// Temptress //

This madness is crowding in on the coffee and cigarette smoke, my limbs are phantoms, my limbs are nightmares tangled in long-legged night sweats,
I moan as the thrum of your heady scent
erupts like pricks of sedation at the back of my throat.
This was twelve nights prior to the loss of God, this was yet to burn away the clouds, this was crushed poison and weather vanes coming undone.
Blush curtains, floor to ceiling,
holding speech in the folds of their wrists
collecting dust and you,
tenderloin heart in your mouth, palms wrapped tight
upon the posts of my
alabaster
bed
looking up.
Hands fold, eyes fold, blind folds,
three lush creases line the hollow face
of our disregarded love letters:
one at the neck of the fold,
two at the waist of the fold,
three at the blood fire in the folds.
You touch me anywhere. Sound becomes lace becomes bone.
Pillow feathered patterns press my milken skin
as I trace the star stained desires in your mind.
I will breathe and you will breathe
and we’ll count
seven thousand times back
from eternity.
You and I
we’ve spent heavenly mouthfuls of time
swallowing the nights like knives.
They were
strange beheaded creatures
sliding hooks along
bare walls.
Folded, too, were the love made hours
into flesh, into tear drops, into fingers, into the soft curves of
dewy breasts, cream linens, elbows, skies.
I can still feel you say it against my chest, that pleasure always bent for me
the way of a broken afternoon on sidewalk shadows,
thorough, extensive, discreet.
Your tongue thirsty at my thighs and this somber light
between us
is a hallowed illusion of peace.
All the miserable gray snow
flung fast upon the ground.
All the cruel heat in your penitent eyes
gazing down.
This madness is crowding,
is crowding us in.

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// Write All Of It //

I believe if we want to remain prolific, if we want to maintain flow, if we want to continue to be nimble, a writer must write all of what it means to write. Just like with any kind of life, the struggles we go through to create are part of the creation itself.
Birth, death, ecstasy, curiosity, brutality, resurrection.
So much of what we have to do is sheer survival of the word, of the vision, of the expression.
All the ways the words are meant to be formed, the way they are forming within us, it is so often a terrible mess.
It can be very hard to break through. And the brave ones keep going. The brave ones write all of it.
So write all of it.
Even as many people come and go,
as they adore you and forget you,
as they question you and open you
and move on.
As they stay.
Do not worry about them.
You are still here.
You are still this heavy beautiful collection of dark skies
stealing catches of light through trees.

.

.

// Lovers Cry //

Some days I pray only
for hard rain.
Rain to wash away the streets. Hot rain until I bleed heat underneath my fingernails,
feel the anguish inside me like matchsticks struck upon the bare hands
of lost polaroid time.
I pray for hard rain to penetrate the wild fire in my bones.
On these days, we are now not speaking. On these days we are now sipping whiskey as the setting orange sun splits the trees like razors through electric wire.
Why am I different, why is this different, why am I always in the dark when you find me?
There are clouds of gray smoke affixed to my lungs
from swallowing my tears too soon. The rain begins now falling up, the world turns to ashes now falling down
upon wide open red fields. Is this why we came?
You look through me and climb through the gaps, my heart is a broken window.
Is this all there is?
I gaze back at you but do not dare expel the words. Cracks in the ceiling were cracks all along, floorboards shifting like the ocean tide and I am now not
standing.
Is this the best you can do?
As night rolls into morning fog, I am distracted: what about the boats we’ve untied, they are now burning, they are now never coming back.
You tell me it was me and I am ashamed because I cannot remember. I cannot seem to touch the memories which cloud behind the mind.
Screens are now movies, screens are now backdoors in the summertime, screens are now fireflies on brown sticks trapped in jars. Screens are now slamming, screens are now screams.
Why can’t love take it all back
when love can climb the walls
in the rain?
Maybe she does
but you don’t see she cries like I do.

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.

// the bones of the artist //

I love that you do not shy away from your humanity,
divinity,
possibility,
uncertainty.

I love that you move into them, inhabit them, crawl inside them and open up your soul before them, allow yourself to become what they are in full tragic erotic chaotic bloom.

It takes my breath away to know you let them fill you, emerge from you, surround you,
have you,
have you,
have you.

And in that holy space, in the infinite spread of that rarely glimpsed suspension, you are as still as you are in motion. You become the flesh and blood of every creature ever born into this madness.

You allow their wisdom to touch you everywhere.

When I see you, I feel all of this written across the sky inside my heavenly earthen body.

Because I know in the secret chambers of my wild heart that which you know in yours:

that if it is not tearing at the bones, it is not poetry. 

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.

// face at the window //

Forgive me, beloved,

for I know not what I do

with this terrible

overwhelm of beauty

before me, beside me,

pressed at the doorframes of my

deviant mind.

Her soft body maddens the veins,

mutilates the heart,

she dwells

and swells within me.

~

And I am afraid this is who I am,

this bend in my wrist toward crooked things;

the way the pain pins her mesh sick wings

to the whispering floorboards.

Is this who I am.  These expert invisible hands.

I am troubled of this knocking

knocking

knocking

knocking

against the spine cage.

~

Disrobe me as the moon clutches at the

breast, at the stomach, for absolution.

I am afraid this

must be my nature,

the threading of my distorted face,

for this howl floods the house with silence

but never does she leave me.

.

.

.

// forbidden suns //

How long since the feeding.

How long since the fragrance on the mouth of lilac

and quiet freedom.

I am curled against my self awareness

somewhere far away, the mad dog of eternity sits waiting

to collect my freckled footsteps,

moaning and sighing up from the ground.

Rose petal tea. I am wearing ivory cream sheets,

gazing out across

the sliding rain

through the burning bedroom window.

Purple ivy over stained glass clouds,

picture frames cutting off

my gray hands.

Smoking cigarettes made of fog,

drawing frankincense from

the throat

of all the silent kinds of

threats.

And so the day begins

to fall upon the slope of my shoulder blades,

sitting here alone

above a strange

world.

.

.

.

// give me more //

We are foaming at the mouth with heavy greed, how it glides through the veins like silk silently threaded alongside joy; thrumming steady but out of sync next to the beats of the hurricane heart you gave away to the ones who do not know how to see the light in the darkness.

Let them go and use your hands to carve a home for yourself inside me. Cross my heart, cross my fingers, untie my secrets and hope to die.

We want more when contentment would require much less. I wonder when you reach for me, pull me close and try to hold on to something neither of us are sure how to name but we can taste the mad tugging in the jaw when it aches, do you feel the stars blowing in the wind? Do you feel the jealous sun sliding through the winter trees, heavy with hunger for centuries of sleep? As you place your fingers in my mouth and I obey, I am not here in this body you crave, I am above the world looking down upon this strange darkening scene where we dissolve in the wine on each other’s tongues, and dance and fall and crumble and disappear.

Dolls that will break are already beautiful. Horses that will run are already free.

I hear the voices of the loudest ones and they sound like insanity draped over a vacancy no one dares to speak about, while inside my skin my sins are screaming. They sound like white noise caught on plastic bags floating down the heels of a crowded city street: dirty, disregarded, excessive, hollow.

They sound like nothing and yet people hand over their lives, their last thin dimes, and their slim cut souls, all these little people like insects trapped, going numb waiting for it to matter, for someone to notice that no one notices anymore. We are homeless, we are hunted, we are gladiators. We are white pearl eyes on fossilized  butterflies, we are filthy money down the drain.

Your hand moves toward me slow, a subtle gesture in the mysterious dark. It does not remember as the heart does not forget, where you and I have been. The body in slow motion betrays the mind, you are warm flesh and erotic games beneath the cold night air in my lungs.

How these fingers thread through the bones, whatever it is we are searching for lives forever in the paper tissue dreams which never left us. They can never leave us. They are the fabric of the moon, the place where the bodies of every ocean in every galaxy connect. They are five thousand red mercurial suns setting along the cyclical edge of time.

You at the back window seat of my mind, you on the lines they took from my hands. How I adore you. How many bloodstained years have I been gone.

.

.

.

// a taste for curious things //

You are only love, a child of the underground, flower of the morning carving images on the walls all night; soft petals dripping from your heart and your thighs and your feet, cold are the hands which once held me.

To sleep is to breathe oceans through broken windows, to leave is to return, to break is to be rebuilt without bone, without walls. In the depths of your bruised ribs I am swimming, I am changing from sea creature to animal to woman to lover as you paint my lips from blue to lavender to vanishing.

This fervent greed which laces his gruesome tongue through your palms, which suckles the wrists of your newborn skin, it is passing, passing, passing through you, you the arms of a finely crafted instrument, you at the beckon of deliverance, glistening nude in the bronze cured sun.

Would you kiss me here in this baptismal fire. Would you and I – the way we taste like salt on the froth of a moonlit summer, the way we plant our ivy gardens beneath the rings around our fingers – would we turn out to be the end of every silent war, the end of the currency of blood, would your chest to my chest be the end.

You are safe, you are full in your emptiness, you are listening and this, beloved, this listening for the fluid stars in the womb is the promise of our kingdom to come.

I would trade everything I wish I could become for a taste of you.

You, closing like a flower, lips together, legs together, hands together, the hymns and wails of all the world sewn together since the beginning.

My only song is your prayer unspoken.

My love is the echo of a word worth believing.

You are fading because you look like me, and I am fading, too.

.

.

.

 

// bodies, traps //

Soft wet lips left behind on glass,
a white flower petal cuts the words
away from my hands.
None of it matters like everything matters;
we fall behind as we fall into
and out of
step.
Sand in the swollen nets of time. Thieves
lifting the broken windows of the
night.
We explore each other,
take into our mouths
the devil’s handiwork.
Love is tragic, love is
collusion.
When you look at me like life and death
are on the same side
I want to inhabit the palms of
your soul.
Hold me until my ribs dissolve into stars.
Forgive me these secrets: what we give away
we keep.
Where the rain floods the inside of the caverns buried in the mind
you approach me, tuck away your knives
as your skin becomes wings,
in the darkness we are free
as you
lose yourself and come for me deep.
You fall, you follow, you run,
you return before I’m ready.
Drink me like bloodthirst
sliding through leaves.

.

.

// eaten up by nothing //

Legs the length of comets and bones to match but I wonder if you’d let me touch you where it would actually make a difference. It would hurt so terribly – you and I and you in my hands, trembling. And I would stay.

I would collect your salt water scraps of dignity, shards of splintered faith to my breast, to my stomach, to my veins as we pour forgiveness into the torn sides of the demons climbing the walls of the mazes in your mind. Step into me.

How I would clutch you, how you would feel it in your brow and your gums, in your lungs, your thighs and your feet, my climax just a molten aftertaste. How I would like to unhinge this wretched jaw from your skeleton heart and heal you by the grace of a God you buried lifetimes ago, with the yellowing animal bones of a past they seem to think you had but you don’t recognize when you look yourself in the eye.

The mirror on your hands is lined with dirt, crooked. She’s brutal because she’s blind but how could they, how could any of us, how could we ever hold the reflection of those heavy heaving eyes. I’d like to caress your sadness and stay with it a while.

A few drinks as dusk turns to orange pepper evening, a cigarette in your mouth through bedsheets on fire.

To touch you at all seems so unlikely now, though I’m not one to give up, not on love, not on anything with as much promise as there slips from the holes in your tired lies.  Spider webs wrecked, rebuilt; life regenerates, holds the misty dew up to the light of the moon. There is a resistance in your fabric, you wear it like desire and a bloodstain on the curtains. Wounds, blood without bleeding, plush summer mouths shoveling snow on the curbside of winter.

If you would let me do this the way you never thought you’d want it done, I promise beloved, I am only as forward as you’ll come undone.

Around my ankles grow vines of hopeful innocence.  Around my wrists one thousand thorns collect my nightmares and I am waiting on the other side of the wall; I am yours as long as you imagine me here.

I know it hurts, I know the way the spine of the pain stays alive while the rest of the body’s room spins dying.  Stay.  Stay with me. Stay busy with me.

Tears on the bathroom floor, laughter long run away from my throat. The truth still dances where everyone’s afraid to look.

Vulgarize me. Kiss me harder than you can stand. The force of this birth. We are so brave in our fragile skin. You and I, we are not like them, they do not seethe.

You and I and you in my hands, trembling.

We don’t take the shape of what we are becoming.

We take the shape of what we’ve always been.

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