turning wine into blood
her words were like red wine
thrown on my party dress
when i was in the hospital
she looked bewildered
at the schizophrenics &
she has so successfully
avoided those genetics
they said i was
named after the song Alison
by Elvis Costello
the years between our births
to an alcoholic
makes those lyrics tangible
the red wine our
mother threw at us
was never poetry
it was just blood
when i listen to the lyrics
of sad songs
i think of her face
when she saw my hospital gown
we are all grown up
If two pieces of the same metal touch
in space, they permanently bond.
Their atoms don’t know
how to be separate. Maybe
it’s myth, but I like the mystery
of not knowing. I like imagining
us as metals misunderstanding
your hands from mine,
where you end and I begin,
like a child’s tornado-crayon drawing.
I am not the first person to stare
at the night sky and feel
so marvelously small.
All those stars, all the exploring
astronauts have yet to do. Us, too.
Either way, I am certain
I could love you
the way a lunar rover loves a moon—
piecing apart your cracks and craters
until I have learned enough
to walk on you backwards, to fly
your rocks home to my people and say,
look! Look how wonderful.
My intimate peerage of some four hundred and fifty students has reached its terminus. It has technically been two months, yet the sun has made one-third of its elliptical orbit since our last day together. For thirteen years we were, and now all that is left to say is that we once were. As we sat in dark rooms behind chipped plastic desks, before we knew anything of the volatile horizon on the other side of our cinder-block nursery, my classmates voted that I, out of the many, was the most likely to take over the world.
I do not see myself a conqueror, as they are so often on the wrong side of history. Nor do I see myself shoulder-to-shoulder with the men who inhale privilege and exhale oppression... all the while playing blind, dumb, and deaf. This world we are in has planted these thoughts as my interpretation of what it means to take over.
I saw no use in watching my own virtual graduation. I sat down at my desk and found the link to a video of some commencement speeches. I chose not to click the little blue line. What could be there that isn’t already in my mind? Life is full of unexpected problems, and we shall persevere; we are coming into the adult world now, and it is not what we expected; it is time for our generation to yield its power onto the world, and it is up to us to determine how that will happen. No high school commencement is complete without a redundant trip to the dictionary, therefore, instead of watching my own graduation, I went to Merriam-Webster.
My superlative, with its domineering connotation, implied to me that my peers had a perception of me which I found uncomfortable. To take over, as an infinitive, has three general interpretations. My inherent idea of the meaning aligns with the third: “to take or make use of under a guise of authority but without actual right.” That is not the way I want to take over the world.
The second meaning, I found more comfortable: “to take to or upon oneself.” The exemplar use of the words put it into terms of assuming responsibility, which I can accept. If anything, as an educated adult, I do feel responsible for the world–at least my corner of it.
I relate the most to the first meaning of taking over, which was the last definition I would have thought of if not for looking at a list of definitions. This meaning is “to serve as a replacement usually for a time only.” In this case, I accept my title. In fact, it is the only title I feel worthy to accept. I do not want to be president...as that position decreases in value alongside the national debt, nor do I want to be remembered for possessing the best seventeen-year-old body, or any other thing in the back section of the yearbook for the class of 2020.
In this life, in this world, I am here to serve as a replacement for a time only. The truth is that we are all of us just temporal replacements, here for a brief minute, waiting for those who will replace us. If this is it, and it is my turn to take over the world, as many have tried and many more will attempt, I would like to let the world know that I only intend to serve you all for a time, and God willing, this blue marble will be made better by it.
Violence is a Hippie
Violence is a hippie.
She drives a blood-red
with peace stickers on the back.
Her hair is the color of wheat.
Her skin’s the color of the beach.
Why’d she choose this disguise?
Of course: to deceive.
Because nothing is as it seems
under chaos’ broad regime.
So be careful who you trust.
And be careful what they mean.
Rare to find a snare laid bare.
The discovery is commonly
a snap and a scream.
"Justice is a self-indulgent brat. She claims not to know Corruption, but they're really next-door neighbors."
"She got me out of summer school once, so she's okay."
"Ugh. Don't get me started, she's all save the animals and use paper bags. I want to shove her in a box called reality."
"I wish she would stop running for student body president. It's getting ridiculous."
"Nobody cares how many times she can argue her grade up from a C, she's still failing civics class."
"Justice is an okay student, but she doesn't know much about the real world. And her classmates are fed up with how she's treating them. Now, this is just speculation, but apparently, she got the prom queen vote recounted because of collusion."
"I heard she broke Truth's nose one time. It was pretty sick."
"My nose wouldn't stop bleeding for a week. I had to join Sadness's support group. He's so obnoxious."
"Yeah, she's okay in my book. Got me out of a bogus speeding ticket once."
"If she makes one more poster about running for student body president, I swear to Religion - okay, she's done it now! Hang on, I need to go burn a few flyers."
"She's got cute hair. Heard she sued a salon over a bad dye job once though."
"She said cheerleading was outdated and sexist. Whatever, loser."
"My crown and sash was taken away because she thought I meddled in the election. I'd get her back if I could, but she'd find some way to get me suspended again. Stupid loopholes."
"Envy stole my shoes one time. Justice got her detention. It was totally great."
"I can't hold a conversation with her. Like I get it, the ice caps are melting, and Friendship's too happy-go-lucky to realize people hate her. That doesn't mean we need to move to Antarctica or tell her the truth."
"This school was built on her. Literally, she used to live on the lot it was built on. Or so I've been told."
"Justice can go fly a kite. Well, poor kite 'cause she'd argue with it over why water isn't wet."
everyone in the infomercials seems too happy and maybe that’s why I can’t sleep
the actors tear apart grilled cheese on tv
and it’s like the sandwich is my body
unsticking. the comparison doesn’t fit
but neither does the toaster they are selling
to my kitchen. I am studying
how to grow and cuddle beetroots now.
I am stirring homemade lavender oil.
I am slipping in and out of continuums
in stilted black and white
and suddenly spilling everything
with broken hands. sell me oven gloves.
a cocoon with sleeves. in front of my tv
I learn: there is no better time
to roll over and resurrect again than at 4am.
but I know the commercials aren’t for me.
I am centering this around myself
when it’s more about a set of rubbermaid containers.
still, I call the 1-800 number to ask
if they can save me.
but they are not paid to do that.
they only show the programming.
clean and bright
a single starched sock
or d’ubervilles tess
uncertain, a mess,
or brilliant white
a rose buttonier
on a tuxedo, grey
a door slamming in fear,
kissing in snow,
flakes spinning like
no in between
marriage of extremes
burn you like
leave you lost like a maze
freeze you, silent ice
so cold it feels hot
wild or captive,
flying, gliding, soaring,
or lying face down in the dirt,
or accepted like a
golden christmas present
but never ever indifferent
Eating the Bananas Before They Turn Brown
I do not call it a war because there is no fight,
just a quick change from yellow to brown.
There is no victory. I simply zombie up
and tear open sugar bruises, telling my body
to stay because no one eats bananas
the way I do. Everyone else watches them rot.
I live for quiet chews, soft juice
of tomato on the verge of decay.
No one ever speaks of a domestic god,
the one who pours milk down the drain
once it’s spoiled, who tosses bread
when it molds. I fold my hands at night
not in prayer but defeat. Each morning I rise
because no one remembers expiration
dates like I can. If I were dead,
the house would spore over. In my nightmares,
old cheese fingers my nose
and struts around with long legs,
loosing wet spinach like confetti
on my face. But I never let it get that bad.
I wanted this poem to be softer.
Instead it is just facts: I don’t kill myself.
I eat grapes before they sour,
and in this small way, I play savior.