it is the sun streaming through my
bay-sized sliding door windows
and the white capped mountains
framed within them
that I will miss most
in winter.
but there is more to voids
than photographic memory and
today I have
a piece of paper and
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
moving.

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.
it would be the thing thrown away
to make room as I packed the car
two years later in the most frigid
December, my partner,
the weather, the frost of us and
I was in my big brown jacket
that absorbed me in
synthetic down and
I’m twirling the stem of a
decaying feather
of a real dead sparrow in my pocket,
the lyrids
are crowning across Colorado as
I am responding to
a nod, someone asking
was he your only brother?

 

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.
I repeat it in my head:

 

was he your only brother?

 

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

 

“the sympathy card”

this is fresh.

like when my cat’s claw gets stuck
in my fingertip or when I
bump my elbow on the armoire
he let me keep.

things only last for seconds unless
they are eternal like
God’s choir,
mass extinction,
our howls like bells
like doom
like fate.

 

I try to tell too many
that this has happened before but
never with the same
patterning; the cavern
patience that’s filled with
liminality   me in the
tub and dreaming.
I have no fear of the color
hazel or unmade beds
or the way you let your fingertip
trace my thigh’s Baphomet
as you turn to me
and say 

this will never end.

 

I bet you never say a word.
I’ll grow to equatorial proportions
and bellow.
I have no fear of
mirrors, men,
mirages or monsters.
I have no fear of depth.
I have no fear of flight
or landing, heat
or frozen streams.
those talons.
those waves.
those headlights.
I have no fear of death.

you? you will know me
by my sudden strength:
silence and never seen
again the same way.


“the red book (revisited)”

she talked to me all day
in riddles and I welcomed
her gentle incursion,
the way she enunciated certain
things and said y’all
and quite frankly charmed
while armed    broke men with a
chain or a flash of knee
or surreptitious motive
and I held steady
with one open eye
and crossed arms
and no plan to move
in either direction
when she asked if I still
favored her.

not a single person in this town
knew her and not many
elsewhere.
if it were up to her,
she said,
she’d disappear without a trace
into the ocean
or a foreign life
leaving a legacy of
riddles and ghosts that
favored her but not one
in a bed, or
several chained in a
yard not able
to break through the
bushes to door.
yes, I still favor you.

wore a veil,
wore a shrouded smirk and
moved wide but
never wanted anyone to
recognize her face.
in the sun,
became a mist
wafting wearily
through rows of houses,
blocks and noting
trash, and noting straws,
noting needles,
and a penchant for
heart.
in the dark,
a trace of flame
from distant candle but
never here.
still,

ok, howl.
if you placed her in a cage
full of rocks and
sunk her to the bottom of
the mariana trench with enough oxygen
to last her the swim back up,
she’d find every school,
hold the middle,
let the sides be eaten in
her disguise,
ride their backs back up,
wash up on a dolphin
at your feet, half dead,
blue, freezing and with an unctuous
grin just to prove
you still favor her.

“Saturn in Scorpio” or “how guys save me in their phone, reversed”

“Strength does not have to be belligerent
and loud.”

I derive so much from one word.
pull from it.
it’s the synchronicity that
binds me and
the license plate that careened into the pole
instead of me that night read
“ prisons” and
I knew instinctively how
he felt.
tonight I’ll do:

a spring equinox meditation.
brush my teeth.
cut grapefruit for the morning
and ride the waiting out.
pay homage to my Pluto
and my Pisces in the
eight inning.
my Venus nestled in her
vindication, her frequent
illicit engagements kept dark
in that dusty
twelfth house,
but she found a clean mirror and
she is undoing her braids.

i’m becoming a panacea of my own:
memory, tincture, flowers everywhere,
the fuss of first love never leading anywhere but
here in another meditation
on the river walk.
draw my poems out of the older sutures:
undo, redress, pamper the wounds .
think about it.
send you a letter.
remember the way grief sits,
unsettled, right after dusk,
right under your chest,
right under your breath:
a blue river from your fingers.
send you that letter
with my wounds
pasted
 in the margins.

reminding you to
think about it

pay homage to your Venus.
she is out
casting cars into ditches
while you cautiously wait
for lights to

change.
you are holding selenite
in your pocket
but your fingers still
curve and you are still
smirking,
standing where they
are now
sitting and
wilting

in screams,
it was the way you asked
in a bit of a curtsy:
one more chance 

but you snap.
and they lose their

breath just like that.

“prisons” or “Venus in the 12th House”
or

“how guys save me in their phone”

smirk.

black lipstick and naked eyes and
lied about time when I asked her.
she looked at her wrist to
count the hearts but missed an
hour and she is
dulled,
not rusty but
blunt and I know
when she walked away,
her hand was

steadily sharpening.

 

“how guys save me in their phone #6”

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”

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”

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”

 

good profile.

have never seen her hair
she was
wearing a platinum blonde wig
when I met her and
then a brown one and then
a head scarf,
floral, purple, I
remember.

bangs peeking out but
the rest an
all black everything
including dress,
boots and nails,
eyes lined like soot
tracing the chimney top,
and she was a
studious observer,
a witch.

told me she “burned a sigil”
for this and then she
licked her lips
(think about me)
touched her nails to her tongue
(listen to me)
ran her wet nails down
her neck
(wait for me)

and I’ve just been waiting.

“How guys save me in their phone #11”

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