Thursday, May 19, 2016

teeth ache like too many
sweets, ache from grinding, 
hips ache
from flat mattresses and lack of use.
calcified lips, hard as stone,
eyes nearly black with it, chin 
dripping 
with melting icicles, 
melt, that's right- just there, 
my lower back has a yellow flag firmly planted, 
"good luck".

grinding my pumice down to the 
quick, making it
easy for you.
the body remembers, yes,
the body cannot seem 
to forget.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

honesty hour

little ladders propped against ventricles, i see cartoon hammers and 
wince at the nails, my body is a constant healing, it is a 
church i stopped going to, out of guilt.
did i tell you that my elementary school burned down? 
well it did. 
i try to write about my childhood as an inferno, try to remember the way 
flames licked up the cobblestones, did i tell you that 
i tried to join the army, out of guilt, tried to
nail down the rug, stumbled like a fawn and ripped down the curtains, ripped
open this house. tiny workmen on the little ladders, sanding down the foundation.

did i tell you that, although acutely aware of the pointlessness,
i started praying again
but it came out all wet ash and menacing, all
threat and apology, i swear God, 
let me be soft again or i'll 
burn this whole place down. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

callouses

 my mother gives her callouses to me, she places them folded in my palm like a secret, she tells me:
"a good man would have made you 
tame."


exactly mother, exactly.

Friday, May 6, 2016

something, on fire, emerges from the gas station bathroom
     & slides into your car. 
eyes like watermelon, sweet soda, 
let's imagine everything is a something

the entire past condensed
into a single exhale of smoke 
out a single window. the moon,
throbbing with a sadness i would not find a name for
until losing you.
a new forest just means
something bad happened here 
     & our bodies, marbled with wine stains, 
happened here too.

the house i grew up in; on fire, 
the blackbirds in the ice-rink parking lot; on fire,
the sun always warm on 
one arm &
the sun, the sun;
on fire too.

call it a controlled burn, 
call home
mothers and fathers
with swollen knuckles in a rotary phone, tell them 
     "i'm sorry i've been distant but
         i just didn't want to be sad anymore."

Thursday, May 5, 2016


clock sinking down on my 40 days/40 nights, okay. self-imposed
exile, self-imposed cocoon confinement, "you can come out 
when you can behave", okay.  
different now, not better or worse but 
wider, expansive, pensive, alone. okay. just gonna
leave everyone else alone, whatever
feels softest, love, whatever
is softest.
the dryness of healing, the ache of cold air.
today, a schizophrenic man told me that rain is just
God washing the earth off. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

laugh lines

a dramatic 
grab-to-heart, miming gunshot wound in the kitchen
when she exits her bedroom for me 
the first time, be still!    my heart.
back when
i tasted like cigarettes and zip-up sweatshirts. she used to cry over the newspaper, a love so big it  trickled down the back of your hand 
like ripe fruit.

my laugh lines more shadow than joy now. 
my penance overflowing the bathroom sink, i shove
the bathmat under the crack to keep from spilling 
everywhere, i don't want to ruin your shoes again, in the dreams,
she places my wet hands on her hips like
teaching me how to ride a bike, you never forget. 

traces the laugh lines around my mouth, 
i want to touch her's, answer
    "yes, my darling, they are beautiful,
           we made these,
           we made these."