Friday, June 27, 2014

it's in the vase that everyone thinks you 
broke at ten years old but
you swear you didn't 
and it's
dustless footprint, it's mahogany fossil ring 
gone so long from the bookshelf that you start to forget
if it had really been you all along

all my electronics keep dying
maybe i am a ghost.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


i am drained
of yellow, of smirk, of water.
dirty water, dirty hands- my smile was
the epicenter of a 400 degree oven in mid-June but now my
mind sits like a Labrador at the front door for the relief of kind hands,
tell me i am pretty, tell me my bones look as they did
seven hundred years ago when we were made of the same
calcium, sand, and sawdust as the other.
those years you held me with your particles and we saw arms as 
Berlin Walls, never close enough, laughing
at humans and how they could never touch 
like us.
do i still make your heart race as much as before either of us had hearts?
tell me that i have aged only in
wisdom and not in wrinkle.

i am beginning to hate most of my friends, i am beginning to
ache for trees, for forests, for giving things,
for undeserved generosity, ache for the friendly wave of traffic, for a smile
that has nothing to do with the hem of my shorts. 
something for nothing, sometimes, i think i moved 
to the wrong city.
remember that book about the fish who
flayed himself to give his beauty to the others? 
i don't think i've ever been beautiful but i've surely been flayed-
yeah, i've been 
vomiting love, consistently, for months- 
[the world, an ungrateful child who eats with it's fingers and throws the
bowl to the ground after. dear God, 
i am so tired]

guilt that i don't have more to give, that my well has been 
exhausted for anyone other than strangers, they just
keep letting me down, 
you whispered once, when we were bone dust, "i am
not like them, i want nothing from you except your mouth, occasionally" and i 
still believe that

[i can control how much i need you but i am a slave, a rowboat to your storm,
when it comes to wanting you
as we were
700 years ago-
dust, selfless dust.]

Monday, June 16, 2014

this isn't a sad poem

last night you called
drunk, made me describe the marble steps where we met
as if it were the first day
of a week-long monopoly game
and you've got all the railroads.
i pay my property taxes in clothing until i am naked
across from you, bared chest and in foreclosure, offering my 
forearms as restitution, my cracked turtle shell, my raw 
for the earthquakes
i left in you.
we tore pieces of each other away and i think about
that marble nearly everyday.

i think about the pictures of you as a child
staring down at me like some sort of
stained glass martyr;
"is your love solid
enough, will you let me down?
do it gently like
placing my Grandmother's horse figurine which means nothing 
to you 
but everything to me,
softly on the table as if
it would break
if you dared wonder
about it
too roughly "

you are missing your front teeth in my dreams
but you have them now-
your school portraits don't need me
neither do you.
i guess it comes down to
how much you care
about monopoly debts.

tonight i'll call
drunk, tell me about the flowers in your backyard
tell me to come over
and bring 150,000
pink bills
i would, i will.
i am a mess of desire,
a Christmas light tangle,
a drunken knot,
a rat's nest,
a kink 

of wanting and i do not know how to function in the
labyrinth of it.
do you feel my chest ache for you? 
my heart jump, my hands tremble-
do you feel
my eyes 
over your right hip. my lungs 
quiver like plucked strings.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

california's wildfires have
nothing on your eyes, i am filled with
old newspapers and your fingers are flint.

blow on my embers, keep me
glowing red, if you leave me
by morning i'll be
damp and
cold dust.
it is a crescent moon, sharp as a sickle at the edges and 
curved to my stomach, rising
tides in the hitches of my breath
(your handiwork).

"i think i might have inhaled you"
i used read the poems 8 times and tried to
insert myself into every horoscope,
making ripples and praying they'd turn into
my loneliness is a self-imposed straight jacket, it is
a creation of myself, a reflection of
some desire to be 
kissed, licked, chewed, digested, purged-
i think flowers are nice
as are cigarettes, cold lime-flavored things, head scratches, stars reflected in someone's eyes
when they look at you.

every song has 8 meanings 
we pick and choose
which ones we want to believe, we tighten our straps and
think about the taste of our own personal sadness,
decide that you can spit
or swallow it.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

love is a virus
hijacking your cells like
a 747, shooting the
air marshall and sinking you
somewhere in the Indian Sea,
a place that you will
never be found.

this is the most romantic poem i've ever written
we are covered in kelp,
there are sounds of making breakfast on the black box.
somewhere across the world Fox News is making our
tragedy about gun control-
children should be vaccinated 
against such a trembling thing.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I remember the first time I heard the word "fat" and knew it was referring to me. Jack Reese stood in my garage, one by one (like shooting ducks) he went through my (tiny) friends, "you're fat", "you're fat", "you too". And with his mouth pointed right at my head, I braced myself against an insult that would never come. Silence. "It's because you actually are".

That's the day my stomach became my worst enemy- it was the visible, palpable, squeezable billboard of my inability to control myself. Every introduction was tainted by a guilty smile as if to say 

"I am sorry that I am not better", "I am sorry that I am not less of me".

Hips ballooned and spilled over my jeans, I scratched at my skin like a rat at the edges of a sinking boat. Every picture was cropped, every pose was bisected by crossed arms, as if I was trying to hold myself together, pushing my edges closer as if they'd just snap into place with enough pressure. I would touch myself in the dark, imagine that my fingers were red-hot knives and fantasized that I could just pull the skin away from me. Slice it off. I felt muscles under the layers, I felt the person that I needed myself to be under fifty pounds of unnecessary.

I remember the first time someone mocked my stretch marks. A cruel girl who jumped her insults around like racing heart beats on a hospital machine. I remember the first time I lifted my shirt, like peeling the shell off an egg and how someone else's fingertips were so much gentler than my own.
The first girl to tell me that my stomach was beautiful had railroad tracks up her back. Long vertical scars from where they unzipped her spine and twisted it into something ordinary. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The second girl to tell me that my stomach was beautiful had a crooked smile and constellations stained into her skin. She made everything feel like summer, like I was the first painting she had ever seen.The third's eyes were so brown and honest when she slide the words into my lips that I had no choice but to believe her. She had tattoos of bible pages and arms that made me weak in the knees. I stopped wearing a shirt after that. Strutted across her hardwood, demanded enough attention to make up for every year that I had shrunken away from it.

Slowly, somehow, my stomach collapsed. Hips bones rose as mountain ranges, the soft pools of waist nestled between them like a rippled lake. I saw myself, like woven fabric, my scars intersecting into burlap, strongest at my arc weld. The view of farmland from an airplane, river marks on a classroom map, bolts of lightening, the cracked desert floor. Your stripes are military medals. Your thighs are tree trunks and you stand, widest at the roots, they cannot tear you up. 

You are a fucking volcano, don't photoshop your armor off. Your lines are snowflakes and spiderwebs and without them, well fuck, you'd be an empty canvas. One day someone is going to come along and love you for every single scratch and you're going to roll over in bed. You're going to shy away from their hands. You're going to hold the blankets like a shield against them. You're not going to hear all those poems they'll write about the wonder of your hair on their pillow because you'll be too busy grabbing at your stomach in a full-length mirror. 

Don't you ever apologize for your weight, don't you ever apologize for any of the people you needed to be before you finally reached yourself.