CrepuscularTo the girl teaching herself to fly,Crepuscular8 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
a hospital bird with soot in her lungs
and patchwork wings,
you only fly for a little while.
If you want to stop hurting,
learn to drift in the silence of the dark
between night and day.
We're all made from broken parts:
bird seed, letters addressed to no one,
things found in old coats,
brittle things like love.
Glass bottomed birds,
we used to make butterfly hands,
until moths swarmed into our throats,
like dancing butterflies; still
we choked on dusty wings.
Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs,
the same smoke that you'll inhale.
Let go, little bird --
You were made for moonlight,
never for hummingbird lullabies --
Hummingbirds only fly in the sun,
and the sun was never a child.
We were not meant to be angels.
The nestlings, children of the stars,
we glide together on clipped wings
through the dark.
The Sum of InfinityI don't know if I'll ever tell my children about you.The Sum of Infinity9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
(I don't know if I'll even have descendants.)
A family was never on my to-do list,
until you came along.
You made me wonder if I wanted kids, just so I could say to them
"You know, the day your dad and I met…"
because I thought we could last forever,
and I'm still not sure if we have.
Our friendship endures, even as I fall asleep
picturing her arms around you,
and I wonder if you'll ever come back to me
but spend every day noticing the reasons I'm glad you left
and hoping you'll return.
Never intending to fall in love,
we were an item
before you knew my name.
She reclaimed you,
you still belong to me
by virtue of the ampersand connecting our names
in the mind of every person
who watched us walk,
tall & short,
monochrome & kaleidoscope,
yin & yang,
through the winding, leaf-littered pathways
that are our life.
Silencio"¡Pero no dije nada!"Silencio3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
TeeterWhen I wake,Teeter2 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
among the stars,
on the brink
between dreams and reality.
It’s so easy
to see through the
between waking life...
and the power of Imagination,
that same other world
in a sea of dreams.
november is callingI trace your ink-infused skinnovember is calling3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
with my wanting fingertips
and I remember the better
days. You were younger
once and I was sweeter
once, and we shared a
prison cell called love.
You are no longer baby-
faced and I have hair down
to my waist, and you smoke
cigarettes and you drink
whiskey because you want to
be a man’s man. You kiss me
sweetly for the fifth year
in a row, even though I
haven’t known what it’s like
to call you mine in four.
I can’t detach myself from
your wanting gaze, the way
you look at me when I shed
my skin. I can’t let go of your
laugh and your blue-green-grey
eyes, the way you smirk and pull
me close to your heat.
There is a tomahawk on your
arm and I trace its black lines
and the softness of your skin,
and I pray that it will not always
be this way.
periphrasiswhen he asked me how i wanted him to build the house,periphrasis7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
i answered him truthfully.
i said i wanted the pillars to be made
of pages from every book ever written,
curled in on themselves until
they could hold a roman arch.
pour words, strong and weak, into
the earth instead of cement-
let it be flexible to adapt
build the walls from the ground up
through prose supporting the bricks
layered by memories forged
along the path we took
to arrive at eden.
tilt poems into pyramids above
our heads, ceilings just high enough
to be within earshot of every
laugh we'll ever make.
empty emotions into a template
of a window and slide it into
place without a way to get it
after i was done, we stood on that
vacant lot, ambiguous thoughts
flitting across his face and down
into my fingertips.
he told me i was crazy.
he told me i was beautiful.
he told me he would build it.
ImpossibilityWe meet before breakfast every morningImpossibility2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
just to get my quota out of the way.
She drinks steaming coffee without scalding her tongue,
while I blink the sleep from my eyes, sipping slowly.
Her scent hangs heavy in the air with the perfume
of sunbeams and birdsong
and the success of a thousand hopeless dreams, and
I don't know the colors
of the dress she wears, but I'm told
by the butterflies.
Our conversations are staid and brilliant
and can only be recalled
Her favorite activity
is herding cats,
but perhaps next week
it will be milking rattlesnakes;
Hers is the realm beyond paradox,
where nothing begins
before its own conclusion, and mirrors
only work in the dark.
We converse in our minds
about the state of the anarchy
as I pour another mug
and she thanks me through indifference.
She whispers pi
as she sits, idly tracing a straight line
HelpTurning away...hoping you'll chase me.Help3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Why Peter is not a poet.Cole is eleven. Age matters in October, when twelve is the only difference between the haunted hayride and the shelled corn sandbox. Age matters when a boy says the word "shit" in school (and Cole does). But age doesn't matter when the same boy has both sneakers dangling over the edge of a 250-foot grain silo, his hands sweaty on the rungs, the state of Nebraska breathing vacant and honeyed and infinite below him. For the first time in his life, Cole can't be quantified by the candles on his last birthday cake. Cole is young, but today, he is worth saving. Three facts about Cole:Why Peter is not a poet.5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
1. His eyebrows are the most expressive arches his body has to offer.
2. He's so terrified that his very expressive eyebrows are threatening to take up permanent residence in his hairline.
3. He does not have suicidal tendencies, and later understands--for the sake of his mother's heart and Officer Roy's bladder control--that his strategies for
Carrion Tallow ICarrion Tallow3 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
I pluck feathers from a felled sky,
tie them to the ends of my hair
to remind myself of all the innocent days
that lie suspended in cardboard boxes
because mothers can't bear to throw them away.
I pluck feathers from a felled sky,
deftly thread the wings of an angel fallen
to tie my awareness to a bird -
recalling 'bunny ear'd loops
held by my father's impossibly large hands
for his son to watch and learn -
pulled through the eye of golden hair laces.
It's The Distance, I Think.It was sitting on our kitchen counter-It's The Distance, I Think.4 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Brown glazed and curved, like her-
Perched next to the microwave.
I thought it would best hold
Her spatula and my two bamboo spoons.
She filled it with yellow tulips and
Pink carnations and hydrangea blossoms and
Told me to "Get your own spoon vase"
With bells in her voice and
Her cheeks dimpled and her eyes crinkled,
And I wrapped my arms around her waist and
Punished her back-sass by tickling her ribs until
We were a jumbled mess, strewn
Across the tile floor- with flushed cheeks and
Not a worry in the world.
These days, the curved brown jar
Sits next to my stove top and
Holds my two bamboo spoons,
Three of my own spatulas and a metal whisk.
The tiles have been replaced with hardwood
And my eyes never crinkle
And I can't remember the way hydrangeas smell.
grief on an answering machinechemistry tells usgrief on an answering machine6 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
matter cannot be destroyed
from one form to another.
i heard you today
on old voicemails;
the voice that kisses
the boundaries of being,
screaming the conservation of the soul,
tells me you are here
even when you are not
it is only a sound.
i have remembered a plethora of them; searching
for the moments i can remember your nervous humming, your raucous prayers.
but i only know the staccato breaths of a starting engine
i have spoken sotto voce into the mouths of unripe girls
i hear lawnmowers screaming in yards they burned down to build a shopping mall
i fuck a boy to the sound of passing trains.
these are sounds to throw away, sounds i do not need
but your voice is not one of them
mourning you is a second language
and i am stumbling through sentences.
i don’t know the word for ‘goodbye’
so teach m
i'm sorry for only writing sad things,but saturday night i wanted to offend godi'm sorry for only writing sad things,10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
into listening to just one line- needed to drag someone
into hearing the roar between my ears with me.
i'd like to write something you can put music to-
lyrical and pretty. funny. maybe irreverent.
but today what is most real to me
is not laughter. it is feeling short of breath.
empty of poetic language. unfunny. too long
for a limerick. unsuited to sonnets. musical only
in the slamming of my heart. an erratic beat
at best. endings. comparing crises of the mind
to someone throwing up in the bathroom
after too much beer pong and hard rock-
both are shameful to repeat in therapy
and i feel like i cannot stop ruining parties.
needing steady hands for these atlas shoulders
that will not relax. staircases white like
imagined hospitals. thinking i should say
call me an ambulance. crying. not calling
an ambulance. not calling a taxi, i can't call
a taxi, i don't have money for a taxi, holding
my breath. 4, 7, 4. 4, 7, 4. in.
The Only Thing Missing Is You7:55 PMThe Only Thing Missing Is You9 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
you would have liked today. we went upstate like we used to, to the woods. i know it's been a while since you've seen the trees but they're as pretty as ever. they're just starting to fall. i wish you could have been there.
i always wait for a reply from you, haha. then i remember
anyway, we took a walk down to this lake too. there were rope swings hanging from a tree nearby and we froze our asses off swinging for nearly twenty minutes. i swear it felt like we were floating.
hell, it was everything you used to love
it's funny, on the ride home i was practically falling asleep, but now i can't even shut my eyes
it's just... it's not fair
whenever i skipped a rock i remembered the first time i taught you how, and how excited you got. every time i said i was cold i remembered the way you would call me a baby, but give me your hat anyway. we even walked on the same paths we used to take, and everything is the same. the trees are st
MomentsRemember that time we sat on the bench together, waiting for the bus? You were quiet, like you always were, and I thought nothing of it. But then you turned to me, an unreadable look in your eyes, and you asked me what I liked most about life. I just stared at you, unsure how to answer. You seemed to take my silence as something bad.Moments1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
“Never mind,” You mumbled. “It was a stupid question.”
“No, no.” I hurried to assure you. “I was just thinking. What I like best about life would probably be all the little moments that happen that end up meaning so much and all the people you meet along the way.” I shrugged and you hummed, turning back to face forward.
You didn’t come to the bus stop the next day.
Remember that hot summer day, the one when it was too hot to even think? I was complaining about how much I was sweating, and you were, as usual, responding with noncommittal noises. The bus was running late that day, and I was cursing every
i was born to destroy youi am no hydra.i was born to destroy you2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
there is no poison-tipped spear,
no angry torch to hold to my neck
i may not raze your fields nor eat your livestock
but i was born to destroy you.
when i smile i want you to think
not of wolves, but of girls
pretty girls, with flirtatious red lips
and teeth white as pearls
not of monsters who lurk
under grandmother's bed
swallowing children for supper.
i am no chimaera, no sphinx:
no hero can vanquish me on winged pegasus
i cannot breathe fire or deceive with words
(it's all appearances, everyone knows that.)
do not forget
it was helen who launched a thousand ships,
clytemnestra who slew agamemnon
judith who beheaded holofernes
because no one thinks that your lipstick
might be congealed blood,
nobody thinks that the points of your nails
might serve more than a decorative purpose
nobody stops to consider the nightshade in your perfume,
the foxglove flowers on the mantle
and the cyanide in your purse.
perhaps i don't look like a monster, but remember:
no one's an angel
it's no longer worth a thousand wordsi took down the pictures; every lastit's no longer worth a thousand words7 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
they reminded me too much of the
shapes of my eyes three years
ago, and the way your shoulders
slumped in defeat when you realized the flash was on,
they reminded me of the books
stacked in towers around our heads, tilting
softly in summer sunlight
drifting through hazy shades of dust, left to pile into
mountains by morning from curious
fingers and a night owl's
they reminded me of yesterday
and ten yesterdays ago and how
they would never happen again. how even though
we smiled freeze-frame, it never lasted.
everyone wants to think they will
keep themselves forever, and seeing perfect pictures of pretty lives
lost years ago
made me realize: nothing is.
that was the hardest part.
so i took down the pictures, every last
and sent them
down to ashes in a
shoebox that didn't burn as
easily as i'd thought it would.
i would love to say i'm sorry, but -
VI I. Today I am Vanilla teaVI1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
on balmy days when the air is still
fresh with the scent of cicadas
and mown grass baked in the sun
clippings stuck to your feet as you
the difference between poets and practical mena practical manthe difference between poets and practical men1 year ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
feels rain and hurries indoors.
a poet gives pause
to see waves surging throughout
oceans in every raindrop.
jerichoshe must have dreamed him,jericho5 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
assembled of slow pieces
and called in the dark
she is a temple
and he is dismantling her
with chorused glories
that terrace and
he bleeds desire,
an ache to sculpt her;
a curse born of ruin,
a silence crafted sharp
in flickered glances
and in flame.
she must have known him,
borne witness as he
stormed and conquered
with shadows rampant
at his back
and she must have seen him
behind shut eyes;
not as he will be
nor as he is,
but as she
would have him;
under the domes
of her doomed
BreakingOne day, you will open the cupboardBreaking4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to find a wine glass or some Tupperware
and the world will, without warning
or alarm, roll off the edge of the shelf
and coming crashing down.
The oceans will splash onto the linoleum,
onto the rug. All the dust in all the deserts
will rain down onto the couch and coffee table,
the hills will crumble, the mountains will break,
all the windows in all the cities will shatter
and fall, a thousand dangerous miles of glass
glittering on your kitchen floor.
Everything will hush.
Exhale the breath you are holding,
and go look for a dust pan, for a broom.