The stars we could not see
There was a great black and white ring
around the moon tonight
like a shift in space, a mushroom cloud as the sky exploded,
a ring of empty atmosphere.
I stood out with my father, who tipped his head back
and said: "Count how many stars are in between the ring."
One, two, three, four.
I accounted for the few that
may have been so far away from our little earth
that we couldn't see their
faint glimmer in the ring.
"Each star is a day," he said, "and that is how many days until the next rain."
I laughed into the low desert sky. It never rains anything but fire here.
Even if there was only one star in the ring, it would never rain.
But I counted still.
Four days from the moon ring,
it did not rain.
I expect it was because of
the stars we could not see.
My father is the whimsical type. You would never know it
if you met the desert of his quiet, solid self.
But it is there, just like the invisible stars.
And I believed him, so I accounted for those stars unseen.
It was 147 days later,
he was gone and the rain was here.
I had spent those 143 drought-dry days waiting on the
invisible stars, the invisible rain.
He was right, he was always right. There is a great black and white ring
around the moon tonight,
there are no stars in between.
It will rain nothing but fire without my father.
Cry for the loss of your childhood home
And it seems once you leave,
you’re left out to roam
in a world full of people
that can’t find the way back
and the porch lights are no longer on.
One hot summer day
you’re just packing your clothes
and looking back at the trashcans
lined up in neat rows
knowing pieces of you are stuffed inside- time to let go
and the porch lights will never come on.
You couldn’t walk around
this new house with your eyes closed
and the empty, unfamiliar house smell
made you feel exposed
All the light switches did the wrong things, it wasn’t home.
and there were no porch lights to turn on.
Would she love you if you became
a different man?
gave up drinking, stayed in
one place at a time, revealed a
hidden jimi-esque talent for guitar,
learned french well enough
to get that guttural 'r' sound,
did your laundry twice a week,
fabric softener included?
would she be fascinated anew
by your sensitivity to
nature, your startling sense
of humor, and quick wit?
would she smile to herself
over the way you tip the waiter,
the poetic way you process grief, and the
fact that when you kiss her you
don't put your hands underneath her shirt?
the way you suddenly grow roots
that are meant to stay somewhere
be something finally?
or will you always, in her eyes, be
the man that you are-
low and grey,
a watered-down imitation,
a shadow ever moving.
Closed fist is still your hand on my face
I want you too close,
I want my guard down so you can ruin me
and I can run the streets displaying whats left of my chest hanging, saying
look who loved me, look who loved me once.
I want to make a big mistake getting
this close to your hungry face
I want you to
rot my teeth, burn my stomach
like the alcohol I drink
I want to stop drinking it when it makes me forget.
to remember is pain, but
it means you touched me and
any way you touch me
orthostatic hypotension and me: a romance
i like to stand in front
of the mirror
stand up/sit down/stand up/sit down
and watch the light die in my own eyes.
of human consciousness before the deafening crack
of tightness in our chest-
stretch stretch snap
the psychedelic colors,
like lsd bouncing blue blue black
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Doctor My Eyes
A friend once told me that several times throughout the day, we humans experience a form of pain that our brains register as mild enough that we just have to sort of quickly touch the afflicted spot to feel better. We call this pain an itch.
I wonder if my addiction is an itch too. The pain begins, mild enough at first. I rush for the closest, most preferable vice. And the itch goes away for a time.
What I want to know, doctor, is do humans really stop being itchy or do we just not notice it once the skin has been scratched raw? When will I stop desperately reaching for distractions to fill the time in between when I feel dead?
Better yet, doctor, was the itch ever really there or do our brains fabricate it? Am I the one causing myself to spiral to death and back like this, and it's all in my head?
And, doctor, what happens if we scratch an itch too much? How far can I go without being too far gone?
more than a woman?
she was standing at the kitchen counter
cutting fruit with a heavy knife and
listening to the beegees,
she was caught up staring out the
window after something invisible
humming with faltering breath and
shoulders weighed down and
it made me wonder suddenly if
long ago my mother had ever been
something other than a mother.