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”

all day long I do mathematical equations
      they say I’m calculating. 

in my head.
as I walk to the laundromat
shifting the hamper beneath me,
I think,

    that’s an understatement.

 

I think a lot.

I think.
I think.
I love probability
like
what’s the likelihood I’ll see you again
believing I both convinced myself in this reality
and believe I convinced you it was true
so imbued in my delusion
but then God came to my defense,
I watched some things begin
to sprout  like little poison flowers
growing out of the cracks
like refuge?
or the analysis like

 

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?
and statistically speaking,
we have to look at patterns,
not just equations but
trends so then here comes
the past.

 

I turn the headphones up.

 

you gave me a bouquet of
weeds as I was drinking
my third cup of coffee.
you had picked them from
our backyard when I wasn’t
looking. 

you were smiling with teeth;
big, and I thought I loved
you.
I had gone upstairs to
change into a sundress
and tore something near my spine,
suddenly, like a rip inside.
I mustered up enough breath
to walk down the stairs,
back to you,
where you had been standing with the weeds,
where you had been telling jokes,
where you had been laughing and I said:
it feels like I pinched a nerve
and am having trouble breathing.
what should I do?


you looked up the staircase
on your way out
the front door and tossed a
I don’t believe you
as you were rushing.
someone else drove me to
the doctor and that doctor
confirmed it,
prescribed me Flexeril
for the pain and wrote me
a note explaining to my internship
why I wouldn’t be in that day.
I laid in bed, waiting for the
drugs to subside.

you came home
and attempted to justify
why you always felt
deceived by me.
I lay numb,
relieved of feeling anything as you recited
everything I’d ever done
that bothered you.
you weren’t sorry,
it’s Thursday and I feel
nothing for you
now.

I drop a pair of panties
on the sidewalk
on the way out and
someone calls me from
the corner.
I turn my headphones up

I feel nothing for you now.

“Thursday”

I drove through ghosts and all of middle Earth
to get here;
to lean into the sharp points
of middle hurts.
the difference between you and I
are only a couple stealth instruments
but we both murder with force;
with words that creep down the esophagus
in the middle of the night,
rupture guts and my stomach turns in half
like a huge, hungry mouth just
folding from the pressure,
investigating old sutures with
her incisors and voraciously
eating itself.

i’m trying self-immolation since the recovery
stopped working.
stalking your shadow,
waiting for high noon,
marauding around the Conoco station with
two kinds of Plan B in my pocket:
one for the inevitable fetus to follow and
one for you and I to cut in half and swallow
when you make your decision
and I’m the one that gets to record the way
it felt to watch you dragged to the altar
that foreboding day.

I wish had more words for
everything hurts.
i’m the paper bell you inspected,
glued glitter hearts all over,
licked like an envelope being set somewhere else
and ultimately flung from the shelf
before she had time to prosper.
in true poet’s parlance
i’m nothing but death: soot palms, a trash can full of
worst thoughts,
one pen, colossal regret,
charcoal-colored romance with the
murdered children to accentuate my
growing malaise.
kamikazes are lazy, cowardly fighters.

                                           (give him the truth)
you have to stand in your wreckage,
own your slaughter.
makes more sense to avoid the fumes and
blood-orange sting that the flashy
hara-kiri brings.
              (give him the teeth)
i’m your match.
                 (give him that spark)

there’s nothing left of me
to burn so I become
the portending light
and you become
the ashes.

“urns”

I have a low murmur that reaches
street lamps and cracks them
with it’s under snarl
that runs naked for miles
seeking something with a
warning and I hit
the corner as you are
walking up.
the light goes out
and a tire screeches
and a cyclist tumbles
and this city is full of
accident now.
you will
know me by my
fang-toothed smile.

you will see the smirk
open wide in the sun
into an open-mouthed
gutter.
you will call yourself
mine and line your bed
with rosary to
stop me from coming
but I’ve already
been invited.
I will be around and
you will be
in tears by
the end when

you remember the
agreement;

                  revenge is an interesting game,
                how undiscerning rage becomes
                      when it turns red
                      the story begins
                         as you remember everything
                                          again.

when you remember everything.

 

“morphic resonance” or “notes to him” or “notes to self”

I’m caught in the middle of
two periods:
between black as death and
black as a violent
stormy day:

the kind that shut schools down,
threatens to take out
whole neighborhoods
with her incisive strikes of
roar and lightning,
emanating flood.
I suppose that would
make me in transition,
currently nestled
in a calm and mutable
gray.


It’s winter and I’m not
cloaked in night yet?
You’re taking the long way home;
passing by my
window for a peek of
my flickering lights,
my private worship,
my fire tongue
now burning itself to a
cinder, cooling with the drops
of pinprick blood
dripping down my
altar.
And I’m preparing to
skin the ash from myself,
drape in only white,
and twirl through these
cold months
with algid splendor.
I am seen by many
but never touched.

For you, given our
history, that seems very
advantageous, and despite
my proclivity for sudden flight,
my growing meridian wings,
something is keeping me
here.
Something is keeping me
floored, and despite my
recurrent lake coffin
premonition,
something is keeping me dry,
safe on shore
and alive.

“the phoenix”

perhaps I will live like this forever,
insatiable,  never satisfied,
a bit Veruca Salt.

I am not my habits
although they are intrusive,
pernicious and aiding me
through letting go of something
larger: the need to be seen in every instant,
pet and validated,
but left long alone
also
and to be cleansed
unremittingly.

if there is a safe space,
it is here, in writing.
if there is a true amends,
it is change
but my lion is indebted.

when they ask what you are,
tell them humbled.

“Venus in Leo”

it wasn’t just about us,
it was about everyone.
the way I’ve touched everyone,
or better,
the way I ripped myself apart
in front of them.
to pieces.
my self deprecation intertwined
with resentment.
they say i’m bitter.

you say I’m graceful
but you have not seen me undressed.
you say I know you
but you have not seen me undressed.
you say you’re naked
but you have not seen me undressed.
not the way they have.

and that makes you jealous.
you want to watch me rip my hair
out and tell you to tell me to
stop.
oh, maybe wait a while until
I fall in love with someone else.
I’ll hit you up years later,
suddenly, in a panic,
so I don’t confess to the wrong person,
I’ll slit my throat and tell you
whatever comes to mind.
tell you everything about me and
tell you to tell me to STOP.
they say I carry myself with grace
but there are men in this town who
hold various secrets about me,
various veins I have given them
in an effort to assuage the dark
thing inside of me:
my impatience,
my want for everything,
my lack of trust,
my water spells,
it’s the feelings I can’t take.

you haven’t met me undressed yet.
and the third phrase I have written over
and over again in a patient way to understand:
I come over wearing everything I own
so it takes forever to get to the bottom
of things.

“the rose”

slugs salted on the patio,
cicada shells clinging to the moldering
legs of the picnic bench
I set my birthday cake on when I
was five and still clamoring the plates
together for attention,
(and now?)
dozens of unclaimed Easter eggs
rotting under rusty swing sets,
a mouse writhing on a glue trap
that was just SHOVED
in a garbage bag
and me
just staring at the thing,
just watching it suffocate as I
am mired in self pity and
freshly out of love.


my wings tip towards
the sun and I’m triumphant
in my emptiness,
my patient nihilism I
chew when the void becomes
the only measurable thing
in my life   I don’t
notice the oncoming car.

grasshopper never notices
the magnifying glass
or pesticide gun.
dog with the mange and glaucoma
blithely to cage.
drunk blindly to rage
then car
then grave.
snail to salt,
cricket to web,
temple to gun
and you say
no, what you never notice is
us.

“love” 

there you are.

Saturdays and the 1 pm alarm clock
on snooze,
the bare-faced evenings
in throw blankets;
languid, but there is still
a rabid tongue
between fits of sudden inspiration,
moved
from sheets to
cushions to sheets
to type it down,
to shower
once a week
if you’ll allow yourself to feel warmth
graze your chin, scalp,
untouched thighs.
open your chapped lips to the sky,
feel the water rush your neck and
trickle down your navel
to soak your unseen toenails.
do not question anything
for those three whole seconds;
it is the closest thing to orgasm
you can manage.

it has been a tough change in seasons:
tights and boots and an expansive
blankness that still drives your body around
after work to get soy milk,
make polenta for lunch,
take out the compost,
take out the trash,
finish something you once started
when it was
skirts and cherry blossoms,
some organic laughter and a patient optimism
that seems unvisited but should be
worked out by now.
sometimes it is actually raining.
it is harder than that too:
cold and cramps and no tissues
or pads and an anniversary coming
that stings
and does not let go.
and you do hear from them
but with expectations.
you have wrapped yourself tightly
in some binding perseverations
so you constrict yourself,
restrict your errands, and bleed openly
on the carpet.
and sure, there is hunger,
but it’s quick and
you succeed in a relatively
docile surrender.
so what is there outside?
sometimes it is a blizzard.

then it’s flowers and unexpected showers
but it is day longer, sun higher,
you are not mired in the date of departure
anymore, and you forgive the monsoons.
your sensualizing emotions present themselves:
the gloss and black tips,
hips in sheer nylon,
a gentle sway.
sometimes it is unseasonably warm
and you have to hold your cardigan in your hand\
but you have managed a smile
and some sense of buoyancy
and dragged someone along
with the sleeves of
your unworn sweater.
you get lucky:
they want to take the
long way and you have a tendency to
suddenly rush things.

you are both broken
doe and the trap laid
for their arrival.

“ambush” or “8th house”

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