JUNE AS A LOST BOY
June kneels down & begs for a new name.
To be built into a body that doesn’t know
how to bite. Let me forget the taste of ashes.
I want to invent a new language that has no
use for the word ‘fire’. A new town that isn’t
sinking under the weight of all that rainfall.
Take me to God’s back alley, swaddle me in
the silence of a prayer. I’m not asking for gold.
I’m just looking for my way home.
If we’re talking about past lives, I think I was an
astronaut. You were the first constellation I ever
named. After light, life, hope, death. You were the
black hole that wouldn’t stop ringing. A keening in
the darkness. Fast forward a couple hundred years,
you live in the arctic & I’m the one wildflower that
dared to grow through the ice. I’m the girl in a medical
bubble, you’re the aspiring paramedic that’s trying to
accept that he can’t save them all. I’m a fortune teller,
you’re the tarot card that pops up so often I wind up
throwing out the whole deck. Aphrodite & I aren’t on
speaking terms anymore. Whatever is out there decided
your soul was too good & condensed you into the rose
quartz I carry around in my pocket. You’re an avalanche,
I’m a monsoon – we both send everyone we love running
for cover, clutching at door frames. Present day, I’m just
a seashell hoarder that’s wondering which ocean is
speaking to me. You’re alone in front of the Pacific Ocean,
talking right at me.
god, give the girl fire.
give her a violet life.
make her delirious in love.
wild in the face of fear.
god, give the girl a better beginning.
give her a taste of the sun.
flood her sky with birds.
build her body from the salt water.
god, give the girl a universe in her name.
give her hands that know forgiveness.
let her know the grace of wings.
forget the thorns in her side.
god, give the girl a sanctuary in the sky.
JUNE IS ON FIRE
June knows the heat is just a metaphor.
Another way to say I won’t survive the
season. But I’ll spend what time I have
left with the sun. Drinking straight from
a cactus and watching all the flowers wilt.
Summer is far more lethal than any sword.
The petals fall. My skin glows. I am an ember
and everything is on fire. This kindling heart
of mine longs for the West Coast, for a forest
fire that can put my flames to shame.
MAY PT. II
May has daffodil eyes, tastes of spring water.
She is a spring tantrum. Hail ricochets off her
bones. Petals form a nest around her heart.
She swallows wisps of clouds, stains her fingers
with wild berries. Weaves poison ivy through her
hair. She never wants to be anything soft or
disposable. She has honeyed skin, vanilla mouth.
Sugar sweet girl. Broken glass wedged in between
fists. Holds her breath, drains the pink from her
cheeks. Turns herself blue. Says, I was never
built for spring. I am the skeletons in the closet.
The ghosts in the basement. I am the outcast,
dressed up like a pageantry.
1. with your hands like a prayer / and my body ready to split apart
beneath them / i confuse romance for hunger / and then lose my
appetite / with my mouth stained red / these roses in my rib cage /
caught beneath the skin / the thorns pricking every place that held
your name / and i bleed blue / and there's a poem there / but it has
sharp edges / so i draw my hand back / and i don't drown in it / and
there's a bird nest outside my window again / but we're not speaking
the same language anymore / and i survive the spring / and i bloom /
with light and light and light
2. with your hands like a prayer / and my body like a confessional / time
heals wounds / but i am still coughing up the petals
3. with your hands like a prayer / and my body sweeter than cherry juice
/ here's the truth / lightning doesn't strike the same place twice / and
eventually your body learns to forgive / even if it still craves the after-
4. once / i said love tasted just like cherries
5. once / i said the birds sang your name
6. once / i said there was just honeysuckle
7. today / i walked right past the cherry display
moonlight & pink champagne
tonight, we are nothing but glittering bodies.
we are a shining testament to what love looks
like. we are built like a shrine of roses & our
petals never wilt. call us sun-stricken,
such glorious beings of light. we hide sugar
packets and basil in our pockets. dab lavender
and juniper oil on our wrists. the moon speaks
our name like lullabies.
tonight, the shadows can’t reach us.
tonight, we are infinitely glittering bodies.