i pulled a napkin from the silver tin,
wiped the table clear, drops of ketchup staining the center.
i crushed the paper in my palm, felt the dampness reach the edges.
hurt cloud, she said as i let it roll across the table.
shooting baskets as the day ended,
the ball went over the backboard, disappeared into the dark.
she shrugged, then bent low, picked up pebbles.
your poor hands, she said. you have so many scars,
and you're still so young. (she, younger than i, saying this)
she touched one hand, then after a pause she took the other
without looking at me.
some things take so much courage.
we sat like that for a long time,
i passed two old women by the river.
one stopped, pulled off her shoe
and shook a pebble out.
it dropped into the water
and she continued on,
from the absence dented into her foot.
the other had stopped a ways ahead.
she waited and said, a pebble?
the woman nodded. her whole life
the your chesti willthe your chest2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
always be there for you
right at the end
of the arc
of your arrow
helium balloon lungsi. You write me notes scribbled on sandpaperhelium balloon lungs3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and I run them across my face,
scraping away layers of saccharine skin,
ii. Your eyes, made of cookie crumbs,
I'd like to dip them in milk
and watch them melt,
smoking like dry ice,
iii. You churn my childish heart
in circles and in circles
till I slip into cardiac arrest,
iv. I just remembered that time you
wrapped your arms around me like vines
and held me until you couldn't,
v. Oh what I'd give for a pair of
fortune cookie lungs,
exhaling self-fulfilling prophecy,
vi. I've been fishing for horoscopes,
pasting them onto my bedroom walls
and on the backside of my skin,
hoping that they tell me that
today is the day you will be mine,
vii. But your soul is made up of sins
and I do believe in forgiveness,
but forgive me, for I cannot forget.
A Cloudy June SunriseI had been awakeA Cloudy June Sunrise2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
since rain fell against the window:
exciting the glass
but not disturbing your sleep.
Instead, you woke to the alarm and found me
revising my thoughts on humanity,
our frailty and guts.
You asked if I was okay,
if I needed anything while you were out,
and I answered, "Just some sleep."
Unconvinced, dressing hastily,
you promised to come home earlier than you had
any other day that week.
"I just want you to know
you can bother me with those obsessions
that make you feel evil
or at least a little fucked up,"
you said before leaving, though I can't blame you
for assuming my pessimism.
It is, after all, the disease I came fitted with,
as well as my tongue of choice
when problems convolute,
but that morning
the sky was so beautiful,
and what I needed to tell you was this:
I offer my poetry
as a blatant exhibition of trust
for you, for your curiosity,
because I didn't believe any man
had inherent goodness
until I met you.
virginity is like an envelopemy mother said her mother knew.virginity is like an envelope2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i wonder if she stumbled home like i did,
fifteen and beer-loose
tied to the door like a thunderstorm with black lips
and i wrote a story about disaster,
a quiet two sleds long.
a box full of beads, i swallowed
fifteen needles, mommy. don’t
tell me i’m not sorry.
don’t call me a whore you bag of bones
you lock-loose suitcase do you even
recognize me look at my face my toothache skin
i am not the one with the knife.
my mother never slept with a boy
who didn’t love her never let a boy
sleep on her while she lay awake beneath
the shroud of his skin breathing only
when her voice-box gathered too much dust.
you have to know i didn’t do
it on purpose. he slid beers down my throat
till i felt like a landfill.
i was not yet a crescendo. maybe i was a polka-
you couldn’t tell. i got home
with my legs full of nightmare.
the doctor said xanax.
i said i am a ruin like the ones
we saw in peru.
a balloon in a funeral poem.
ZemiThings having to be returned to their transparency:Zemi3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
/ green mist-earth / knit
atmosphere / fathomless
blue-lavender / lights
spun out from light
are recalcitrance / and you
& - a fingernail of summer
- a melting of rain
- a crown of flowers
- a priest of sunsets
(beautiful? I love you, because. Zemi.
Zemi. are you beautiful because I love
you? Zemi? )
I imagine this is what it's like to breathe sea foam
over the Cliffs of Moher: hydration. absolution.
To Rilke, it's a melody that floods over us
when we have forgotten how to listen for it.
I never could forget this: for how could I know
my hand as both well and chasm? and how could I know
time, a windstruck dimension, standing in her white street?
We go on morning walks and Zemi
laughs at everything I say.
palpitationsMy veins,palpitations3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
blue born licorice whips,
weaving webs for blood spiders on my thighs,
thin cerulean shoelaces tying knots around my wrists,
hold fast, heartbeats pumping like gasoline,
I am living, but I am not alive.
ifif i could fall in love with you,if3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i'd yank the blue sky from its perch and wrap it around your
shoulders like grandma's woollen blanket;
i'd extract the spirit from
between your toes and douse your eyes in it, so maybe
then i'd understand what makes your thoughts
and i'd write the words of
a love-bitten victim on the insides of your wrists, just to
make sure i won't find scratches there in the
if i could fall in love with you,
i'd glue your sentences on the walls, and tell everyone
the paint was peeling anyway; and i like falling asleep
to the scent of your ink-spelt feelings;
and i'd give away the coffee that
keeps me upright every day, if only to rub the nightmares
from underneath your ragged fingernails;
and maybe i'd even
name a skin-deep butterfly after you because my superstitious nature
would still my fingers; and you'd have claim of my
if i could fall in love with you,
i would not speak your name anymore because it would taste
too sweet &
how to pay the plumberthe sun is born of ink that leaks from dog-eared galaxieshow to pay the plumber3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the night is made of copper eyes that pipe the constellations
but we are too polite to stare.
any hand that may brush my back must bleed the alphabet
from wearied fingertips, and this is why:
happiness is ice and crinkled bones all wrapped up warm in the
childless rings of saturn
and your smiling face-of-a-cliff that scorches pretty spring skin dry.
we will never say we will never love so
i will die beside,
you die below.
iii. - 2012how do birds die? sheiii. - 20122 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in yesterday’s t-shirt, with
my glass of cold tea
i just put the phone down
and we're sitting around
waiting for the takeout.
was a lightning flash and my hair
reeks of singed
cigarettes, old linseed.
she fills the room
with her sonorous
immaculate self, and i
the hissing on the shore
washing out and in
a drug or choosingYour oily prints upon my eyesa drug or choosing3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Blessed art thou
You bleed through the cracks in my walls
Eyes, pores in every centimeter of wallpaper
Watching me sleep, watching my night-mare
The horse running from the fire-like river
Pouring down the mountain to the plains below
Engulfing my atmosphere in golden red smoke
I am not addicted
biopsyput me under, cover my face, stuff my lungs with your chemical lies.biopsy3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
if they were to take me apart,
slice open my chest,
peel back the skin keeping me whole,
they would find:
a. one heart, slowly ticking.
(they would not find anything,
but they would have to say they did.
after all, girls can't live without a heart.
they forget that i'm not the first:
a score of girls walking even though
they should have faded long ago.)
b. each rib curved so perfectly,
a shield around my lungs.
(a cage, keeping my breath from bursting
out of my skin. know that this is just me,
held together by nature,
unable to lose control of myself.)
c. two sacs of cells, nestled beside each other.
(no first-hand smoke here, no sir.
only second-hand dust, only
things i could not get rid of,
only bits of places i've been,
caught in my body.
postcards of memories i can't see.)
d. a skeleton, still and alive.
(sleeping, with blood cells being produced
in the hollows of my curves.
the rattling of my bones cannot
crashworkwhen i say i don't want to exist, i am trying to ask for the high sharp note of a lemon, split across my tongue.crashwork2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we limit speech to apologies and collisions, restrict touch to skin. i no longer trust scales, prayers, or repetitive numbers. we watch the hospital on tv, eleven seconds between explosion and sound. pillows of grit bubble into blue. our legs still through too many movies, neither learn nor forget the distance between skin and chrysalis. i open myself but remain human and paper. the music does not change and colour does not fade. i clean the bathroom floor. inside my nose the smell of warm water.
if you asked i would have explained in physical terms. the blue veins of the chicken you ate, as though mood did not touch other body parts. the unpoetic safety of colon, carpal, sesamoid. i hold the taste of jasmine in my mouth, your tongue an absence. latticework of space.
on the walk homethe world outside smells like animalon the walk home2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
my hair doesn't flutter like it
before i cut it,
before when it
had feathers of whispery tendrils that snapped
like surrender flags
people tell me i'm a big girl but
sometimes i catch myself looking down at the smallness
of my arms, at the
wretchedness of my wrists
am i the only one that sees that
the salt built up in chemical
on my french fries, my once-romantic americanised
ideal like all comforts are
i washed down the people's right to call me
with a big glass of another contradiction
i have a crush on your
it was linen and wood and pencil shavings
out the little window it glowed like springtime
i've been immersed in dirty clothes, febreze and
for so long that
i forgot what it was like to be in a home
people say that i'm a big girl but
then can you see my collarbone pressed against my skin why
am i so confused, the smallest at the meetings, the one who wonders
how did i get here
unzippedi.unzipped3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it was all skinned knees
and stop signs between us.
we pushed too hard
or not hard enough.
the last star i wished upon
turned out to be a satellite,
and the last time i kissed you
really wasn't the last time.
the scent of romance- pine needles
and sawdust clung to my shoulders
where your fingers left goose flesh
when i least expected it.
i'd be tangled up in you and bed sheets
if i didn't know you better than that,
[sweetheart,] you're thunderstorms on
Saturday nights and "Why don't you stay
for awhile"'s and the infidelities
that line my cheeks.
Day and night.Day and night2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
In the dwindling light,
a pine tree houses a blurred moon.
The stars come out,
making imaginary animals
out of our telepathy.
A boy lighting matches
when he should be asleep
turn into the walls of his room,
the dirt under his fingernails.
From the light streaming in off the street,
something catches her eye--
a flash of bike,
When she turns to look
I touch her hair.
It is like a shimmer of water.
It is like remembering the girl that I adored in childhood.
When she turns back
I am still touching her hair.
It takes so much courage
to show what we mean.
Instead of sleeping
I open and close my eyes like fists.
While my mind prepares dreams
like elaborate designs on heavy fabrics,
a sub-atomic bean of vacuum
floats somewhere inside my body.
It is a clone of my awareness,
it is an erased blemish.
I say "my soul" and it trembles.
I slip inside it
to sleep, or to write poems,
or to remember lost things.
I am on the verge of grieving
at how small it i
unfinished thoughtsi.unfinished thoughts5 years ago in Emotional More Like This
wake up. i can't stay long.
we are a series of fleeting moments that spell out "bad timing" and "tragic romance". you are broken machinery and i am still trying to decipher the binary code for love. ones and zeros collide into a lump in my throat and suddenly, the idea of saying goodbye makes my fingertips ache and my wrists burn.
do you remember when we kissed? it was a messy pile of metaphors and we were scared that somebody would see us and try to clean us up. i still ghost the back of my hand over my lips and imagine that it's yours, but then i remember that "yours" and "mine" are not words that apply to you and me anymore.
here are three things that i never tried to tell you (though i really should have):
you are so goddamn vain.
you look so beautiful from this angle.
we really are fooling ourselves.
here are two things that i told you everyday ( and that i probably should have told you less):
i love you so much more than you could ever comprehend.
i want to be with yo
objects in spaceis her roomobjects in space2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
still her room
if she is not in?
wet anger in the kitchen.
the border of skin.
did not happen
or is not true.
to deny; withhold; (unrelated meaning)
trivial pain, aware
veins tv blue:
[note: some patients do not report any kind of traumatic event.]
symptoms of red a materialistsymptoms of red2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
inside of you
unknitting your sweater
& in your dream
you are a wolf eating
a flower in an orange field. the world
is ending. an unnamed girl stains you
as if she were tea
giving up to a
she writes a story: the unrequited
blurry visions of two visionaries
World of floods.World of floods3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Driving on the curb cured of swamplands and horizontals
my atmosphere dear takes wholesome bites of water
outed are the undersides of bridge smudged chasms
birdy hellcalls and undone song
he knows only fire pursues the winged
torn letters three years gone of the antediluvian
disintegrated into charm and clarity and the promise
of a moment in time that springs everlastingly
will be flooded
and the pulmonary one ways dripping varied shades of moving cars
in fresh killed greys keeping time with the hacks of self against love
while our hands are crossed in universes pleading
with the dying that cannot slow down but winds and winds around
the pulsed city of language tying the sacred grammar to plurals
another and another
until they grow into the flicking tongue that time will harness
to toss rogue prophets into the pockets of New Jersey
where in being shelved we meet among starships
will be flooded
and the candles that when burning exhale signatures into the air
florenciashe believes again that possession is a kind of miracleflorencia2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
stuttering in metro the history of continents
a bird > a woman > a room
of old linen
in abstracts of florence parallel florencia
her bones and pangea could be drawn there maybe
think: if this train derails
because time because the failure rate
is absolution divided constantly
it's like freedom and indica
all contraindicated folk religion
the hybrid on her tongue like a brief encounter
with old lovers in a rose garden at fairmount part
i thought of you today
thought of los angeles
that pathology east and of high-rise
designed to dance in the event of an earthquake
all the things that brought you back there
it's not the act of breaking down
on highways on trains in parks
it's an inert brand of want
that feels something like evolution
and oh everything is full of condition
i drink and speak your name often
but what an accident this all is
a thing about insanity"what the hell are you doing!" he screamed,a thing about insanity2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"letting them out"
// and i remember sitting in those walls screaming screaming "theyre coming to get me theyre coming to hurt me theyre coming they
and when they ask why i sleep with a light on and why my eyes are oh-so-wide i turn my head, questioning
you cant seehearfeel them too?
do you remember leaving me in those cold white halls? i do
you dont remember the others screaming in small rooms, strapped to beds, pins and needles pushed into them to stop their demons
you dont remember my demons, either
cadavershe was born with arctic lipscadaver3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and overcast skin.
her hair fell like fresh snow
and she was far too thin.
her bones in locked closets,
joints creaked and shrieked
like a rotten floorboard
under gossamer feet.
on the afterlifethere was a heaven, once,on the afterlife2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and it was made of grass and
the ground that crawled under it
opened up wider than your mouth and
i saw mountains: i saw
beauty, it was a rough
inverted fountain. i saw
Jesus. he said 'death
is The Promise, and The Promise
never leaves us.' i saw
diamonds, and i saw coals
too it just took a while
to find them. i saw
lucifer. he was sewing
me a nightgown made of
soft liquor slurs. i saw
my brain. it told me
'thanks for the x, not
so much the cocaine.' i saw
my skin strung out to dry
after a long summer rain. i saw
my bones become the frame
of a house beside a lake. i saw
my tongue cradle babies and
tell them, 'the sleep is worth
the wake.' i saw a mirror made
of big blue tears. it said,
'the shit was worth the wait.'