22 July 2016

Watch and Wait

I have cereal, but no milk--
a heart, but no brain.
I have empty boxes
and a lonely mattress
on the floor.

When the watchmaker asked me
how long I wanted to wait,
I responded, out of breath,
"forever,
I would wait forever,"

but these calloused hands
make no bread.
These fingers press buttons
and document "self-
care, self-
flagellation."

I have cereal, but no milk--
nothing left over
for my cat to quietly drink,
to quietly meditate over.

He is content watching a bird
through a closed window,
never knowing how to hunt,
only how to watch and wait

and wait.






01 July 2016

Old Stories

Invade my shores
and then leave
once there's nothing left
but scraps for buzzards.
Centuries pass and you
put frozen peas
on my swollen heart
and trace in all capital letters
the name I take from you.
At least, that's how you say
it ends--with some sort
of corruption, some imperialism,
some ice cream
by the lake,
a smaller shore
than you're used to.






30 June 2016

Radio Silence

You deserve better.
That's what they always say,
your friends
and those other friends
on the other side of the bridge
(the part that's not on fire).
I always wanted those
Technicolor dreams,
those sharp clich├ęs
that click off the tongue
in quick succession,
like little bullets.
I fucking hate what they say.
I hate it because
they don't actually know.
I want them to actually know.
Are you better for me?
Do you know who is?
Will I meet him at Acme
next to the asparagus?
Will we get high together
at a tiny party?
Will he tease me for how I hold
my cigarette
(a little too close to others)?
Will he help me color my hair
to match my frustration,
all Technicolor and everyday?
I don't want to hurt
but I hurt everyday.
I want a love that pauses
between breaths
to admire a fragile moment.
Because I am fragile.
Because I deserve to be seen.
I deserve better.




19 June 2016

Steal Everything

I can be found
where the burglar
and copy cat break bread.
I can be found
ducking
once the plates are thrown,
where flinching
is a personality trait
and not a reaction.
Each measure of
protection
is not enough,
and houses are not homes
when you don't feel safe.
"But if you value safety
so much
you will close everyone off,"
he said.
"No one believes you."
The sun warms the kitchen--
the knives, all glittering
in the sink.
Compassion is competitive
and everyone just talks 
about themselves.
The burglar and the copy cat
steal everything I love.
Steal everything
until I am a shell 
and not a muse.



02 June 2016

Running Late

Tiny red spiders
explore freckled
landscape,
ground like any other,
and I shake like the earth.
Upon closer inspection,
I discover dozens.
They get tangled up
in peachfuzz
and roses
and bite when
the wind of my breath
throws them off.
I feel guilty, so I stop.
I no longer
recognize my skin
so I let them have it.
They can have it,
running late,
running nowhere.



23 May 2016

Baggage Claim

I am choking down several Flintstone Vitamins
with my black coffee:
my scruff is caught between childhood and adulthood.

Always a late bloomer, always with this arrested development,
always with this pain in the neck--
I pay my bills and reuse the stamps you send me.

Maybe I have something to offer,
like good taste in music, decent casserole recipes,
a hearty laugh,

mental illness.
I promise my brain hurts me more
than it will hurt you.

I promise you will let me down.

I can draw you a bath or draw you a picture,
do research by the side of the road.
I can pamper and cater and
get my shit together.

I promise that I will hold you with these fleshy arms
and listen to your secrets and not tell anyone.
Even after we break up, I will not tell anyone.

(And somewhere, while we're talking,
my flaws are folded neatly
in a bright yellow bag,
and that bag is caught in an endless ride,
a carousel ride,
wishing it was home again, with me.)




21 May 2016

Some day

Some day before I'm done,
someone will hold me.
Someone will hold me and say,
"You are enough.
You are more than enough."
Maybe some day.





08 May 2016

Through the Shell

Just don't leave. Don't leave.
Radiohead, "True Love Waits"

A throbbing head
listens to another caller.
Even whispers rattle,
and I know I am annoying.
And I know that promises
are fragile eggs, but cradle this one.
Cradle this one a little longer.
I gifted myself.
I created myself in your image.
The sun knows you are lying.
It shows through the shell,
reveals my tiny organs
beating in rhythm to you.
Cradle this one a little longer.
I know it's difficult
when I keep shaking.
I will keep listening.
Just don't leave.




05 May 2016

Campfire Communism

Marx was a Taurus
which means he probably
left the toilet seat up
while giving a damn
about bigger things.
All winter hair,
all broken up
about arrogant assholes'
"Truisms,"
he probably would hate
today's twittering and
armchair diagnosing.
Maybe he would like The National,
but probably not.
Maybe, like other Tauruses,
he would keep his
grievances to himself
if they weren't shared,
if he could not band together
with kindred spirits
like sacred melted marshmallows
against the fire.
Because Tauruses
try to be practical
even when they are annoyed,
they prioritize others
over themselves
while grumbling about
soggy s'mores,
tempered dreams,
suffering to pay bills.
Everything is terrible,
and there are always,
always things to fight for.





04 May 2016

May 4

Ask not what your country
can do for you,
or you risk
getting killed by it,
and yet challenging bloodshed,
preventing
the imperialist fist
from bludgeoning
foreign neighbors' faces
is met with the force
of a hundred fists
bruising and bloodying
our own faces.
If each life is a gift,
and we have the right
to protest when
each life is threatened,
please, please,
please
stop
killing each child
who challenges your fist with a dream.