// 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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// black holes //

Lining my eyes with charcoal and the scorch of tears, I can’t escape the immovable truth that whatever your twisted secrets, you are the one who makes me glow.

The human mask ruptures by its own flawed design and I am reminded that the flesh was created to crumble; for our own protection, we are not shatterproof. I am as fragile as I am supple, I am the fading trace of whispered delusions, echoing through the dead of nights hanging from trees, their slender roots planted firmly in the sky. The cracks in the vessel of my soft skin are beginning to show. I do not cover them. I do not fill them in. I am coming apart; I am lost. I am without a single answer of any kind. I know not where I have been, how it is I have come to be here, where I will emerge again, or if.

I am muted and surrendered to the rising flood waters of my own weakness. My hesitant steps are taken in timid stumbles, but mostly not at all. I am still, motionless, patient, obedient, rebellious, as the windows of every castle we ever built come crashing in.

Becoming the sound of the explosion itself, I watch for the light, the way it catches, the way it reflects.

What right have I even to be here in this obscene manner, in the way my gray animal eyes flash in the headlights, grow angry, distressed, and combative in their hunger? Who am I in my shivering thoughtlessness, in my primal confusion, in my wide and defiant uselessness?

I search the halls of ancient cities buried under the ash of a thousand graves upon ten thousand years with a heavy heart and burdened mind for a thing I cannot grasp. My soul makes its truest offerings of itself in the shelter of this darkness. Shadowy figures are at play, the way my exotic spirit dances in the flames of the fires she feeds mercilessly within. My satin hands touch themselves to my throat and I am ecstatic for the mystery I am suspended within.

Consumed to the core with liberation and unworthiness, I am a dewy web of prismatic shine at the center of your calculated chaos.

I am alone, defenseless, in this ruined room with trembling walls; stripped bare of arrogance, pretense, and facade. Here I am tested, made to look upon my own frustrating limits; I tug with my teeth at the threads of a thick cascade of drenching compassion for a woman on the precipice of life and death, staring out into the Great Abyss.

Here I am made ready. Here I am destroyed and rebuilt as I confess that I do not know the way, I do not have the answers, I would not know how to open my mouth if not for Love’s insatiable desire to burn me with Her beautiful, healing grace.

From the depths of this blind wilderness, I am grateful. I am richer for the shadows, for that which is hidden must have its way with me.

In my nakedness I am the ritual. In my emptiness I am the gift.

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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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// i promise you this //

Collecting what’s left of you when it’s over is trying to keep a flutter of moth nerves alive in a shot glass between my teeth, but I don’t mind the knots in the stomach; perfection doesn’t interest me.

When I look at you I watch the passing of decades in blinks, frames of your limbs, centuries of humanity in ecstatic heat, angels sucking lollipops singing in haunting orgasmic tones, their celestial lips stained all colors of an erotic rainbow, worshiping the sun as it molds us into mystical creatures, no longer recognized with natural eyes.

You and I at dusk, watching dragons slip into a boiling turquoise sea, hold hands to form a bridge across the myths conjured to keep us apart. They never thought love could be such a twist and still be real. You are sustenance, food, truth. The desire you feed me catches mountains of leather books on fire, consumes and destroys all that’s cruel in a mindless world. I savor the way you taste like the dew on the grass of an ancient burial ground, touch like the climax of the Northern Lights.

Your body is a clever animal, a dark secret on the lips of a coming tragedy. Sinister, fleeting, a mystery to be respected for the delicate timing in which it unfolds. Your tongue is a velvet plunge, a warmth, a hearth in a place beyond this temporary home. Sins turn to pillars of beautiful glistening dust while every earth-bound creature wears the head of a lion underneath its fingernails, baring its blood thirst to the valleys of the moon.

Love is a ritual bath, a river carved through an underground tomb.

Quiet madness staring itself in a plush hungry mouth: you want me wet with curious struggle as a piano plays itself in an empty room.

The way the veins pulse down your neck is the way you dismiss the things that no longer matter to me, love is thinner than gossamer wings, slender heaven folded in its milky beats. We are exposed, skin peeling itself away from the bone, naked in a way no one else can understand for you and I have mirrored the birth of each other; we, held and released in silhouette dreams that began before the beginning, before there were words from which to choose.

The world ends the moment you remember when candles were tiny flickering stars flinching, licking at your fingertips, and I was dancing for you in the shadows, in the rise and fall of jewel-cuffed arms scratching against the concrete walls.

I adore the heavy smoke, the crimson choke of your handsome resistance.

Tracing my body slows the crumbling, you remove the silk along my sides and enter into me as the globe in all its casual blindness spins away from itself. Oblivion is thick nectar on the ivory altar of the gods, fame is for the fearful: only the brave will be devoured, forgotten.

Watching you from above is black feathers falling from a white snow sky.

Beauty is eternal, pleasure is a lifestyle, and I take my love stranger than most.

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