A lion among sheep.There are ghosts in my bloodstreamA lion among sheep.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
kissing concrete cells &
the bedroom eyes of nerve endings.
( foreign words
engraved into my marrow, birds in my chest
& wars not yet fought between my hips. )
I've taken myself apart every night
since I learned how to swallow a pen
limb by steady limb.
Passed around by grabby hands,
a sold, & borrowed daughter;
I am a lion among sheep,
drunk on life & ink.
With a crack of bones, I've fallen So love is a funny thing.With a crack of bones, I've fallen4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It sweeps you off your feet. It sweeps out your insides. It sweeps away everything else, whether you like it or not.
Falling in love is like falling into a cloud.
At first, it's not scary, no. It's beautiful. You're up high- so blissfully high- with billowing pushes and pulls of gorgeous white around you. At first, it's the most amazing thing you could ever think of. You could ever feel. The kind of feeling that can't be induced by the most potent drug. The kind of feeling that lifts you above all else, annihilates any ailments you'll ever have.
You collide with a beautiful array of a winter wonderland, a world of soft, divine dreams, an end to your hardships. Suddenly anything is possible. Suddenly, everything is possible.
And then you keep falling.
You don't realize it. Yo
The InkwellWhat is it?The Inkwell4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
But how could I explain.
How does one tell others
what it's like to go insane?
I sit in my thoughts, and drown in my head
the gray world I dwell says I'm already dead
It starts at your finger,
but maybe your tongue.
a big black splotch- where had my skin gone?
I waved it in front of my father-
told him to help me, I said
"Won't you get it off, why won't it come off
I've washed it and popped pills and done all I can
but this blotch just won't come off."
so he took me to the hospital,
but not because of the spots
he took me because I'm crazy,
because he said
"there's nothing there at all."
So I look in the mirror and see them
crawling up my skin.
I can just feel them in the back of my head
telling me to sin.
And they spread so fast and only I see
what they're doing to me.
To everyone else I'm just like them
just a human being.
The more I try to get them off the more they just come back.
They all weigh a hundred pounds,
I can't carry them all around.
Heavier and heavier
the demons always winyou can fill my heart will all your might.the demons always win4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
try to weed out the sorrow lining it's depths.
whisper to me that i will not fall,
tell me that i won't lose it all.
you can kiss me on the lips, after you've licked away the tears.
and sit and wait for me to come home
as i run off to fight the shadows in my head
with your heart as my shield and your love as my sword.
but the demons sucking like leeches, plastered to my skin
creatures made up of evil and sin
their warm steamy breath rotting my flesh
they will always win
you can listen for the explosion,
and surely you'll see
the demons, and all that she's done to me
the woman, who smells so sweet-
who's so pretty and smiles and shakes your hand-
if you listen for the explosion
surely you can see
what she was doing to me behind her curtains,
you'll watch the blood snake down the walls
taste the acid of death in the air-
when you reveal my body you expose your deepest fears.
but the demons, laughing, they won't care
you'll only be
sleep, as an elephant1.sleep, as an elephant3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it is strange to see you
older and out of love with me
it is similarly strange to see me
younger and out of love with you.
i want to
throw my arms around your neck
thank you for
leading me to believe in love,
thank you for
showing me what the cock does
when it crows and summons the morning.
thank you for laying in my bed,
breathing my breath.
thank you for laying in my bed,
with your head on my breast
listening to the fluttering
bird in its nest.
thank you for staining my bed-
with your salt, it was blessed.
thank you for leaving my bed,
giving my dreams to its next.
thank you for, out of all the rest,
choosing me as the first, remembering
me with the best.
thank you for june,
and then june again.
thank you for december, and
thank you for the time
that helped me break my body in-
thank you for two ticks
on the wall of not-forever.
thank you for june to june to december.
in a few years,
when you are older still and i am
getting even younger, i want to take
lovesong for sailorboyRead aloud and explained (somewhat) here.lovesong for sailorboy3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i have always loved words as you love the sea
but i have grown to hate
because i have always had words
but never for you.
words for everything
but i have words for this, so
i'll take them
one by one.
the ocean was your first love and
i could always see it in your eyes.
most would call them blue--just
like a swell over a sandbar
blue like the spring sky over a poppy field.
but i don't think anyone
got as close as i did and they're not blue
not shorebound and
they're gray like the steelbellied sea itself
like the horizon at dawn as it
hems you into an impossibly vast canvas
like a demarcation line
or a promise.
one you always chased.
maybe i had a streak of ocea
with thanks to salingerAudio version.with thanks to salinger3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it's on those cold mornings
when you are nothing but indrawn breath
swirling and knitted up inside too-big
skin and weightless bones--
when the horizon arches up against
the half-thawed tendrils of sunrise
with golden teeth,
and smiling, begs--
it's on those cold mornings
when leaving is easiest.
the car will be cold, and you will
shiver, and the engine,
much too loud,
will smack of blasphemy
but you will find peace in the steady roll
of tarmac and the yellowing light
spilling across it,
with dust motes kicked up and carried
like fish in the undertow.
when you come to that first
crossroads, it will shock you:
the way the decision hangs there
trembling and desperate--
but there are no right answers and you will not
hesitate. and each successive choice
will be made of its own accord,
and you will roll the windows down,
and draw down the scent of ear
Why I Can't Love a PoetHe said you're beautiful likeWhy I Can't Love a Poet3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
black birds on a gray sky or
a tree that's recently died but
holds its last green leaves until
they wither and crack, swept away
by a northern wind bearing his name.
there's something.there's somethingóthere's something.3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i don't know if i can tell you
or just leave it on a wordless breath
with the rest of these confessions
that pass from my lungspace
to your neck.
but i'm not keeping secrets;
there's a garden of seeds unsprouted
buried in your fibers, where i
laid my last guilty conscience and
slept unsoundly, pressing my hands
to your chest, clawing until my nails
were black and gritty.
and i'd like to tell you, make sense
of the nights i just can't. i just can't
when the azaleas are dry and the rattling
begins at your thighs, when your touch
is the gardener's seeking my tongue
for rain water, asking for another
someday, i'll climb the trellis and
end your drought.
You're Never Touching AnythingCarnationsYou're Never Touching Anything2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
have grown inside my eyelids,
pollinated by june bugs
flecked with bright recording colors:
We were away
from noon till morning,
froze in amber
because the horizon twitched,
of the damp sidewalk
planted in my skin.
He sat at my left,
picking week old plastic
and throwing it
onto the sandbar
for fish to eat:
I soon planned
on Gabriel's blanket,
a circular fountain
hadn't turned on yet;
with nothing louder
than the lake
on the shore:
Our sun rose higher
and bleached my consciousness:
I wake up
with mosquito bites
and flaking wool-worn elbows,
braiding stringy petals
I Don't Miss AdolescenceMy sister asks if I'll do her makeup.I Don't Miss Adolescence3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Mami promised she would;
now she's tired and screamed
when Maria reminded her
senior prom is tonight.
She says, "I have a hickey on my neck,
something she doesn't want to cover,
and you've always
done a better job
of highlighting the subtle graces
of my structure,
the angles we share."
but I can't pick you up."
So she arrives in a flourish of exasperations,
telling me all the family business,
waving her nails in my face
and talking about her extensions.
"Do you think we need yellow concealer?
I plan to take pictures,
and the last thing I want
is to remember him
every time I look back,
the purple ghost
of high school regret
on my skin."
"It's not a problem.
Just close your eyes;
when you open them,
you'll never be able to tell
he touched you.
Maybe you'll forget him
in a couple years,
as time washes by
and new experiences
dull what has already passed."
She sets her purse on the table
shaking her head.
sister yesterdayeven our plastic flowers had faded—sister yesterday3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
an overgrown garden of concrete and pottery,
wrought-iron furniture under the sunlight, paling—
a broken lawnmower in a rotting wood shed, a swingset
creaking with each gust of wind—
but she said—
let's gather up these old tin cans,
empty the pool of its stagnant memory,
relight the candles and mend this picnic table,
recall the laughter we shared here when
our summer was in bloom—
when mother wore that sky blue dress
and planted shiny pinwheels,
I have your number, SeabirdHis bathroom is small and bleak. The mirrorI have your number, Seabird2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
shows your reflection in seven colors which
haven't been named on the red-blue-yellow
spectrum. Your eyes are shaking like eggs
and he hasn't said your name in a year. You
think of everything he calls you: Jay, Jaybird,
Rose if he's playful. He told you particles of
every man he's slept with are in the carpet
when he pulled your head back to look into
your pupils. Your eyes are black. They run,
raw and rotten from fluorescence overhead.
He told you the shrooms weren't the same.
If you don't like LSD, you might feel better
trying something more natural. It grows
like marijuana: from the ground. But so does
every poison you can think of. You're natural,
bare with shades you can't begin to fathom.
Something like sulfur is in your nostrils. You
touch the furry rug and think of Vishnu. He
has so many arms to carry you. Jesus only has
two. The church was broad and heavy. It sleeps
in Chicago, beside a park that smells like piss.
He opens the door,
Two Birds with One StoneToday, I found the fragile yet well-preserved corpse of a robin stuck to a gravel road that, by trick of the eye, churned steadily in the late afternoon humidity; when the evening cooled, I weighed, measured, plucked, and then boiled the songbird in one of Father's new iron pots until its remaining feathers and flesh easily parted from its saturated bones, which were left out to dry in the summer garden until they became as white as your teeth. With meticulous care, I cleaned and then arranged the skeleton in the shape of its natural design before I reinforced its structure with thin copper wires, mounting the finished piece on a cherrywood plaque I signed with my Christian name.Two Birds with One Stone2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
The robin now sits on my windowsill, staring onto the grey winter dawn. Its song has never been so sweet as when I imagine it whistling a mournful aubade, welcoming the sun as it rises and melts the snow so it will later freeze into a glittering sheet of ice. As I write this letter, hunched over my desk and fe
sleepon quiet islandssleep2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we are quieter--
breathing with the ocean's heave,
a string drawn tautthere are so manya string drawn taut3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
blue stars in your skin
but i can't believe
each neuron is a universe
alight with planets,
gaunt aliens signing god
in the absence of your name,
dim cars on the street,
beneath an awning
like a glowing orange womb
you shudder saying,
i just had a chill,
is this room cold
or are we in the gut
of a giant
who's strung out
seven days lifeless,
biting the apple,
wishing for his mother,
the earth is spinning
in the eyes
of a turtle
with a red shell
who swims in the flowers
who swallows supernovas
and they pass through his kidneys,
we could burst any minute,
a fly's nerves twitch,
a city laid,
between microscope lenses,
clutching wife to child,
do you know my name?
do you know you're shivering?
do you know i'm the son
of your nucleus?
i live in your cheek
and die at your
The Weather LatelyWhen I tilt my glass up,The Weather Lately3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
dregs of iced tea powder
become an orange starscape,
an eclipse pecked with holes:
summer, full and searing.
NamesakeThis letter is addressed to a man I don't know yet,Namesake3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and I'm not sure who you'll be in fifteen years or less,
but I am sure that I will send this, unlike every other,
because it will be long overdue by then.
First, I don't hate you.
I never hated you despite the right to,
and everyone likes to remind me I have the right to,
like I have the right to never see you again,
but I think that's petty,
and you've been petty enough for us both.
Second, I would have kept the secret
where it burrowed in my flesh
and let it fester through my cells
until they found a chemo for thought:
something toxic to take toxins,
but we've tried that before, haven't we?
Third, I did not tell her what you did to me,
only what I thought you did to him
because you became a monster
when my pain was no longer exclusive but,
fourth, I don't really believe you're a monster,
and I'd like to talk, someday.
Maybe after you receive this
or maybe after you decide you can explain
or never want to.
Last, if you never want to,
(almost) like being in loveby the time you begin to miss her,(almost) like being in love3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
she'll already be lost.
she is breathing like woodwind,
plucking stray hairs like harp-strings-
but no melody is sung; and no melody is heard.
you played hard-to-get with the porcelain girl,
as wisps of her neglected words haemorrhage,
swallowed down by deaf ears.
you wanted a chase;
but she's been caught before you've begun,
and now she's choking back her tears to know she's not alone,
as you bite through the ribbons and lick the innocence away
from the girl that's just pretty enough,
before she's forgotten, completely.
flickerlet's find solace in the candlelight dripping through the cracks in the glass. let's find comfort in the twisting limbs of the hearth. there are no burns this time, just warmth. just warmth hugging itself around us and wrapping us in its arms. nothing more, nothing less.flicker4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
a spark is all we need to start a forest fire; but we'll need an ocean to douse it. yet sometimes a spark is all we need to see in the looming darkness; sometimes a spark is all we need to hear in the raging silence. fire is fear. fear is fire. but let's not run from the flames.
fire doesn't bite every time.
there's a sort of hidden ferocity in the way a flame lowers itself to the wind, yet will then jump back, renewed and restored, in a greater fury. fire hides a rebellious spirit, but remember, even rebels know when to yield. remember, the chains of gravity still bind fire to the ground.
let's not fear the heat or the brightness. let's climb closer to it, brush it with our fingers and just watch it dance in its own w
a streetcar to nowherei.a streetcar to nowhere3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
he must crack
when his hands are tulle:
rough and tearing,
bought by the yard
or cent-marked minute,
spin a skirt
that won't last a winter,
and snort ballerinas,
hope he's flexible
thin and shimmering,
don't stay another minute,
clear the aisles to say
so he must crack
when his hands are tulle:
by a craving spark
crisp and burning,
thin black ash
like your real name or
just something i can call you,
something that won't make me
feel like i'm talking down
to you. not because
i respect you, i never—
no i don't think i
respect you, but
something soft like i can
pretend i'm decent,
or normal maybe, don't
look at me, i didn't pay to—
where are you going after this?
and maybe i won't laugh."
Pull-Me-Over RedI still don't know how they're related to me: Javier, David, and Rigo. They're from my dad's side of the family, and I was told they're cousins; but my dad only has one brother, who has no children of his own. If I had to guess, I'd say they were second or third cousins, but I never figured out who their parents are. All I know is that they were at every family party: three lanky teenagers who would disappear within the first hour and return right before everyone was about to leave.Pull-Me-Over Red2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
When I was eleven, they were sixteen or seventeen. Javier was the friendliest; he made a point to say hi to me before they left, ruffling my hair and calling me Junior or Mijo or Rosie once he discovered my second middle name. He had big white teeth and always wore his pants below his hips, with t-shirts that were too short to cover his boxers. Once, he pulled me aside and showed me a picture of his girlfriend.
"This is Stefanie. Sexy, right?" but I was too shocked by her bare tits to say anything about her
and i shall never recoverhow does a secondand i shall never recover3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
drag into an hour into a year?
i feel as if i've lived fifty lifetimes
and i am not even twenty;
youth is an illusion, a magic show, and the curtain
has long since fallen.
and so time crawls sluggishly on
but in the quickest of ways
because sometimes i blink and it is
four o' clock
in the goddamn morning,
and i swear to god i can hear voices in my head
and i wonder how much longer i can hold on for.
my joints screech in protest when i move
and my muscles creak like i am
a tin man come to life.
i am not a tin man come to life.
it's on these sorts of nights
where the hopelessness starts
to settle in,
nestling its way into
† between † my † ribs † and
† in † my † spine.
it is like black poison
my marrow and my veins and
† † †i can feel myself decaying
from †the † inside † † † † † †out
and † † † † find † † † † †myself
† †wishing † † † † i † † †could † †decompose
† † † † † † fast † †er.