perfunctory
and evil like a tease,
slow to build and
protected by sheer
want

an alarm.
a storm brims the coast
and you start writing down
anything you remember
about me.
I am undulating in great
tidal gasps; a siren
sights set on horizon,
humming low, humming
softly and
         come in closer
splayed across the break.

your arid soul is thirsty for the
new oasis I’ve become
but your obtrusive leaps
are doused in hex
before they ever reach me.
you are responsible for
some of this and
I am responsible for
that.
my bed is soaked
and I am angry.
black in vengeance cloaks
in white to walk the streets
the way furtive angels might.
you send me butterflies
at night
to assuage me.
I return the offer:

I dress in wings,
suck the nectar from the
dusk’s flowers,
learn her tales,
twist into my final form:
a long nightmare,
black hairy legs and
two tagmata,
one long dry choke
at the stroke of
3:33 every
morning onward.
you spend the year immured
in poetry and pieces
of half finished themes

obsessing over everything
you turn to see.
over everything you thought you
saw out of your
unrelenting periphery,
       how many twins do I own?
thought you
dreamed and wrote
down, unwind,
which moon did I come out of
and how many wolves
did I set free last night?
I become immune.

you become the
stranded calf in
my forest while
I spend the year
immersed in baths of
black obsidian and
forgetting what it
ever meant to
me.

“us, reversing”

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the first thing I showed him was the callous
here look
and he licked it with his tongue
without questioning my need to
grip things so tightly
I’ve succumb to carpal tunnel,
arthritis, delusions of
grandeur and infancy.

has anyone ever talked to you about splitting?”
is what the doctor said to me once.
I was twisting the straw
in my fingers, contorting my
face and confessing things,
sometimes i like to shoplift.

“Who is Catarina?”

sometimes I like to fuck men with wives.

“splitting is a phenomenon in which you  sort of leave your body to allow another persona to take over.”

sometimes I like to punish bad boys.

“like possession?”

sometimes I like to peek at Christmas presents.

“no, more like split personality.”

sometimes I watch the mirror dance in candlelight
            and wait for her to come in
              I break men
like the swell that rises over bridges
engulfing islands with her mouth,
we break men with turns of
tides.


“the journal”

 

only two days ago
your hands wrapped around my throat
and tossed me on the bed
and still dutiful,
I am on my way
to pick up a bag of cutlery and dishes
for our house from the front porch
of a stranger’s
when I stop to admire the cracks
in the side of the building.
the wall is coral, faded but still
garish, stands out.
it’s brick and

this building has no doors and
one broken window.
these defects in the painted halls
lining my new city catch my
eye each time I run an errand
and I pay my respects in
photographs      stopping at each one,
trying to remember how the boulders
haunted too      how the ocean felt
on my wasted ankles at dusk when I guzzled
vodka Big Gulps and watched the
white crabs roam the bay.
watched myself dissolve into
the bits of me and can I remember
how the sunset looked draped over both
tide and flatirons,
hold two things at once
without favor?
how it feels to lose several
small countries you claimed.
I’m invaded.

these overcoats that rot
hold space;
there is natural beauty
here but it shines brightest
in demise.
these bricks are painted to distract from
it’s true inability
to keep a home  safe like
the way men have held me;
hugged with their claws,
I cracked at the touch     put my rosy shades on
I only see them
in their handsome sway.
I snap a picture of the edge of the broken
glass pane and the beginning of
the paint peeling into
white–the fissure.
I trace my finger
over a chip and watch
it flake.

how they left me.

“doors #1”

 

I read a note out loud to myself:
everything that is really hard
is going to save your life
and a blackbird landed on the branch
outside my living room
window.
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 from the looking
without touching and
I want too much
has many meanings.
I read the words aloud again
and pour myself a thimble
of almonds.

i begin to charm him,
untie a ribbon from her
rib cage and kneel,
tie his wrists together
and lick his inner thigh.
someone asks
and then?

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

“maelstrom”

my knees hurt from walking the line
between prophecy and
presence as I stomp the
concrete for miles.
I’ve been dreaming of fish everywhere.
I am going nowhere;
only getting older so
sometimes I need a second
of stillness   rest
or I suddenly need to stretch
my calves on the railing
and I stop in the center.

it doesn’t matter if I hear them,
I always turn around and
two or three or a
lone man step around me.
once distracted, now
astute, upright
without visible panic
growing my back into a knight
and I keep pace behind them.
a gargoyle with cat
ears and a smirk
and I can walk for miles,
a giant keeping stride with
the beat of legs in front
of me.

watch

women move like machines
too.

 

“catcalls”

one day I had a dream
you bit the head off of a blue jay
and spit it back into her nest.
when I asked why you said:
To prove you will never leave me.

here I  am,
on command about to run
across the canyon and I
laugh real loud in my
skin tight
dress:

the one cut real low in the back
in the shape
of an obtuse
triangle;
jarring contrast to my
scared-straight spine
but I still
slouch.

I twist the straw into crooked pieces
and tell myself things:
   make sure they know
     you are having
      a real good time
 show your teeth
 hearty laugh
with belly and mouth and your
lips are stretched to the limits like your
social apathy.
show your full moon eyes
and hide.
hold your tonic like a wand;
fall asleep
inside of yourself
in the middle of
everything.

later, he will show
you photographs
to prove you were
there.
if you are lucky,
he notices the story
dripping from your
eyes, the door
opening, the splash
of scarlet on your tights
as you replace each page,
as you become the
walking lake flooding
the wake that held
you, and he becomes
the witness that love
is shaking sometimes
but still sharp
and with purpose,
the utility that seizes
to deconstruct,
to create with its
efficacy,
to create layers
and cut through them,
distorting to repair
or make more of less,
make more of one solid square,
make moats of larger masses
retaining density.

not the surgeon or the stitch
but the undulation,
the quiver of the knife.

“tributaries”

 

I come over wearing
everything I own:

a pack that stalks
and stays together in lunge,
a freshly oil-stoned
suit of knives and
the bled-dry opaline
home that I nest in,
my cozy coronation robe:
my clanking vest that
announces my arrival to
your home.

it is me
wreathed in
all my men’s
bones.

“Hecate”

 

I have innumerable theories about
myself because people have told me
who I am and I was
unsturdy, unstable, in tantrum,
unfed in many ways.

I watched a lot of screens.
I used to stare at my face in the mirror
to watch it change and I used
to talk to plants.
called it “plant math.”
a way of division. always
start with subtracting then
adding then multiplying.
at a young age, I grasped death
by cutting worms in half and watching
bugs eat other bugs.
you can say this even if you can’t
say psychopath.
I felt nothing watching worms
writhe except giant and I slapped
two friends across the face
before I was ten.
classify the dormant into boxes
and you have a child who will
spend all day behind a shed doing
“plant math” until she has created
a science.
I know three things about myself:

 

  1. I’ve never been in recriprocated love with a man.
    2. I have no compassion left.
  1. I once built a pyramid to God and invited everyone inside.

 

“the act of refutation”

I’ve shoved my current project
to the side of my mouth
because I am bursting with
decisiveness and for once,
can you even believe
that I chose perplexity,
a saint’s patience,
not begging,
ruining it anyway
just so I can sit here like
a lonely bitch tied to
outdoor patio furniture
waiting for the sun to go
down or for their master to step
out?

 

just panting and sitting in
her own piss,
shedding like crazy,
bewildered at the sky’s
sudden brightness,
conditioned to salivate when
your screen door opens
as if I even have a spare
drop to lose in this
heat.

 

GIVE IT TO ME.

 

“bells”

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