made me walk to her house
collecting stones along the way.
said she was building something.
my pockets and fingers were dirty
and when I arrived,
she was sitting, arms crossed
and
throw that conch shell away
is how she greeted me.
I feigned my deference
and regret it now.
she never wanted me to kneel
but to toil for her favor.

she didn’t greet me with any body part
but squared me.
when I asked about the stones,
she looked perplexed.
gestured to the kitchen where the
trash sat and said
throw those away too.

“sisyphus” or “how guys save me in their phone 4”

if you shrunk her to the
size of a pine needle;
remember her
previous stature–
platformed boots,
four inches taller than she really
was and towering some men,
not just in height but in
arrogant loquaciousness,
abrasiveness,
wealth.
but if you shrunk her and
hid her in the bunk of
a barn underneath the bales,
I don’t know,
he waves his hands,
for revenge.
you could even tape her mouth
shut, quell the
squawking

I bet
she would shine
like a comet;
self immolate,
ignite herself and
begin to set the barn on fire
so you could find her.
I bet

yes every time
that even hidden like a penny
in a cornfield
she’d grow vowels, legs,
a scream.
made sure you would
find her.

“how guys save me in their phone #3”

the first thought of the morning is always
today is the day I jump off the bridge.
I have a frenzied compulsion
to walk to it, sometimes
  cross it
but there are days I can’t.
I can’t  face the ice-tinged railing.
the dirty sidewalk filled with
discarded straws I want to touch,
put in my mouth.
begin to spin the happy thought of us.
take another route to nowhere.I’m high by 8 am.
pull my boots up,
hat, double tights.
it’s gray. no sun and
today is the day I jump off the bridge,
I declare.
it’s January 25th, 2017.
I haven’t said a word to you yet.
just holding it in,
clenched, clasped
to my throat,
pushing
like my blue plume
of breath.

“the bridge”

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 #3”

   repeat after me

the first thing you noticed about me
was that you’d seen me before and
my s   l    o      w southern accent,
my impervious sway and
bit of a drawl but mostly

the way I smirked:
sometimes red-hot,
sometimes ice-cold.

               my name is Lilith

you called me cool
and unapproachable and 

             my name is Lilith

felt
the outline of my torso move
in a light rescinding way
like the edge of a storm changing
course but 

      my name is Lilith


you called me Lilith first. 

“how guys save me in their phone #2”

it was morosity
that ran in the family.
I sat down to the orange tablecloth,
my spanish deck set
    laberinto
every light out,
about sevcn candles it
and a roller coaster kind of
high, grief taking years to
fully form outside of me,
a birthday present for us,
Matt
and pulled the first card,
    the sun reversed

i’ll always remember that.
october 19th, 2016 and my
brother is dead.
I swallow a finger full of his
ashes from the black and
white genie bottle I
keep him in and

let the ritual begin.

“the rituals’

you were given a choice.
you chose this road
first, then the
present.
become an alcoholic to
find a higher power.
meditate occasionally .
fill the emptiness with Oreos,
coffee,
a smoking habit you detest
but gives your fingers something to
do when you’re speaking anxiously
in public,
caffeine rearranging your
tongue into metaphors and you
need a moment of pause,
clarifying to the audience
with a descriptor you
previously forgot
and the story: winding,
inexplicably always
out of order.

run a 5K every three weeks
to give yourself a mission:
get back in shape,
hone your vision of
yourself.
bathe everyday.
tell the cat you love her
and pet her for an extra few minutes
before you walk for hours
to lose those new found vowels
completely.
pluck out your dead ends
hiding in a stealth spot.
begin a practice of voyeurism.
sit comfortably and
file your nails into sharp points.
lean into them.

write everything down.
start ordering your steak rare:
inhale the lost veal,
the lost zeal of an entire feedlot;
the scent of plasma and cud.
devour a a squealing colony
without remorse.
      give cannibalism a chance.
you’re talking to yourself in public again.
the looks from the other patrons
don’t bother you.
you remember them with skinned knees on
bathroom tile;  your stomach in
velvet knots,
your obsessive purge.
you remember them peering at you
in courtrooms,
you remember them in handcuffs,
in shackles,
side eyes as you make a scene
at the open bar, or get someone’s date to
carry it all:
              vodka soda,
          you lick his ear
            like your boyfriend isn’t even there.
it’s not the groom you want
or ceremony you despise,
it’s the bride.
the way you’ve stolen and
groveled afterwards.
the way they held
onto those wrongs and their
condescending pats on the back
withdrawn.
how you’ve managed to
survive it all with gratitude,
without much impact,
you’ve suddenly risen
to their ranks.

get your wisdom teeth removed
and then
cut them into daggers.
check out Home Depot,
ask for “industrial size”
ignore all the
are you ok ?
you’re muttering again.
read the directions.
this stuff is toxic.
don’t get it on your eyelids.
press the bone back into your sockets,
flick the canines,
gotta be solid.
smile:
you’re still celibate.
you’re still hungry;
avaricious,

less slovenly from
all the exercise,
less addled than before
and armored like the night.
go back to the diner.
lick your plate.
click your tongue.
you showed them how
starvation’s done.
you showed them how to roam.
you put your money where your
mouth is glued into
your gums.

your lips are lined with
homemade knives,

you begin to teach
them how to
move again.
you begin to chew more
loudly.
              Miss?
now that your dysphagia’s
done, you’re gonna smile
wide.
show them your veneers,
Ms. Salt and tell them
what you want.
I want it now.

“Veruca Salt”

the skulk,
scent, need for slow chase.
salivation with a .
wide open stance,
arms spread,
lips like decanter,
trickling:
it is with love that I do this.

oh, you always say that.

*snaps* to wake
up.   tips a holy red.
I begin to grow inches and
let my long nails
trail the arms of strange
wool peacoats on my way to
the El,
or nowhere.
just circling Girard for fun.

It’s the middle of December
and I made rent.
I sort of grimace as
I sway the town, head to
toe in unbought clothes,
heeled boots,
hips flexed and
recently fucked.
let my hand hit the elbow
of an unsuspecting man,
unfucked, soon to
be turning around and
catching a flash of my
back, purple mock wool
and  hear the clack
of my shoes walk
away.
it is with love
they say.

“the honey trap”

when do you decide to kill and what
stops you?
God.
pause.
uncertain
of myself.

and what do you want to learn from all
of this? she waves her hands over
the fire.
pause.
uncertain of
myself.
but there are the men
and they are giant
but it is not just men
the things that I’m bound
by, namely vitriol,
a weakness, how they
pervaded throughout my
gelid days when I could
have been comfortable in gray
cocoon save these little birds
and having no
right to be there, I can’t decide
if it is better for me
to keep my hands pressed
firmly together or

 will you teach me how to kill
my God?

or if it is better palms
open in subservience
to her.

“Hecate”

precocious and blazing
hot, I become
a long bending desert to
warm you up:

fields of sand to cover,
infinite high noon run,
no moon to come,
hollowing the others with
deprivation,
promising mirages,
a wide and weaving
ever-longing
desiccation,
sudden sidewinders and a
slow and draining
drip that never hits and
dehydration,
never an inch of rain

and you
find every trap
I laid.

“the desert”

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