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”

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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”

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”

this is fresh.

 

like when my cat’s claw gets stuck
in my fingertip or when I
bump my elbow on the armoire.
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 rage.

“the red book (revisited)”

they are not shocked that I have
tattooed every lover’s glyph
along the stitching of my skin
but that I repeat the same story:
I have never, ever loved.

“yet such grand displays for men
that have touched you!”

 

I glare.
in general, I glare.
you can fuck three thousand men
and fall into each one’s abyss and
never touch a feeling but
no one believes me when I say
I have never, ever loved.

 

“yet you repeat their name with
such fever I think you may be
sick.”

I cough just to get attention.
if we are in a room full of people
and no one has looked my way
for seconds, I clear my throat.
no one believes me when I say
I am a pacified nihilist.

“yet you lend your hand to
every thing and the way you wear
your man’s cologne makes me
think you want so deeply.”

I want to sit still.
I walk the streets wrapped in
beats, a phrase tattooed on my
tongue. a glyph for everyone
I sung to.
(toss five dollars in his cup)
I have never, ever loved.

“the seraphim”

we both saw the lighting storm
and we both held metal rods
under a tree
like we deserved it or
like we just wanted the tingle back,
confusing amends with self slaughter.
we could just enlist–
bring kerosene to the housewarming and
tell your friend,
            pour this here
gesture to our clothes
and necks.
hold hands. 

 

watch us try to put

the other out first

so you believe you can

long without conditions.

consider love and

freedom exist at the

same time.

here is what I demand:

eye contact.

a witness.

an extinguisher.
your fit in vocabulary,
whether fresh or stored
or researched but 

directed right at me

so I can hear the way your irritation wrestles,
the way you covet remorse and old marks
and I have a new cane to brand you;
mahogany wood  hand carved,
if you ever just laid down to take it,
my sting.
let your silence make way for screams
and welts, not fair?
well. that’s what I deserve.

 

but you don’t believe in any of it
or that you are growing a handlebar
mustache and I’m squirming, in bondage,
under a metal rod under a tree,
amorphous so I can slip free
and the sky is finally black enough.
the antonym of black is everything
at once.
consider love and self-sacrifice

exist at the same time.
consider my ethics and organic
expression.
consider I’d be real dumb
about it.
consider my skin would melt like
altar prayers, wax and I’d be
wasted    sending rain, a lake,
a splash your way.
me, avoiding water.
me, melting.
me, disintegrating just to rise in
white like an osprey or
an egret,
perched and
habitual,
seasonal.
graceful, large, eyes on
the prey.


consider love and altitude
exist at the same time.

“the long flight”

 

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