Sunday, August 30, 2015

chirp,

i think i loved you before we even met, before you even existed, before i even existed. there has been a dust covered box in the corner of me and when you held my hand, i unpacked the whole thing. immediately. set out the army men in lines of ten. the love for a child is not like any other love, they accept every single ounce of adoration you give and splash in the ripples. there is no such thing as caring too much. 

this is a love i have never written before, this is a love that is brushing-hair-from-forehead and scooping-into-arms. a sandy whirlwind who prefers making cookies to actually eating them, a twister that kisses three times before goodbyes. this is to the boy who is too sweet for his own good, a boy who is learning how to smile like my brother. a smirk, a lopsided grin, a shrill sounding of laughter as you cling to his bicep and swing. you worship him in a way that has made him believe it. a way that i have been trying to for my whole life. you made it look easy, you are one good egg.

there is a selfishness inside all of us that only dies once we feel tiny arms grasping in sleep. miniature finger nails, dirty knees. i do not know what your face will look like in 15 years but i know it will not look like mine. that's okay, i prefer yours anyway. we play the best battleships, you saved me from the sprinkler. my family is large and loud and very bitter, hardened by waves of anguish that we can never seem to dodge; we all have learned to laugh off our tears. you don't know how yet, that's okay, i think we're better off your way. 

this is to the boy who began outside of my brother but has ended with him, has stolen his hands for a father's. this is to the boy who changed my brother, who made him believe that he is good, he is worth every second chance he's ever received. my life is changing too fast but if any of the changes result in you, then i think i can get on board. 

chirp, you might have saved us all. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

"Rebecca" means snare.

i have a name straight from the bible, i have communion wafers
still hidden behind my ears. seven
years old and huddled in a group, making its way through the Stations of the Cross.
i learned that torture was the way of Godliness, that we are all inherently bad
unless we can prove we are worth saving. 
at night i dreamt of bleeding ribs and cries of anguish, dreamt of whips and 
pierced palms. 
The Catholic Church is not concerned with the nightmares of children. 

Rebekah gave birth to brain and muscle, lies and anger, Cain and Abel.
she created things that destroyed each other.

i am a snare, a tightly wrapped blanket, i console myself with long talks 
that rarely end in words. 
my ribs are soft, everything is a twisting spear. 
stealing breath, stealing Sundays, choking, trapping.
caught between loosening the noose or finding an animal who will not chew their own foot off
just to get away from me.
as soon as it hurts enough, i take all the bad out of my chest and leave it 
on the alter and when i remember touching her,
my palms start to bleed, an old wound reopened 
time and time again, searching for the splinter.

a snare,
a biblical name, 
and it fits.

Monday, August 24, 2015

have you ever looked at your hands through someone else's eyes? as if the familiar tattoo of blue veins were mountain streams or uncharted maps, crystal clear. the eyes of someone who cannot see the blood on them, as you always will. 

walk around like a loaded gun, like an oil drum full of secrets, like a puzzle with half the pieces flipped down and no picture on the box. now, flip them upside, become softer like well-kneaded dough, be accessible and comforting and immeasurably kind. turn your trigger finger into a ring finger, become docile, become boring and, in essence, become a liar. a traitor to the self you first portrayed. a traitor to the one who loved you when you were a wildfire. become ashamed of the grass that grew in the ditch under the old log you tore from the yard when she said she was cold. the log you burned, willingly, and danced in front of the flames. become a traitor to the walls you put up, climb them. open the door. dance in front of the flames, hope your shadow is still beautiful and hands still crystal clear.

crabs do not have spines, they have shells. combine calcium and confidence, raise it like a farmhouse inside of myself. know, deep inside, that i will always be a little raw, a little more sensitive and it will not always be a good thing. make plans for a bay window and eat-in kitchen, occasionally take a lighter to the whole thing and know, deep inside, that it's growing fire-proof. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

kale ribs

i learned how to remove the kale ribs, throw them aside and keep the
bitter leaves. ruffled like the lace dress that might
or might not have existed, all the fantasies seem to
blur with the realities now. that time she was a 
waterslide for me, that time i crawled 
like a whore for the love.

the kale ribs are no good, throw them aside and 
freeze the leaves- blend it with fruit that might or not might
exist, crawling like a 
whore through a body. pack all the words 
into the freezer, just because something is healthy does not mean 
it has to taste good. 

i've mined myself for the hip bones, still
mining for the backbone. just because something is healthy does not mean
it will not keep you sleepless, baby
can a person crawl and still be 
an ocean? 
the freezer is nearly full and i will have to start
eating the kale ribs raw, turn myself into something insoluble, something no one else
can fully digest, still,
each sleepless night i sneak to the kitchen and i freeze
the leaves for her.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Ctrl+F, find, enter: "forever", "pasta", "dog"
1 Result.

i find myself with extra room
on my hands, the parts that go unused seem to 
twitch, parts i have not been able to use, parts
i treat as the bedroom down the hall
that we do not enter anymore
because of the ghost.
like my voice after a 6 hour bus-ride
when i forget the sound or
if it ever existed in the first place
Clear search.

Ctrl+F, enter: "poem", "bed", "broken wrist"
1 Result.

i find myself with extra time, 
paint doors, fall out of trees, learn how to speak French
but only the curse words. parts i have not been able to
fill yet, holes in the sand that must be 
widened. scientifically, if i spread the emptiness far enough, 
it begins to contain the entire 
world, 
if you split an orange open
the peel no longer contains fruit but rather
everything in the world other 
than fruit. 
Clear search.



Sunday, August 16, 2015

it's the heat that does it to me, makes the dry side of the bed 
feel hotter than the 98.6 it's grown 
accustomed to.

they do not tell you that grieving happens with every part
of your body. it is a physical thing, some days
my hips miss her or my
left elbow pangs or my whole inside
feels like a mausoleum. 
they do not tell you what to do with all the things you have collected, 
do not teach you
how to know less of someone.
do not teach you that you will miss her 
in the way that you miss your inhaler, not to say
that you cannot breathe but that 
it is just harder 
without.

see, the thing about me is 
i've usually got
a bruise or two

Thursday, August 6, 2015

they say that you stay in New York until she becomes so full of ghosts that you can't turn the corner without flipping back a few chapters. 
they say that you stay in New York until she drives you away like a starving dog from a trash can. 

you walk down a street a thousand times but find it just different enough to get lost. 
the memories of a thousand strangers after you, piled on top of yours, 
you search like a departing party guest for your coat under a thousand other
coats on a bed
in a cramped apartment that you did not realize you were memorizing
until you did. 
you find yourself pining for an exact city that no longer exists.

New York and i had a summer camp romance, it did not end well.
i have always said that she was made for leaving, no one stays too long. all my friends
are forest kids, itching for corn fields, they are horses 
in Central Park twitching with traffic, they are smoking in front of a bar to try to wash the taste
of pond water from their mouths. we fantasize that we own this place but we 
are tumbling in her spin cycle. we are damp
and drying within her. New York is easy
to get lost inside. 
you ask for directions
"can you tell me how to get back to who i was?"
she replies 
with a 
"fuck you" 
or a 
"take the C train, it's a long ride but the A is down and sometimes
you have no choice but to go local."

my therapist tells me that i am addicted to impulses, addicted to people and
places. addicted to whirlpools but now i am learning
to read the Hudson river inside of me. New York
was the first person to make me realize that you can stay in a place meant for leaving, just 
don't be surprised when she doesn't kiss your hand on the way out, 
she makes you leave your key, 
she asks you to take your toothbrush. take your cat, 
get the fuck out of here. 

i think New York is breaking up with me. i think i made her, 
appreciated the stillness in her soft nights, loved her rivers until i had to get out and found 
that the water freezes on my skin. i fight
with New York but always open the door again, wander her streets
again, catch a glimpse of my sleeve at the bottom of the coats.

i always said that New York was made for leaving, i didn't realize that she might make me 
too, i think New York is breaking up with me but i just
re-signed the lease, maybe i can
take the C train, maybe we'll both
change our minds by the time
the key reaches the lock.