// heathens //

A lady in black holds herself up, eyes wide, wet, wild, the blood throbbing in her sex ruptures the sky into vast pulsing waves through webs of liquid stars, spinning in endless expansion. She is the universe groping desire from every angle. She is the thin movement of air, she is the legs of the needs inside you suspended, withering figures tangled in trees.

Pleasure, pain, writhing, and you on your knees. The night grows hungry for itself.

I play with the words and let them seduce me, slender light and the pale gray shadows of bodies on the wind, blown from the corners of my buried mind: paper dolls shaped like me but someone forgot to cut out the bones. Skeletons dressing in my skin, a row of street lamps exploding in slow motion; shattered and exposed we are made to collect our own pieces, float like angels on the tops of bare trees.

The shakes of restlessness would eat you alive so we carve hearts in the sidewalk with pocketknives and promise to walk until the end of time.

Every footstep interrupts the pattern, the world is dying in our punctured hands as we become reluctant symbols of the future of those who don’t believe we’ll make it.

The cold and the pavement and you’re getting tired and the smoke between your teeth is the taste of orgasm in mute. Sound is a numbing warp through miles of ocean water and I am dreaming of the way it is in dreams, running, running without gaining ground.

When you were with me and understood everything, I kept still behind the glass.

Images of prey, hummingbird wings in wet mouths, cigarettes in broken fingers, sliding like phantoms on my evening wall. All day, all day, the hush of silence is a naked room and a miniature wooden chair, a supple rain shower and your lips searching me, opening secrets I am too afraid to speak. My womb is a beautiful moonlight garden in waiting, touching is red velvet gloves wearing hands and nothing is protected.

The night tempts a sky of pink ivory and words are the only food. I am swallowed by the sunset in your sea salt eyes. I burn with lust for the way you train my eager skin. But I won’t touch, and I won’t move, and I will trade the madness for a chance to breathe you in.

The brutal soak of heavy slicing rain aches to break itself open within me, this looming clench of an immaculate crush, this clenched torment seems to spin fast like cyclones gasping for wind. Everything I’ve now become is yours; the satin lick of blind infection has to be enough.

As the storms move in, flashes of lightning beneath my skin, I caress myself: defiant, blistering, illuminated. Raindrops slashed across the glistening membrane of a soul in her triumphant birth.

Pain is savage ritual bleeding, the final break in the gruesome night long screaming, a restless dawn that needs my love waits in the hands of life to receive me.

I am the howling and the healing.

This mourning that enfolds me, exposes me. Water, soil, seed.

Beauty is a mouth on my mouth like butterflies stitching themselves to faces in the dark. Strange stimulation the way we unfold: this is what it is to bloom.
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// cringe and cages //

 

All they ever thought I wanted was to be myself but I’m only myself so often. The selves, I sort through them with expectant, humble, delicate hands and wonder: which face is it you wish me to pull out and put on for you?

In the place where we came from, out of the resurrection of a thousand suns, I can slip inside your movements before you make them, as you thread your fingers through my plush and thickening mouth, one by clever deliberate one. Another of the selves kept quiet: I stand off in the fog of the distance timing my heartbeat to your hesitant receding; this is how they taught us to be available and remain untouched.

The voices of those who want in will not leave, they reverberate inside of me, they are clamor, I am a skeleton of distraction unto myself, a splitting of the mind of my infinite selves. I search the expansive black for an entrance, an exit, a hallway into freedom from these exhausting dreams.

My own heaviness wears thin within the marrow of the bones, the crushing suffocation of my own voice.

And it is my voice I need to return to somehow.

The only solace is lush and secret solitude. Letting go gradually, gradually, all this light is chaos, all this sound is the nectar of a synthetic womb, all these hungry gaping mouths are a world gnashing in constant against a reluctant house of drawn windows, this hurts me, too. It makes me into someone who needs the need and this is the fevered spiral death of all creative things: obsession.

The animal in me is headlights flashing across endless muddy fields, I crave the energy of the smooth spinning earth, to bury my tremors in the sweet cool of dark forests and replenish my veins. The flow of all creation is to pour forth from an abundance, a ripeness, an overflow, to be bitten, sucked, devoured by the material design of the fabric of the cells I carry, the stimulating vibrations of the seeker; the tear-laced dressings of melancholy desire.

I am at odds with the corruption they bottle and rupture me with, this skin, this skin, they have imprisoned me in, I have given it everything.

And a voluptuous song continues its turning on the tip of my soft tongue.

And these many, many souls and I, wander alone with the rest of me.

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// lady in waiting //

I sit down to write but the only thing that comes to me is everything I’d rather not say. Writing is just like anything else, the hardest part is finding a way in. Shadowy advances, wet wide eyes, shattered hearts, lovers stalking alley ways, all come in jars they hope you can’t see, but writing is tougher to open even on a good day. A drink and a half later, I’m undressing in the doorway, watching you as you absorb the fading evening light that drapes itself around my body. I wish you thought of me as a temple, intricate tunnels adorned in golden dragons with emerald eyes, ferocious winged mystical things, but delusions like these are just a way of shadowboxing with the truth. Even in this heady haze I know what we want to be and what we are is split by glass of a thick and distorted kind. You ask me to spread myself over you and my skin is hot pricks head to toe, the way you barely touch me makes the beginning taste like spiced flecks of the afterglow, just the way I like it.

Under your command I am a dove, an alien, a robbery, a beast because I have learned to stay awake even in my sleep. Once you become aware of the ground beneath you in dreams, the rest is simply sleight of hand. We try to shift ourselves wide enough to take more than we ever thought possible but it’s hard when you’re certain there’s a message tucked behind the eyelids of everything, and you’d swear on your headstone that the rain smells of swollen lips and secrets you thought were buried inside someone else. Seven minutes in heaven, spin the bottle, the time you skinned your knees on ice, slammed back to life by the sting. Your first kiss stabs me in the back, spills blood across the time before all the times you can’t stop sifting through now.

Be patient with me, angel, even in expert hands like yours this doesn’t get any easier. Winter seems to follow winter, all the seasons of dying and frost take place at once like a crystalline nest of frozen trees that crush your tender throat. Time is a gift and a thief and a scream and I promise to collapse the minute you leave. You wrap my hair in braids tight around your strongest arm, the pain is just enough to catch my breath on a single hook. This bizarre strain of release, a decadent thorn. There will be rug burns and bathtubs but my mind is walking on the street counting black birds on a wire over the railroads tracks I was framing for photos; five, six, seven of them in a crooked row and one far off, alone. This doesn’t mean anything, of course, except that I am not in the world the way I’m supposed to be; I’m in the one I resurrected from cut-out dolls, cardboard panoramic scenes, living in the cream-colored curl of imaginary pages.

Pain comes to me daily but I trust it, I let it lead if it wants to, it teaches me not to hide as much. The way you slide into me is a forked tongue, one side torture, the other ecstasy; I have to take them both or deprivation. As night takes over the moon, the salt in my veins sparks and flashes all around us like colors from the dark side of rainbows. You need not cry for this strange love, I like to watch the pieces of me fall, it’s the only way they catch the light. I’m stronger now. And even though generations of misguided wars rupture themselves through me before you can even say my name, it’s beautiful madness to hear you try.

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// if this is madness //

 

Learning to love is woman after woman dying inside of me.

I have been consumed by desire and left to live on the ashes that remain, a restless hunger for all dimensions of the texture of forbidden things, stolen feelings, the cruel soak of sadness, the tender pleasure of villainous blood mixed into my blood.

As I watch you bow your head, I catch the portrait of an expression I am tethered to, these piercing haunts, my spirit swells, aching with lust and emotion. We the creatives, doomed and redeemed only ever to ourselves. I am a silent song on the wind in the sharp blue streaks of an endless night, a ghost guide, a break in the bend of the clipping of wings, invisible, intrusive, mad. In my fumbling hands I carry the sand of the dreams of the dawning of an earth I remember with affection enough to tear me at the seams. We are vanishing, we are free.

All is naked elegant promise on its knees; all is silken threaded veins through an ancient heart that beats eternal.

Swallowed whole, I’m arranging flowers on the grave of the things I used to believe. Let go, let go, let it all go, tears are but reflecting pools. Dark pushing light, light pushing dark, the relentless hands of a pulsating God.

I am lost; into this handsome death I am falling, falling; to wander without a name is to collect pieces of myself for burial.

There will be rain and sweetness in their singing, souls shifting like blinks of eyelashes against the turning of a concrete moon.

I can feel a secret in the humid air that hangs itself around my pleading heart. I am borrowed from your night sweats, a burden and a siren, I am the rays of a truth to which you are blind. Your hands are throbbing against my disease, this pain interrupts my mouth but will not leave. Intimacy is the darkness that calls to me, builds castles in my bed, begs, delivers, and fills me.

Poetry is a way to keep breathing, the words spilled forth and those withheld forever weaving the soft pale of my tired skin.

Blessed are we the wounded, the ones who sense the coming storms and do not run.

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