Right Hand, Left HandI wish
being a lesbian were like
Whenever someone notices
you writing a cheque
or opening a door
And they exclaim:
I wish it were as simple as that.
When it's funny
and I laugh, panicking.
Such stuff punchlines are made on,
that such a casual,
part of myself
has the spotlight shone on it,
And revealed (they think)
their own ignorance,
(How wonderful it is to enlighten someone
And yet I never hear the questions
that logically spring to mind:
"Won't you have trouble with the gearshift
on a car?"
"How do you use scissors?"
"Can you even write
with your right hand?"
I wish all comparisons
The Best is Yet to Comeif we grow oldThe Best is Yet to Come2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there will be a sigh
an attention to the change
as your muscles slacken underneath
your faded, favorite shirt
the one that's threadbare, "holy"
in a sense less than divine
I'll have washed it for
the thousandth time
our eyes will crinkle, wrinkle
in ways that start to match
and we'll hold hands and ask:
when did the nerves and veins
begin to let our hands get cold?
-if we grow old
i want to tell youimagine a world without genderi want to tell you3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
a world where we are not confined
to the arbitrary interpretations of
an inexact biology. imagine we could
rise above the places
below our waists, reside instead in
graceful hands, in angled cheekbones
in some deeper conception than this
skewed perception of you.
I strip myself bare of unforgiving flesh,
squinting behind dim caverns of girl parts--
what are girl parts? all we have are beating
I sit inside this trembling body, shoulder
to hunched shoulder,
stacks of bones too unsure
to be brave enough to tell you that
my gender will never fit on the plastic sign
above a bathroom door.
and I've never filled out a single
form where they didn't ask me for
me to choose one or the other,
sister or brother, father or
mother, i want to tell you but
I'm slipping between sidewalk cracks
walking down the street hearing wolf whistles and
I want to tell you please don't read between
the lines, erase the goddamn
lines, this has nothing to do with
and I w
Tight jeans and Theatrical boysI pull up in his dad's drivewayTight jeans and Theatrical boys2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the boy sitting on the stoop
looks like Saint Exupery's treasured little prince.
When he climbs inside my used Sentra,
I tell him about this quirky realization.
"You're both so cute and opinionated."
He grins and replies that it's his favorite book
to read when life is particularly rough.
Cappuccino sips and playful shoves
convert the evening into something
brilliantly unstable and devastatingly 'teenager'.
I want to kiss him violently so we can stop this
annoying game of cat and mouse.
But instead, we discuss music
and other topics that make me feel childish.
He asks where I would go if I could
teleport myself anywhere at any desired time
and I confess that I'd like to visit
someplace up north with a lot of trees and
not enough people to criticize me.
He nods like he understands but I
wonder if he secretly thinks I'm rude.
Propping himself up on the hood of the car,
he takes a long drink and I watch how his
throat works as he swallows
the caramel mi
Pausing By The WineMarriage isPausing By The Wine2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the frustration of reality
when the man who works the wine section
pauses in his tracks to make sure
you've found everything you "really need...are you sure?"
With a look that tells you
he finds you sort of beautiful
and you wonder how your life
might be different,
if any man other than this one
had ever looked at you like that.
a second skeletoni. introductiona second skeleton2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i was born 4425 miles away from here.
my heart still lingers there.
i don't want to have it back.
i go through the motions,
don't ask me for emotions.
i once thought i could be happy,
my mistake can be forgiven;
i was so much younger.
now i know better
than to expect anything.
because the only time you can lose,
is when you love something.
that's why i love myself.
despondenti.despondent3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"are you sleepy today?"
"but you were sleepy yesterday."
she stirs her pomegranate green-tea until it turns from clear to purple
setting it on her bedside table and climbing back into bed again.
her fingers follow the bluer-than-usual constellation veins on her wrists and down
to the freckle on her forearm and then the scar on the inside of her elbow
crossing the tendon as if it were crux.
and then she remembered that God hasn't been with her lately.
today is long and sunny but when she steps outside the humidity creaks her bones
and her skin starts to inflame.
she assumes that if getting the mail is a struggle, having a child would be too.
often times when she sets her tea down she remembers that her Bible is in the drawer beneath
along with the crucifix necklace that her mother made her.
her husband comes home late nowadays and she never questions why that may be
because she knows.
she would do the same too if she had a wife who took four different
All the Things You Never KnewIt was your favorite thing to say. “We know everything about each other. Not just the good things, but even the bad ones. We have no secrets.” And the way your eyes lit up when you said it, how your arm would curl around my shoulders and squeeze me against you… I couldn’t say anything. I promised myself that I would when we were alone, but the moment always seemed wrong and eventually the fact that I still had secrets became a secret itself.All the Things You Never Knew2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It turns out I wasn’t the only one.
I never told you about the crying or the cutting or the nights I spent awake staring at the bottle of pills. I was terrified it would be too much for you to handle, so I didn’t mention the time I ran away, or the first time I ended up in the hospital. I locked the memories up in a box inside my head with “For Tom, to open later” written on the outside.
And you, in turn, never told me about the cancer, fearing it would be too much for me to handle. Well, you were ri
my soul is leakingthe steady drip drip of it in the kitchenmy soul is leaking3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
sink has me grinding my teeth
what a waste you said, and in vain
tried to tighten the taps as I laughed
a waste!indeed I am.
you told me, pride is a virtue you seem to be lacking
and I said pride leaves the blinds open and you laughed
and left the the blinds open.
Shiny black patent shoes, I watched as you were
lowered into the ground and wondered if that's where life got you,
if that's where life always got you,
what good is pride anyway?
The Gay AgendaThe Gay AgendaThe Gay Agenda2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we unpacked the car in hundred-and-ten degree heat
home after our three-months, big-haul supermarket run
stared at the late season watermelon
we grabbed on an impulse
I got the cutting board and a bowl for rinds
you got the never-dull, wedding-gift ceramic knife
we tore into our pieces at the same time
swamping desert thirst in southern fruit
pretending we were comfortably cool
believing it during each bite
I opened a new paper towel roll (we had been out)
you gave me the next slice, cut yourself another
we ate the whole damn thing in one sitting, not talking
just munching one icy wedge after another
until I mumbled a joke you made me repeat
(had to slurp-swallow to do it)
I said, “I said, I think this makes us—”
you, with a fresh juice smile, finished: “—a couple of fruits.”
Nothing to See (Being Revised)I wouldn't have taken any notice if it hadn't been for the laughter. It wasn't merry or even cruel. It was the barbarous laughter of evil and vicious darkness and it chilled the marrow of my bones. Turning my head to look down the dim alley, I saw them: a semi-circle of four men focusing on their entertainment for the evening—namely, a fifth fellow and what I assumed was merely a cheap piece, some drugged up doxy earning a wage for her next fix.Nothing to See (Being Revised)3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Oh God, how I wish she had been a whore. Some pathetic moll who let herself be roughed up and down for a few bucks, but this was no whore. I wasn't innocent; I'd seen plenty of cocottes and the looks in their eyes that craved money or men or both and I'd witnessed the haunting desperation for something better, along with a resignation to what they had. This woman—so very young—this wasn't a two-bit cyprian, down on her luck, trying to make a dollar and feed a habit.
Bruises marred her
earth circuitAnd when the sun sinks, the earth's skin crawls:earth circuit2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wonder if this awkward creature would notice me the way I notice him.
He's so tragic at his throne
I stare after him longingly.
He never realizes that I'm the one
Who forever basks in his brilliant beams.
If only he knew how much brighter he could burn
He'd light up the universe.
I heard him speak of thirst, once.
The quenching lust of the stars had run dry.
So that night, I brought along a jar of acid.
(And how it gleamed in his glow).
I handed it to him, wrapped in taffeta ribbons,
I wish curdling joy
On my gurgling boy
I love his eyes, now
Clouded white like milk from a poisoned tree
And his throat,
Swollen and clotted
And his lips blue as the
I try to get him to laugh but
His body is stuck and
starspunobserving the romanticismstarspun2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
of hooded cemetery kids,
smoking cigarettes pretending
they are not dead.
you were always so sure
about my uncertainty,
all my pick up lines
we built the heat
of the evening from the solidity
that two teens at the park
is the stuff of teen novels
(cliches dim on
our leaf-gold horizon)
your eyes darted
from the gray expanse
of the churchyard & wandered
i wanted to ask you
if i could follow. shove
the words aside &
remember that i came here alone.
i remember our innocence
in the static b e t w e e n
about how youth without you is th-
awing out the lines in my whittled-out eyes.
look to the hooded
wonder what we'd have been like
if we grew up as nothings,
like them. teenage
nothings with chiseled
marble in our
out of our parents' adulterated
lies and the excitement of alcohol.
i settle for a star.
it's almost as luminous
as the after
for all intensive purposesi am accused of beingfor all intensive purposes2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
a category five--
but i will not excuse the way my skin aches.
i want storms.
i remember the way Katrina screamed &
if you press your ear to my chest you will hear the same.
the moan turning into a pitch, the pitch
screaming until the throat is too raw to be
more than a whimper.
the way it stops
silently racked until it bursts forth once more.
i will not apologize for being demolition.
scars exist on every woman
too powerful to contain herself.
FiftyPlease understand: I do not wantFifty2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to want this (you).
I realized at poem nineteen-of-fifty:
You (college-borne) are a new you,
I (weaponized) am a new me,
and the new me still wants the new you.
for onceColdfor once4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like the cavern where crimson vellum once resided
Drenched in reticence,
your empty blue eyes do nothing
but freeze the blood in these veins
surrounded by phantoms,
i lie in the dark next to your fading silhouette
between sheets that hold so many memories,
they are empty,
like the chestnut eyes that bore into yours
And as the rain falls harder
as it falls faster
washing down the streets
through deep alleys,
down endless roads,
i pray it takes me with
homeYou once told me that Star Wars felt like homehome2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And I laughed because
It sounded like such a strange declaration
And seemed so out of the blue
But then I started thinking
What could possibly remind the homeless of home?
note the difference between house and home
And I thought to myself that night
Long and hard
As I held you in my arms
In all my thinking I found that each place had a memory
But I could not bring myself to call any of those places
Because I am among the homeless
As I always have been
So I thought to myself some more
And after quite some time spent dreaming of long empty houses
I realized something
You remind me of home
Of warm nights spent with the one you love
Of laughing uncontrolably for ages
Of kisses stolen long past midnight
Of hopes and dreams and happy memories
IfWe canIf2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
draw lines and give them names
as they are discovered
Or etch into our skins
this soloecal desire
until it is impossible to tell
where words stop
and life begins.
Find a common rhythm that includes
you in my arms, my hands
and lungs and thoughts
tracing the outline of you
entangled with me
colliding like two lost particles
locked in a shared gravity
drifting through the vacuum
crystallophonethere is a punchcard sincrystallophone2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
like a queen of spades smoldering in an alley.
you hear how the gears churn,
singing faster than we did before
back when black magic dropped like a
pair of socks from the sky with supplies
taped to a note that said
(oh, look at you now)
such a beautiful brain:
runs on gasoline?
have a gallon
or we can call it a balloon,
and a new pair of glasses
for your tapered eyes
(you peel the bark back on the logs,
but you're not sure what you see),
and life says,
either nail jello to a tree,
or keep your
icicles hanging from the eaves,
caterpillars frolicking in the ashes,
your 'Sam, I still don't have your number,'
and your totaled passion:
someone to hang inside out with,
string you up like a steak with.
what the hunger
is trying to tell me
my brain churns like butter,
my insides aflare, my chakras combusting,
mutethings have been easiermute3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
without words &
we pretend neither of us care;
laughing and choking
on puns &
when you bend me over nouns
the words are there waiting to be spoken
me . you . love
my dear, we've been mute
for so long
speak to me.
This Is Why We Can't Be In LoveThe day we first met, she was naked. The empty gallery had turned the A/C off and she said, "it's hot, too hot for clothes," and she stripped down to skin. She was pink and raw from sunburn, shiny plasma peeking out of translucent cracks in her epidermis.This Is Why We Can't Be In Love2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"How many times have you done this today?" I asked her. "Also, hello."
I know I flushed pinker than her, fully clothed in my capris and navy fingerless gloves even though it was already July-- burning for her, because she didn't seem to notice her own skin.
She smiled, asked, "Am I beautiful?"
"I don't even know you."
"Okay," she said.
"I have to go," I said.
* * *
She was still naked, our second encounter. I was eating a blizzard in the Dairy Queen and she was sitting at the counter with the tall stools. I tried to avert my eyes, to focus on whatever was outside the window in the parking lot, but she caught my gaze in hers and trapped me. As I watched her, she grinned and twirled, bare feet on the linoleum floor,
What Soft DreamsWhat soft dreams we lay -What Soft Dreams2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
What soft dreams, like infants put to rest -
Frightfully bare, and compromised,
Our kisses on their breasts.
We close our eyes and trust them safe,
Kept 'til break of dawn -
Forgetting that the night is fickle,
And dutifully, as long -
It safeguards some,
Moved by neither coin nor threat
Nor anguished mother's cry.
the tease of Earl Greywhen leaves speak they rustlethe tease of Earl Grey2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
but shan't talk of lost cattle
out of bags like cats lying
purring perhaps stirring
gainsaying the language
of pictures - much fewer
than one thousand words
whispered soft - softer
ours to read into
by catching a hint of
some spiciness brewed
a sugaring of love -
or upcoming danger
a giving or taking
from whom in this strange land
once was a stranger
by this chance assessed
through one's cup or glass
darkly lit yet it be
from wet leavings of tea
hopefully let it be
the sugaring of love -
llp - dA - jan2013
DD - feb1/2013
a ribcage drenched in dusti have your ribcage, you said.a ribcage drenched in dust3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
what should i put in it?
i told you i'd always wanted a fire,
the kind that would fill my eyes with starlight
and pump my blood full of passion, but
you're made of wildflowers, you said.
a fire would burn you to ash.
you wanted to fill my chest with
the sound of a train, whistling
far away in the night;
with the sound of rain smacking leaves;
with the sound the wind makes
when it seems like it's trying to speak
and you wanted to throw in the
smell of midnight in august
and the feeling of sand being
sucked out from under your feet
when the ocean inhales,
and the strange little moment of
bittersweet joy you get when
someone else puts your soul into words
and you realize you're not as alone as you thought.
i told you that if i had all that inside me,
i'd ache all the time
and you smiled a sad little smile,
because you already knew that ache.
because you were a writer, and you ached all the time.
i've got it, i said.