in Boulder, it was the same.
it was called “Unity.”
I was invited by a girlfriend
and I stayed.
we talked a lot about
life and mysticism,

the way currents showed up
for us. I wish I had
documented more of the tension
of the room. like the Gratitude meeting,
I stayed with meetings that forced
everyone to share.
they went in a circle.

I sat among them, mostly
men, always mostly men:
some young,
some old and reluctantly,
shared when it was my turn,
becoming chair,
inviting others. 

once I remember saying
I can be really manipulative
and a guy that I had reached
out to about something,
never responding to the message,
made eyes at his sponsor.
I caught it.

at the risk of being
labeled calculating, I still
liked being seen. 

“unity”

first they elected me as chair.
no, first, I just showed up
regularly and shared
my leanings. I was seeking
divination and
wrestling with the
inconveniences of crisis
always followed with
a feeling of light
sprinkling above.
it was winter.
I was bundled but always
wearing tights.
they’ll say I trapped them,
I’ll say I felt trapped. 

the meeting was called
“The Gratitude Meeting”
and I loved how much we talked
about God. I only liked
hearing of God. I only
liked advice that invoked
prayer or some sort of
ceremony in which we
asked to be undone, wind
to take us or
water to cleanse.
the transformation started
with acceptance of
peak smallness, humbling,
then the idea that I could
touch the pink bubble
and move it.


the carpet had yellow
circles and there was a map in
the back of the room.
I sat facing away from it
most of the time. it
was about missionaries.
I began to sit in the
same seat and show up
every Tuesday.  you develop a
familiarity when you
become reliable.

I sat with it sprawling
above me so as they looked
at me, they might look
up to see a giant world
with red pins
stuck in it.

“the black book”

*******

express the value of life
in lines and
charcoal.

Add the girl’s lids and
tinted lashes,
fixed eyebrows,
nose.
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.
Precise.
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”

keys,
a shuffle,
my half smile directed at a
windowsill and a forced
dulcet pause to
wrap a throw around bare shoulders,
strapless bra     i’m mussed enough
to form new creases,
stretch my tousled jaw
into a long yawn.


I can see your long trail of spit
glisten lightly like snow
from elbow to the scar
above my wrist when I was
really hitting the wine.
wipe it on the pillowcase.
my lips are sand dry,
knuckles crack a bit when they reach and
my toes are curled for a different reason
this time,     I am emptied.
your shadow’s growing larger:
an elongated feeling that stretched and stretched
and stopped right before
it got to mine,
bit back,
ran.

toss a look over brawn shoulder.
i’m no feast, you know,
but you wait like March hunger
for full spring, so close
yet still light blizzard,
you want that
hot spot to hit the ground
but snow lingers   you want
that drizzle then moist
and green,  some sunflowers,
a tomato plant and bees
offer their honey from the bottoms of their
black bellies.
sniff a tulip,
take all you can get.
feast on cool breezes of
me
when I’ll have it.

I cough or sneeze
and  make no motion to ever
be haunted;
to ever be eaten,
to ever grow something from the arm
you licked that used to hold little butter knives
threateningly
towards him, towards me,
us     hold scissors and
think about it,
hold shot glasses to not;
where I used to force myself to hug my brother
at Christmas
and nights, nowadays
any holiday,
etch his name everywhere it fits;

where you watched the sun
shadowplay with branches on my olive skin
and you mistook them for
fingers to grab,
hold,
where I stretched myself,
a bored tiger and lifted my once
impaled bones, my once river bones,
        (wet for it every time)
up, held my hand up,
nails long and dry,
held your gaze,
waved without change in
expression and
your back is to the door.

i’m sitting up in a fetal position.
my profile is reflected in the
dusty whites of your eyes.
I have developed a new shade:
smudged green eyeliner and
the rest some kind of
lovely barren.

.“beds”

I spent a week
cleaning out the bookshelf
and trying to decide what toread in the short
time I had left with
his books.
I was also debating
how I should present
myself next:
wholly, or
with my rigid cuts.
things that I remember:

painting my toenails blue
outside under a clear sky
and a very bright crescent moon.
we sat in front of each other
on a bench outside of the supermarket,
and you were amused
that I asked if we could
stop walking so I can paint my toes.
“that way I can stay out later,”
I said.
when you said
you wanted to see me more.

I make myself recite
love is patient
from Corinthians daily,
however, I let too much time
pass and I always have to go
back to the first line as
I am learning it but
today we are at
does not dishonor others
lucky you,
I think.

I’ve been reading some
leftover Anne Waldman
and your Eastern philosophy,
lucky you,
today I eschew making
myself a porcupine
and then making things brittle
enough to break
  and
just chewing the inside
of my cheeks
as you pick up the boxes,
leave the antique china
cabinet you promised
you’d keep.

“the bookshelf”

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)
freshly
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
outside
drenched,
you tried to hug
me but I am
closed,
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,
Bourbon,
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
remembering
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
sometime,
in the middle of Kensington.


“July/September” 

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.

also
I love probability
like
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
mouth
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”

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
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, 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.

“maelstrom”

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