fall will come and it will be beautiful
these days i spend my mornings
summoning life from this earth.
i pat the soil with my rain hands.
i shake the laughter loose from
the curtains. i tame the sunlight
with the soles of my feet.
these are the words that i sleep with.
earth, come here, you dying breed
of a woman, and give me light.
these days i pull the waves from
the sea so the moon can breathe.
i love you, your falling days,
with all of my aching good heart.
after all, you built the ocean
that i will one day drown in.
until then i spend my mornings
peeling the flesh from the orange
sky and offering it up to my hungry
mother. we have an agreement:
the sky, the summer, me. they tell me
that death is not easy. they tell me
that they do it all the time.
and then i say make me over
in your image, your warm suns,
your bluepeach waters. summer,
i want love everywhere, all the time.
i want the moonlight to know
she can dance. this, of course,
is impossible. this is the song
i sleep with. this is hope.
and the falling sun says
hope will not bring back the summer,
nor the love of a thousand hands.
but she will come.
soften your gaze, the angles aren’t your heart / put the razor away, wipe off the years you aged last month.
muffled voices tell a sharp story
a heavy burden, honey in your hair
you try to cleanse yourself, shake off the stifle
you find it gets worse the higher you climb.
brown eyes so near to black / your smile swirls them grey;
in less than 30 days you’ve traveled miles closer
to where you want to be
away from muffled voices, loaded sighs
from anxious rustling and friends who take pleasure in telling lies.
it’s refreshing to be alone
in clean cotton silence / in smooth, rounded peace.
in which i am digging my own grave
i wore my armor on the subway for you,
but the damned love still pierced through.
i put up my sword and by the time i remembered
how to fight the battle was over. oh well. gone and gone.
beautiful dirt i am shovelling over my shoulder, with its
creatures and flowers. shame i won’t be seeing it again.
shame i won’t be seeing you again. peeling you another orange
and watching the face you make when it’s sour. this never happened,
but i imagine it would have been romantic. you’re gone. i’m gone.
this is called getting even. i’m not very good at it. i’m not good at in betweens.
i tried to let love come to me and it bled me dry.
i tried to reach for you and i burned you to the ground.
i’m sorry i’m sorry i’m sorry. i’m always on fire.
occupational hazard of being loveless and Girl and lost thing.
there’s no sequel here. we’re dead and we don’t go on.
they don’t want to see more of us. we never did manage
to find one another. it was more blind hands searching
in the dark: pressing against walls and windows,
desperate for roundness, desperate for flesh,
again and again finding only itself.
it’s a one-time thing. it’s a failed mission.
it happens. we weren’t the lucky ones.
but it’s nice that you’re here watching me
dig six feet down, with your moons for eyes.
i’d be alright if your face was the last sky i ever saw.
the speech at the end
sugar sweet, lost on abysmal causes
rotten teeth, the procession begins.
like birds in angsty wind we grew,
tethered by deep forces but free on the surface,
clipped from beneath and never ahead.
i hope to see you around,
keep in touch the way shy people do-
feathery glances and freshwater waves.
if it wasn’t perfect,
i’m glad it was a joint flight,
that the salt stung each of our eyes
and willed us to go on through tears.
i’m the lucky one,
who gets to tell the tale
through peach juice and summer air,
the toss of caps and one last look,
on how we did it,
on why we lived.
we’re all victims of thought.
ask the skeleton watering his roots; the flower blooms,
as the muscle beats to the pitter-patter tune. grow emotion,
miss the allusion once the canvas is painted raw but new:
follow your heart's a pretentious phrase; cliches are only broken
when society begs for their way.
& while eternity’s too many syllables for a broken word;
crumble the note. light the match, blow the smoke,
we’re salted ash and broken bone: watch through eyes
that aren’t your own, blind? those truths bind.
you’ve burned the innocent, cry. tragedy’s an overused
drug for me, sorrow’s simply ugly; bloodied knuckles
drying, gold tears staining. the statue of an angel mocks me,
we adore mythology; i digress.
i am not scared. / i know my breath like a mother: / child, spoonfeed the right amount of grief / swallow easy until stupor / until amnesia tastes like ambrosia / and the trachea has forgotten its tears. / i am not scared. / my fear molts, phoenix-wing through the fire / complacency colder, sharper, lighter. / i take it with me / even as my feathers bleed.
at night the bottletops mourn for me / stained-glass penance / beautiful because they are hollow. / that is to say, weaving starkissed reveries / from rattles. / that is to say, the antithesis / wrapped around my bones. / my ears only listen to themselves when they dream / of the music that never escaped past my lips. / the sounds that could have been. / sorrow sharper than geodes, regret / mercurial in my veins. / i am not scared / of peeling back my layers to the world. / i am scared / of never coming back.
collections from new york after a long night
boyish. boy-ish. thing come alive. the warmth
flaring in the pit of your stomach, it could be
desire, if you wanted. you are a woman, after all,
after all, you are a dove, you are a god, the music,
the tongue in cheek and on cheek, the love
hidden in the wall on a wednesday. so afraid
of becoming something that it already is. afraid
of tenderness: afraid of its flesh peeled back
like an orange, afraid of the bruises underneath
the silk dress. after all, you are the city at night
full of lovers pouring forth from their doorways,
you are the windows flung open as if the moon
was always the only answer. boy not-bird, regrettably.
girl not record-player not spinning too fast to breathe.
and fear, fear, fear, trembling in corners like a jazz band.
tapping their fingers. love incarnate working an office job.
all of us doing something to get by. we’re afraid of something
and we’ve shoved it away: our kindess and hope taking up space
in the air vents. the storm brewing in your hands, it could be
tenderness, low and sweet. this is a promise i am making to you.
this is advice about that monsoon crawling up your wrists.
it could be tenderness, a song, gentle rainfall, yes woman.
write a letter when you don’t know what else to write
i don’t know. can writing be a ghost? it’s haunting, the poetic words echoing inside my skull and the one-liners hanging from the ceiling fan. picking up a fine point sharpie, index card slides in front of me- it’s like this, you see, lunacy pricking the skin and somehow you’re writing thirteen words in five lines and have the audacity to call it poetry.
word wall’s hanging by a pin; my fingers trace the words, aching to soak them in; but there’s no moving it, my soul’s screaming while my heart’s bleeding; conflictingconflictingconflicting.
there was a reason for this letter, i swear; but now it’s like forcing a chef to cook and it doesn’t feel right. tell me, can we share small victories? can we take each day like a pebble or stone and hold it as our own; let’s build our castle of victories and if they burn, they’ll be diamond rings.
shortest letter i’ll ever right, with a point far deeper than meaning. taking a break from writing doesn’t mean leaving, it means healing. but that’s what happens when you lose your muse. when you lose your muse. when you lose your muse.
we’re okay, you’re okay, i’m okay too.