// Wolves In Winter //

As the pale ticking of a clock slides eternity farther and farther away from my hands – I cannot shake this feeling buried heavy inside my limbs. There is a place where frailty is the beginning of strength beyond anything you have ever seen, where spring green seeds line the inner corners of eyes yet to be born, and it is there you may dream of everything they told you not to dream.

It is within the fabric of this oceanic thing you may breathe air, smoke, water, freedom.

And the voices which call you away cut against the grain. Where light flashes across your nighttime feet and you remember how to move, clumsily at first, hideous at best. From your dying mouth the world away turns, spins out across the purpling abyss. The inner world is the world according to yourself, the smell of rot, the smell of blood, the smell of a lilac tree blooming eroticism at the fullness of season. The scent of firesides lined with snow, winter climbing the legs of empty trees. It is the most exhausting softness you have ever heard.

There is a spirit who moves among even the least spiritual creatures. There are ties that bind us which we refuse to see. And for all the ways we burn each other to the ground it knows that sometimes ashes are the only way we remember how to believe. Will it come on paper boats, will it sound like drums, will the poets find the words in time.

I watch them write about what they tell themselves is love. I see how they stutter against the words they do not know they do not mean. There is a sadness which has hardened into stone, too many hollow people lusting after one another’s bones.


// Merry Go Round //

Had this come at a better time I would have placed my hands into your hands and we would have forgotten who was holding on to who. Instead I lower my eyes as your eyes close and bow to the end of whatever we had between us constructed. Little melting paper tissue promises, we traded words wrist over wrist, your mouth warm upon my alabaster skin.

I am the draining of the cup, I am the small child who writes only of leaving, only of the lightning in dark clouds. How even the slenderest tears streak the breast with fire before running aground.

I am picking at my fingernails and you are staring out the window of a neon train as my legs begin to burn. I used to dream I was covered in red ink and the more closely I inspected the skin the higher the vines of crimson would curl up and up across my stomach, my chest, my neck, and then I would awaken, awash in thrumming laps of sweat.

And here we are together parting ways, two hearts divided in ten thousand ways.

I watch as the gray buildings of the city sink slowly into the raging sun. I think of all the people reaching for something they do not understand and missing it like hell anyway.

Why do they think everything destructive is so pretty
and that everything pretty
is not them.


// Rise //

I had been given too many hands, brought up with ravens nesting in my throat. Love is screaming down the hall, love is darkness tearing cracks in a house which cannot fall. I learned the secret as it was threaded, woman into woman into woman into me. My wrists rush full of your veins (you at the ankles of my budding devotion, you the ascending lotus flower, you the sinew of the mouth of lineage).

My name is a language, my name is a generation, my name is earth, my name is seven letters penned in the dirt.

My name is the name of the truth.

I made it split my tongue, this opalescent rain which fills my lungs. Wet this room at the center of my neglect, concave, dim; the white eyes of this dying celestial.

Fracture this calculated light where I hunger and crawl and thirst for the rivers, watch as my numbness scales every mountain if only to peel back the sky, death is but a kiss along the seabed of a dying moon. Teacher, read for me. If my words disturb you, feed your breath to the cells of my body until I speak again of gentleness, speak the name, all of the names within my name, embryos falling through my hands.

And we will turn our cold minds to emptiness; we will coax a taste for morning, begin to raise our faces from the dust.



// Gentle Lights, Bury Me //

And what will you do to dig up these bones when I’m still here, how will you feed me to the wolves who need my throat, teach me, grow me with their yellow marks and claws. Suddenly it is all black water in this garden, the water rises and churns, setting the tides on fire and I am swimming deeper and deeper still until I find those things I lost so long ago, milkteeth, crickets, the shadows I crawled into behind my childhood eyes, before the waste of the world became so tired and over grown, before it was the cold which stung like bees, before it was the heart I bled underneath my sleeves.

The people don’t come back, they walk onward, they walk past, I weep for I would do the same, and have. The spaces in between my lungs (naked lungs severed and hanging from trees) there are wings fluttering there, little bodyless commotions, threadbare ivory wings who meant to reach for the burned out sun but fell blind, and I swallowed them whole.

No one to tell in hushed dry tones, no one to tease open my waterfall lips, no one to paint their ears on again, only doors into an ancient unhinged soul who is always leaving and does not bother to lock up anything.

Unchained, unrattled, untethered, untouched. This flesh was made for letting

There is a dark moon which rises alone in every heart, it cannot move, only reflect, it cannot breathe. And as these nights cave the days in upon me, I do not reach, I do not reach. Bury me, all these beautiful little moth wing lights sifting down as I do not speak. All of these gentle lights burying me.


An excerpt from my book Luminae, coming this winter.

// Slow Blood //

What are the skies like where you are, has the new air been good for you. Blue as the veins of the ocean tide, sweet as the almond sun. The way you look through the way I looked away. Do you bathe yourself with the salt of the tears in my hands, drink your tea warm with honey and is it sunset by the window, or everywhere. I hold your motion in the poetry, feel blindly the depths of the things I cannot touch. You enter me and leave your heart behind. Do you taste my hair against your strawberry mouth and draw the purple shades of night down with your low dark eyes.

I miss the lifetimes I spent alone,
someone’s always calling
but no one ever calls me home.

Could it be that we all reach for something like wind to keep us alive when the rest of the world smells only of rot, remains, annihilation. No two souls have ever touched each other inside such gentle bruising. How your teeth never quite leave my flesh days after, the way my voice fills your mind, dampens your tongue, breaks wild against your muscle. How I pray for your healing as I do for you to ache until it bleeds. Nobody says what they really mean.

When you move your body it speaks of the secrets you keep from everyone but me. Lights coming up all over the jagged bones of darkness. The drench of this heady stolen quiet smothering the bedtime trees. Desire presses in my skin. Beating hot, beating slow.


// This Time Away, Away //

Maybe they will wait for a little while longer to see if the birds return. Mouthing their warm bodies against the hood of the cold. The turning of a doorknob in a crystal champagne room, fall your face into my hands, fall down the rabbit hole, fall up inside the stars. These words you take are the breath of me, my breath a mere illusion.

Please do not. my fragile blood cannot bear the chime of your laughter, that smile of yours will surely peel my skin from the silk of her cloth. It is dark inside the nest I built of shadows, the light and the darkness always forbidden and undressing themselves here, always one without the other, always both speaking at once.

The ticking of a clock: footsteps.
Time is running out
and in
on us.

When it all slows down we are made to face ourselves. It hurts like hellfire behind the eyes when the sun swells so. I used to write like morning dew and now I write like the gray grass beneath the dying, always trembling, always on the heels of the ashes of leaving. Drinking the hips of melancholy static, this is the way I was sewn into a body which never quite fits.

It will be love, I know, I know, it will be love which tears me away from you.
Love laid bare on the wings of a soul adrift, love the rain in the iron garden,
love the silent water bathing night among the reeds.


// Jasmine //

It had been a jasmine evening which left its hand upon my chest, the moon so lonely I could taste her forlorn eyes. Some days prick like lemondrop needles sweet and bitter against the tongue.
Out there the wolves.
Out there the doves.

Out there a world revolves around itself and the same revolution envelopes whatever this cruelty is inside of me. I can hear you talking but I cannot let you in. There was something they gave me to take away the pain and it took you, too.

I am letting go.

The tethers are coming up
ever so slow

but I still hold you deep in my bones
even if I cannot touch you
this I know
I know.

My ribs full of roses blossoming thorns
swollen sadness she is breaking my soil she is
she is mine,

beautiful are the tears which do not come and I know
I’ll have to crawl up out of this grave
swallow life again but this baptismal throat is fire,
these limbs, how we have become this tired.

I do not know.
I do not know.


// Red Fire //

My poet is a wounded heart, beaten and bruised, she is still flowering.

In the hands of the darkness we fall upon our knees, turn our bodies into fantasy.

There is a body living in my mind.

She weeps, she feeds upon the thoughts I am watering like vines. A rose to my lips and your face at every window, you shadow of my shadow, you the haunt I breathe as I sleep. It was quiet, the violence, when my veins began to rush with blood, ache for the pierce of your teeth.

The pitiful grace of you, smoke gray the empty eyes, the brutality of the things you do to me in the name of a love you have never known. I break as you force my petal mouth slow.

How insistent my desire opening the moon, how mad the redness of this fire.


// Stranger Dark //

You are so good to me, I press the words like secrets against your neck. You part my lips with your fingers and as my chin drips into your madness I catch a glimpse of the knives behind the eyes. A thin shimmer of blades, a sparkle in the way this will end badly for both of us but what are the endings if not the beginnings.

We have been here before, rough hands grazing my silk stomach. I know every move you make before you make it, I can practically sing to it. You, whistling for me in the darkness which cradles itself.

For all the sweetness hanging from the cliffs between us, threaded in honey currents beneath my fevered skin, poets only attempt to touch the things we know we cannot reach. Such arrogance, such hope. For all we expose even more is forbidden. We the fire in the ice in the raindrops trailing along your spine.

Time is a twisted punishment but you are so beautiful when you close your eyes.

This is love, this is lust, but this is not the answer. No such thing. Just the breathing out and breathing in, we are steel traps with ripening skin.

This is the life and death of the mind inside the mind, the body inside the body in constant rotation. There is nothing to see but the way we see it. Tomorrow is already here, beloved, (eating us eating us eating us) it’s the horizon which never comes.

Day breaks where loneliness mouths the word for freedom. Quiet fog in your glass house. Cherry wine in your torn up throat, blood washing itself in the curtains.

We will always be lost within a journey into our own abyss.
We will always go hungry feasting upon ourselves.


// Time After Time //

Wasn’t it just yesterday I wore my heart upon my sleeve, was I not a place where lace would become bone. Now I sit with the richest coffee in the bluest room in a house occupied mostly of wind. Poetry, golden leaves atop a broken crown. words falling all around me and my stomach knotted (the perfection of being bound) a braid of hope, desire and departure.

There is something in sensuality we will never touch.

It is what keeps us coming back to a thing we do not recognize save for in the cup of silence.

There is a place within us we clumsily reach out to touch
and it is crying, its tears are shed in reverse, we swallow them and glow with the blood of all the things we cannot make our own.

Even the flesh will leave the flesh
of itself. Mothers, infants, fathers who have buried their wives. Mothers and daughters and sons, turning in hand-linked circles. Children born of children under an exploding sky.

When I wash foamy upon your shores you do not see me. Woman as fish, woman as bird wing bent, woman as wave which curls like a soft breast underneath your palms, your feet, your tongue lapping at the edges of the sun.

There are those who can write of the way they feel in a way which collects the crowds, I sink behind them. Woman as sunset, woman as sea bed, woman as sandshell, woman as the length of an afternoon shadow as you walk in humid shapes alone.

The time for tea has come and fallen away, the time for dreaming has been nailed to the wall and stopped breathing.

My baby, what shall we pray for. A pale body and soft bones. To sail off upon the breeze and demand nothing of the water. To be untangled of hate and fall naked before the wild. Time wrapped around our necks like iron. The time before the time we’re after.