crooked form caught
in a black sea,
stagnant now the
still waters rumble
with the passing of cars and
unmoving eyes, casting deep
shadows over its
it croaks, a feathery wing outstretched,
a mouth, wide open
unable to utter a single
It's been...6 months.
Since I've been enveloped in any embrace.
I kiss my mother
every morning of every day
on her right temple.
It's a ritual I started at 13.
That's 1,318 days, today.
And starting then, a shift arose.
I've never been overly affectionate,
but as I get older,
the more skin aches from no touch.
Loneliness beating me down
like the sun stifling withering petals,
their descent nearly as gorgeous
as when it flourished.
Malnourished, I lie down on this bed,
as the only thing being fed is the lead
in my eyelids.
Leading me to the only thing here
that has consistently be there.
And its slumber.
But she doesn't like answering calls
when there's light out.
syncopated little thing;
note and stem floating on the melody, just sitting in
appoggiatura, grace-note, special thing.
I’d like to be a sailor
swinging on the ocean wind
coarse old rope between my hands and salt-spray where my toes begin
nimble little sailor, clever thing.
I’d like to be a bed-sheet
gentle thing to warm your skin
thing that you hug tighter when the morning starts to filter in
falling through your creases, lucky thing.
i asked a painter the other day
“paint me a portrait of black jesus”
and he looked at me
like he really did see the holy ghost
and he asked me to repeat my request.
“paint me a portrait of black jesus,”
“don’t you know that is blasphemous?”
“no, i do not know. i believe in him as you do--”
“jesus wasn’t and isn’t black,”
“have you met him?”
he seemed confused at my question,
“what did you ask me?”
“have you met him?”
“well of course i have,”
“and what does he look like?”
“he looks like--”
“no, what does HE look like?”
“i don’t understand…”
“did he come to you as a man or concept?”
“concept i suppose but that doesn’t--”
“yes it does.”
“get out of my shop.”
“may the lord bless you.”
because being okay is expected,
if we’re not okay, that’s not okay,
what can we do to be okay?
we can scribble illegible words
on a canvas made for by painters
masquerading as notebook paper,
and hope that we can sell the burn
of stinging emotions for some paper.
but the funny thing about that thought?
is that american money isn’t paper,
it’s 75% cotton and 25% linen fibers.
so even the money you'd earn from your misery,
isn't anything you can write on
when you realize your money isn't
made to heal. even if it does talk.
but it never really ever says enough, does it?
But that's okay...
being okay is the hardest thing we do
because sticks and stones do break bones,
but you can hide the scars
with a jacket or longer sweatshirt.
or put on pants as opposed to athletic shorts.
words kill, words heal, and words are so much more.
and you can't hide the scars that riddle your face,
the way your
the croissant crumbles in my fingers
buttery flakes drift towards mismatched
and your lips are stained with
sleep clings to your eyes
like a shadow
and i watch you breathe, while
i trace your collarbone with
we wake before the alarm
and count how many times the
neighbor's dog barks
before she finally lets him in.
your soft laugh blends perfectly into
the early morning sun.
your fingers trace the curve
of my spine
the old window rattles
in the wind
and i press my cold toes against your leg.
i mumble how the faded, flowery wallpaper
looks pretty in the sun.
you tell me i look prettier.
i tickle your cheek with my eyelashes
and make my fingers do
off your nose
and wonder out loud why
the room smells like oranges
[you tell me you ate some
for a midnight snack.]
on main street;
my body is the
burnt hull of an
only now in repair;
my body is a
feeling of shame,
a pungent rot,
a score of roadkill
in half decay.
my body is migratory:
a flock of wearied birds,
a search for belonging,
the fat on my hips.
with too few windows
and a steep indoor climb,
my body is home.
The sky is cold. Not then.
It's inside that I see the first limits of a smile tipped up in freckles, little braids in September colours. We're a worrisome story as the nights bend in, cramping us with shadows.
We're in the transitional time apples sweet and winds cold, and caught between antonyms as the beach shuttles us away on Sunday with grey clouds and the promise of rain. Yet we have finger-gloves fumbling on thermos necks and the soup mists up our car windows and the crash of the surf is remote. Season doesn't belong by the sea; it's too timeless. We have bitter walking along the bare-necked cliffs, scrubbed dry of sunshine, and the wind jumping down like stones. Winter raincoats too early, driving sleet and banging doors, headlights on the long road and warmth, carpets, a
i didn’t believe in carving initials into trees.
i always told you that was corny to me.
i told you i was a city person,
comfortable in car drafts
and gleaming lights
that dilute natural shine.
to the sight of airplanes,
police cars and helicopters
than anything else.
but you dreamed of wings
so much bigger than aspect ratio,
so much wider.
you were higher.
so that day you took me there,
i knew i was out of my element.
your forest stories teased me;
sitting on the edge of your shoe soles.
and that riverbank that you tiptoed on.
little smirk always flashing your white pearls
when you were whisking through this place.
holding my hand in a tight grip
as you gave me a tour of your hidden burrow.
i had never been so in--
and out of place before.
the atmosphere was brisk
glancing the hairs on my neck,
goosebumps rising on my skin
as i swore feathers fell from your shoulders.
purple streaks nuzzle orange bands
that hold together golden twines