say yes

she opens my hands
my dress
my brokenness
as i collapse inside the winged

starry womb.
smooth sacred alone
in the darkness
bending as shadows

stretch, asleep
resting on the other side of the moon
in me, whisper the mouth of spring meadows.
i drink from her, taste like her,

lie down
my head into the softness
she says:
let me

dismantle you
discover you.
the veins and the rivers
humming softly toward

whatever is next, and i
offer up my secrets, breathe upon the petal
of her skin,
the glass and the scars

the shame and the pain and i
motion alive through tears
fall aching
my way

into
yes.

love at the hem of a girl in flames

it will be years before I can bear the echo
of my own breathing against the walls

in my chest. in the future, childbirth,
photographs together with a man I never knew. a moth

flies backward toward its flame.
I will be well into my thirties before

I stop wondering if I am beautiful
while gazing into the low eyes

of total strangers.
smoke from a single cigarette

stains black rings into the ceiling, I make a mental note:
ash falling up is how to find the girl on fire beneath.

it will be years before I learn
how to heal alone in small slivers of space.

about how the stars are conceived in reverse by
gods tearing slits in the ocean to peer at the earth.

it’s been years since I broke through the silence, or
first pulled on a black dress to

bury a lifetime of bodies
in a hood of dark trees.

I fold my hands beneath my chin as I learn there is a name for everything
except the name I was born inside and cannot stop

repeating. I’m dancing and catching your wounds in my mouth.
unsure if it is love or just finally quiet.

in a way i am still young, still on fire, still losing myself at the soft hands of seasons.
and even though we rise warm like summer mist

as you slide your fingers along my fingers
make love like two shadows, flickers of promise in the evening,

it will be years before we learn
to call each other safety.

my secret, from the skin seeps

breathing dampness, a blue wash of night sky, gray wild
clouds beneath my skin.
i am torn apart from myself.
imagined (standing, multiplying) as two creatures, two beings,

one of flesh, and i, her host.

the body does not contain the ghost
but binds it
to pleasure and pain,
dual prisons.

no matter how you touch me

i am never held.
these evenings slide on quiet desperation.
dark room cells flush with trepidation;
cast away woman, sunken.

terrible the way
love comes
through the walls
speaks softly to the one

who does not pretend
to need her.
i need love.
what an irreverent thing

to say.
to admit.
to embody.

.

Lately I have written a number of pieces about duality. I am having visions and dreams about twinning, cloning, mirroring, being on two sides of the same room at once. Exploring the idea of the life I am living and the one I did not choose, so many times over, walking right beside me always, thus the two shape one another. Perhaps that is what this strange life is, a looking inside of itself. A body and a mind, and a watcher of the body and the mind. Peering in, wondering who we are, and — if we are all connected — who is “other.” 

on reactions to poetry

i’m not convinced i can trust the reactions of most people. or anyone, really. reactions are so often the most senseless kind of expression because they are heavy with preconceived expectation and come from somewhere else, from a past pain or a false look or terrible abuse. people are so full of judgment and distortions. anxieties and confusion. they don’t know what they love and do not love because they are too concerned with listening to all the other people who don’t know either. it seems to me a grave waste of time to try to pull apart their pieces to understand where they are coming from and what they are still tangled up in when they stumble upon my poetry. it’s all just noise and what i am trying to get to is the quiet. inside the body of the writing is the quiet and that’s all i care about. i am busy trying to pull together my own shattered pieces, my own desires and fears. i am busy trying to learn how to really trust myself. because — because at the end of the day, at the end of the poem, at the end of my life, i’m the only one here.

the weight of pale things

as the fading light of evening slinks herself in through my open window, so much lingers and blooms in my heart, my ribs are plush with somber gravity. though whatever this is inside of me does not wish to make itself known in words. not just yet.

a glass of wine.  a cigarette.  i run my fingers smooth across Baudelaire. Dickinson. Nin.  gray dust and centuries suspended in the cooling air.

silence.  not for those in faint condition.

i’m thinking of you as i let go of myself and wonder how long it takes to forget the one who sewed you back together after countless falls. i was torn. that is the only way i know how to tell you i was sorry, that i am sorry. that i was so loathe with greed my eyes saw only your hunger, my body sang only for your resonant ache.

and so the melon sky fades into purple with barely a whisper through the neighborhood.  echoes of bottles, life, static and sadness.

empty sheets and my linen hands still resemble the shape of you.

little lights are coming on all across the globe. and i am quietly remembering a time when i was young and beautiful, and angst ridden and wretched full of poetry but without the words to heal.

where sky becomes wing

i try to get out past that feeling
that you have something
to prove.
as everyone tries to tell you
who you should be,
i seek out that place nobody
can ever own,
no one can ever claim or keep.
not even me.
i know it’s fleeting but i
don’t care.
i want that place where
bone becomes sky,
sky becomes wing.

stasis

i am not myself

but then
how would she
know.

poor wilt of song;
bare stem shadow.
bothered seams,
the
unbecoming.

sweet mad affliction
upon
the tongue
recoiled.

to be still is
to be
mirrored.

to be flesh is
to be
cor-
nered.

.

Image by Velizar Ivanov.

sacrifice

pale yellow brush stroke sky
as the dark buzzards circle and descend.
your body pinned against the grass;
hail tenderness, womb seed sown of wrath,

defiance.
you have opened your mouth to the rain
since you were a child, soft skin
wet hungry eyes, unbearable needs.

spread your arms wide
and draw your breath — three times by chanted evening before
the tears strain against your tongue.
fall to pieces, lose yourself quickly

and completely
these are the only
commands.
this veil draped along the cheek, a form of

silence
come to show you
who you are, to drink of you (woman as chalice, woman as fissure)
to lace

its voice between the fear; you are not able
to remove yourself.
lie patient, lie still. taste the whiteness of the clouds, heaven washes far
away, folds your hands, dissolves the edges, painted illusion.

you, their comforting angel in times of abandonment.

you the adored, you the mistreated,
rising slow, high, inside the sog of morning.
you, feeble light of grace in the fire seething at the breast of god.
fall deeper, wake the dream,

bare again beneath your wings.

lavender tea [in 100 words]

i wasn’t sure i was even up for any of it. the glare of thin ice over the landscape of my slow bones. footsteps in the snow take the longest time; they march heaviness in my chest. this tilted gray daylight is deceiving. rustles of brush, eclipses the barren images of leaving. two fine pale women through a window, sipping tea. wide eyes. chipped teeth. the gold-laced trimmings of fragility beholden to their throats. couldn’t you have gone a little quieter. it’s the way you left the silence behind, clumping in the sugar bowl. clanging in the air, like screams.

open me as wide as the world is broken

they had asked me what, if anything, i could be sure of. they with their otherness, their sterile glass faces, and cold coffee ring eyes. in my greenness i responded in a thin voice. i wanted to be allowed to hold on to myself, to her. give my bones time to separate from the emptiness. sure of nothing save that i had lost everything my hands knew how to heal. everything for which my mind had known to reach. i am only sure there is an infinite amount of pain, a darkness which extends into a twilight of ten thousand small, developing hearts. i am only sure we are strung together by fate and that it will have to be love. love which tears us open to make room — in this vacant, impeccable blindness — for itself.