// Becoming of Age //

I think they are probably going to leave. It will be a thing you said as your eyes slid clear past them to the corner of the room, or it will be a thing you didn’t say when they looked to you for the answer you did not yet know how to give.

It isn’t their fault, of course, it’s just how they were built. How most of us were built. The cravings for fast, easy, beautiful things to numb the pain. The way they never turn their heads these days, you know that wasn’t how they came. I once met a man who could turn his head clear all the way around like an owl; he could do it without getting twisted up at all it was nonsense and so frightening it was inspiring.

We were born one way but now we have become the raging discomfort of what they have impaled upon us. The way you speak, the way you think, the questions you do not have the guts to ask, how much of it is your own? What would you tell them if there were only five bodies in the streets? If there were five hundred thousand men, women and children of every race, color and creed. Would that change the depth of your message or just the size of the audience?

What builds us up tears us apart.  What is walking toward us is walking toward walking away.

Here they come with their guns and their poetry. Here they come with their sunburns and cures for the common ignorance.

And here is you with your hands all on my early grave. Here is you with your tongue all down my throat. Here we stand face to face without one fucking single thing to say.

I’m not sure when I fell apart but I must have. Because everyone I meet is handing me shreds of things I do not ask for but they seem to think I need.

Every way I turn I’m kicking up pieces of whatever this is which has shattered itself to morph into me.

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// Self Reflected //

Maybe I should have spent more time worrying less about time. Maybe the things we waste sweaty nights and crying dawns raging about are just a handful of gory jokes offered up to the maniacal gods like mandarin sunsets that bleed from the open wounds of missing someone who has been taken away from you too soon. Maybe I write too much about loss and feeling left behind but what is more real than the cuts of separation, what is more beautiful than tracing the steps we should have taken in reverse.

Tears are the sickest sweetness. Hearts are the purplest greed.

I can taste spring on the lips of winter and in the face of the sky I can see the memories of the man in the moon, who grows tired alone. Planets and stars all burning out in soft lavender trails, no more hills, nothing left to climb.

What will become of the way we are, who will remember what we said in the fields. All these screams rising up from the tortured earth. Butterflies are messengers sent from another world. There must be someone up above, this is what they offer me like warm milk, and I sift in and out of believing. I breathe in hungrily and take this strange life for granted. I do it as I run the bath, I do it as I pour the drinks into crystal glasses of oblivion (take this cup away from me, take this chalice from my lips), I do it as you speak and I try but am unable to listen.

I love you and you are lovely and love is everywhere but I’m on the outside because I am the carrier of anger and I am a collection of ways to be torn apart, and my smile fell away from my bones a while back, and no one can see except these pages.

And so I give them everything. I come into the silence to bleed.

And all they ever give is the light reflected into the darkness.

All they ever give is myself back to me.

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// Space Between //

I welcome you reluctantly.
As we begin
I’m searching your eyes for the end

inside the intimacy of a single moment
one held apart from all the rest,
in the sudden clutch of fevered breath, you approach

my thoughts like a pale moonbreast,

beating steady, penetrating

quietly illuminating
my mercurial flesh.
Slow spread legs, wings bending low on a bluelagoon ledge
a string of evening windows, each a-glow.

Your mood alights upon my chest
the ache of desire is laid to rest
amid the currents on the breeze;
I carved our coordinates into the trees

but the nightwind sang with a stomach choked of sorrow
my love, my love, my love,

a ghost,
already left.

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// Darkness Falls //

I didn’t want it to be like this
you hanging by your teeth from my breast
and my not wanting to kiss you.
How the being of neglect walks alone through the hills
black cloaks and woodland creatures falling all around
my feet

the birds have come to nest
the birds have come to die

for lack of air in my lungs.
I could watch you spinning for as long as it takes
to stand the earth still
and freeze the clouds overhead in place,

write to me of the darkness you see. I want
to read the words you choose.

I bathe in cool darkness,
shower and dress and tug at my
neck
in darkness

line my lips and my eyes and stain my cheeks
with the smut and the ink

of the darkness in which
we dare not between us
speak.

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// untitled //

are you okay
it seems like the corners of your eyes
have fallen
it seems like the way you hold onto my hand is
flowers dying on the cherry wooden table
next to a beautiful vase
by the window left
like curtains alone with the breeze.

up against the wall i thought i heard the sounds of time
footsteps coming down the hall
are you okay
when i’m in here they don’t tell me anything

the carpets are greensea and the dust
chokes the daylight.
i’m turning in my sleep
footsteps leaving down the back stairs.
screen your calls, you have no more to say but
i am waiting and the calls cannot get through
i’ve disconnected all the lines
not knowing is not better
(are you okay?)

but i’m afraid there will be no answer
so i keep the questions folded in small creases
inside my paperfoil heart.
i’m okay i’m okay i’m okay.

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// Beg //

You unlock your mouth in dreams
undone by my adoration,
my heart continues
to divide.

What may I offer you to feast upon?
This body is sacred, this body is sick.

I drip as you beg
at the plastic edges of my sweet disturbance,

cry for the softmilk of my blood.

The pallid grasp of chemical hands
drowning the streets in her venomous drink,
sing for the weakness of thy flesh,
how charming the scent of dark, ripe seed.

In the place where love has never lived,
the mourning of love grows here:
spread wide and sodden atop the fading gravestone hills,
a cold nightwind gives birth

to a dying winter sky

our pleasured anguish writhing
beautifully beneath her.

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// I Looked Up //

I looked up and I saw
you coming.
I saw the way you
have entered my life in footprints

I had mistaken for music.
The sky began spinning
golden spheres of watercolour globes
melting teardrops upon thick stems.

Life will be water. Life will bleed.

These were the endlessness of
fields wet with gray which unfolds forever.
I saw you raining up from the ocean
from clouds full of darkness.

I pulled your broken bones
from my throat
and we went again hungry.
They were affixing my lashes with feathers:

my eyes became heavy
my eyes became soft.

I saw you coming
and I saw you leave.

I wait for you
counting hymns in silence.
I watch the way sunlight
burns through the trees.

.

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For Andy 

// This Chaos It Suits You //

Morning rain is gentle and steady upon my face as I huddle into myself, thankful finally for a day without sun. For the most part, I find daylight too harsh. It interrupts my sense of what is beautiful. Who could I ever tell that shadows help me find the most dazzling silhouettes of light.

My mind is wandering (which, really, sounds too calm because my mind, she whirrs and trips over herself and cascades to places I would rather not say). I do not speak the way I am supposed to, I speak too much like fire and ice and volcanoes. I do not understand the language of the stars which birthed me. I do not speak words bred of tenderness anymore without turning this tongue into blades.

Rewards become punishments.

To sink is to swim.

It’s now and it’s never and it’s always in-between.

If I lose track of who is winning will you still let me in? I get so tired of keeping score. I get so sick of counting doors along hallways which never seem to end.  (What are we counting for?)

All these floors hidden underneath the scaffolding around your heart, all these thick windows which slip away from me fall and crash and descend as I am cut, I am bruised, I am a shattered face on the inside of the muse.

But if I look deep enough, there is you. And you just keep rising up and up above dark clouds and I wonder why we try any more to place these blistered feet upon the ground. Will you run, will you stay, will you break as I have. Who will save us now when the walls are oceans splitting in half.

As I write this, all the lives I have since let go of drift off and I remember a time when I mistook the perfume of your secrets for nourishment. You who collects hearts in mouths and swallows their tears one by one, slow.

You the one who digs the claws of adoration in like furious flashes of heat across the summer lightning in my veins, you could have me and it breaks my heart you don’t want me anymore. When exactly does that shift? What rock face crumbles away from my self disclosure against which you suddenly decide if this is madness it suits me, not you.

And somehow the chaos appears to reduce you only slightly.

And somehow I have become the one fading from view.

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// Superhuman Gifts //

As the flash of another day burns the tall glass buildings down to graystone, we move closer to each other like an uncomfortable evening fog. You are whiskey and I am torn blue jeans. We are both bare feet and distraction.

We are together even when we are apart, an impossibility it would seem, and so very far apart when we are together.

What is it?

I can feel it. The weight of too many worlds hanging like lead from your tired limbs.  You can be sad here. I will not sweep the graypain in our midst away. Show me.

Open your wounds in front of me and I will not crumble,  I will not break.  I will not disappear.

Even from across the room I can see your light, I promise it is not gone.

Have I ever told you that I think you are stronger than the others for coming undone? Forget what they have told you, to unravel is not easy. It might be madness but it is real, the way we close ourselves tight around secrets we no longer have to keep. Love is barbed wire, love is midnight falling along the trees.

Tell me the mess about yourself that you do not understand. About the dreams which seem to fall away from you as you reach for them across the strange pulsewaves in your mind. I know it is hard sometimes. I know it hurts to be alone and yet all you want in all the world is to be unafraid of being alone.

Tell me how the aching in your heart feels like rainfall sliding down the gutters of your clouded eyes. I want to know how the cold feels the way only you can feel it, how the snow upon your bare skin sometimes rests warm like springtime even though no one seems to understand.

I believe you. Everyone has their troubled bones but no one else has yours.

So tell me about the sorrow that carves away at you; tell me what seems to ruin your touch and dissolve your breathing. Tell me the lies and the truth and how you are ashamed of both, and we will sort through whatever it is that cries at the center of your soul, at the tips of your fingers, at the back of your throat.

Tell me what it is to be so gruesomely, ironically human.

Speak for me the terrible quiet burden of this mad beautiful life.

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// Reach for Me //

As you reach for me
your hands pour through

my thirst hung upon the tips
of your baptismal fire

touch ritual, touch breath
our skies begin
to merge
emerge
reverberate

we, sharing ribs, we,
trading gestures

collecting, reciprocating.

I return always to
you return to
my hands pour forth

for you

how you touch me
from underneath the pain,
cyclic redemption of what you are
how even without skin
held only by the body of

the empty air in this bluefade room

I can feel you move.

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