mistakes everywhere;
birthmarks, pencil marks, oil sheen,
eraser flakes,
lines that are furrows or scars or
wrinkles, ruddy blotches
on the thighs,
dry skin on the feet,
swan’s neck,
bucked teeth,
knife marks and a
revised smile.
Never trust a man.

She is flawless.
Analogized you.
Contrast to your optimism;
your bubble of assurance
that is dominating,
that denies a compact or an inventory
and drawn in shady undertones
to hide complicated desires.

Proof of hidden bruise
shoved deep inside the confines
of gusto and canvas
come to life in the luster of pencil dust
and uncomplicated process,
stretched wide
for the world to admire.
A deflated mirror.

She still has all her freckles
and you are noticing
a few things
about yourself.

“doors #10”

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”

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 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 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”

it is the sun streaming through my
bay-sized sliding door windows
and the white-apped mountains
framed within them
that I will miss most
in winter.
clearly, I can’t hold
two things at once without
favor, and
today I have
a piece of paper,
a dozen dead things
wilted in their vase
to remind me.

there is a touch of red
sprinkled around the glass
that browns and sets as dry
on the sill in
my small uncurtained bedroom that
I pace when I have
too much on my  mind
and today they remind me

life is a patient rot
to tomb, a gauntlet and
fluid so I  better keep

life is a patient
gut to get to
wound     it was April
on Earth Day when I wrote
My Brother Is Dead
in the back of a notebook I would never
look at again.

thrown away to make room
as I packed the car
two years later.

“grief (part two)”

I just have to make rent.

I read a note out loud to myself,
something I had written in an urgency,
a mania and with its own
staggering precocity these little
messages keep me crawling
on the ledge:
    everything that is really hard
          is going to save your life

and a blackbird landed on the branch
outside my living room
still, their eyes small and
sharp, waiting to dive,
waiting for the buzz of cicadas
to start again.
            that reminds me,

I say in my head
            i’m emaciating.
I take a sip of water.
starved, looking
without touching and
      I want too much
has many meanings.
I read the words aloud again
and pour myself a thimble
of almonds.

it is first that I craft the story,
not out of revenge but
of general idleness and
devilment, the two things
slated to go hand in hand.
I begin to charm him.
                do you believe everything I say?

and then you become the
braced masochist
and I become
the looming hit.


5. sort out near death experiences, drive to
make sense of it.

(cats have nine lives)

19, severe drinking
problem–so much so that
I had been arrested for
playing the stoplight
game with my boyfriend again.
the stoplight game is something
I made up out of fear of
intimacy: we take a shot of
vodka at every red light.
they found us in a parking
lot; me pissing, and
them thinking I’m a whore.
made me walk a straight line.
made me recite the alphabet backwards.


blow. .28
they were impressed.
i was 123 lbs, 5 7
and I admitted to them
that yes, I’d been drinking.
just five shots,
I said. which wowed them
more. I had taken at least fifteen.

it wasn’t jail but the second
morning of my alcohol group
that almost did me in.
in my shakiness,
I reached for my shot glass
and poured myself my hair
of beagle. certainly, any shot
glass on my shelf would do.

and as I began to gag in horror
feeling the sharp metal in my esophagus,
stuck, people home but
pride will kill you too,
I began to choke,
really choke.
cough and stand up,
clutching my neck,
somehow by iron will
spit the safety pin out
in my hand and recall
in horror, the designation
of that glass as

to keep pennies
and safety pins in.

“near death experience #5”

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