17 April 2019

Across the Bar

"Hello," said trial and error
to the twilight of experience.
"What will it be today?"
"Rest," she replied.
"I want to rest."
And in a fluid, sweeping motion,
trial and error
honored her wish.
He waved his hand
over her golden head,
and she rested it,
nestled in
folded arms
across the bar.


18 January 2019

The Peacemaker

I want so much
to be easier
to love--
to start
from square one
less often,
to be held to fewer
expectations,
a tide
whose only job
is coming in,
not to polish and refine.
Because I can't anymore.
I can't inspire
or crack a loaf
of bread over my knee,
and say, "Here,
be at peace
with me.
Settle
for my limitations."
I will not be well again,
but it's so difficult
to know
that healing
is not an option.
I want so much
to not be difficult.
I want the routine
of joy without
sacrifice--
no more
blood in the bowl,
a tide
that only rushes
past.


20 November 2018

Yolk

Swollen brain, pulsing to be
everything I hate,
forgets
that you have a monopoly
on mental illness.
You--
candy floss hair;
biggest eyes,
milk chocolate
and over-sweetened--
grasp at the thought,
sprinkled and dazzling,
but you won't
forgive me.
The core of me
gave every piece of advice
I could muster,
small cookies
hot and sugary.
I gave you the last one
when you decided
it wasn't ample for you.
If only I loved you enough
to give you everything,
every morsel of myself.
My swollen brain cracks
into a big white bowl,
sits on the counter,
sulphurous and cursed.


11 September 2018

Intermezzo

Your helpful idiot, 
your side character,
has been losing sleep.
The food pantry was closed.
No more pasta.
No more torn shirts pulled over
sweaty sports bras,
rushing to get some place 
shameful--
cinder block building
of my dreams,
cool concrete
for my tired body.
I'm tired of being angry
but I'm tired of explaining,
of explaining a wet face
that you've spit upon.
Your helpful idiot
is going
back to bed.




23 April 2018

Astrology

That feel when
you have
so much
air and water
in your chart
that you do not know
if you'll sink or swim
or float
like an aimless cloud
carried by mistakes


16 January 2018

Resolutions

maybe this year
my bed will become
less inviting.
there are curves,
but no muscle,
giving
without letting go.
maybe this year
I'll add
a few more pills
to my diet,
crunch down on chalk
that adds balance
but no nourishment.
friends have cozier
resolutions:
finish this degree,
lose this bellyfat,
get a new job,
but my resolution
leaves me feeling
less than resolute.
less than.
I want fewer days in bed.

14 November 2017

Need More Water

I don't come from
witches. If anything,
I am dehydrated
and need more water,
like a mermaid
or a siren.

My home is driftwood and
weird, abandoned
particle board,
bloated, edgeless.

I am not as glamorous
as other secrets claimed
by the ocean.

My skin is
as rough as
my heart.

I saw myself on land,
and my home transformed.

I heard myself,
and I was hoarse and broken.

Where I am from,
ruts and roots
are pronounced
the same way.

That means
that I am not a witch.
That means
that I am a different imposter,
shaped from the clay,
or not.
Whittled from driftwood,
or not.

Or maybe I am someone else's story,
a dream captured,
looped in a child's mind.




09 November 2017

So Much Left

My advice to you:
Be an angry woman,
not a stern still-life
but a jaw-clencher,
a mom voice,
a "get back here,"
a "put
that
down."
Don't apologize.
Yes, write letters,
but also make calls.
Spell things out.
Be the type
to drink an old-fashioned,
for you are muddled sugars
with bitters
and damn,
are you tired
with so much left to say,
so much left.

06 November 2017

still ill

no place is safe
not a church
not a temple
not a movie theater
not a school
where you work
where you relax
no place is safe
from angry men
from "men with purpose"
from eggshell egos
no place is safe
each place has potential
for danger, for peace
for welcoming the fragile,
for punishing them
no place is safe
from us





05 October 2017

I Love It When My War Criminal Holds Me

I love it when
my war criminal holds me
after my disasters.
He shushes me and forces
my head to his heart.
He uses Dollar Tree paper towels
to mop-up my sadness.
He uses compliments
instead of money
to mend me.
I am still incomplete.
The pills don't fill
all of the holes in me,
and the tampons
only stop
some of the bleeding.
But it will be OK,
he says to my graying face,
a cloud in a dark and angry sky.
He ignores the clouds
around me
to look into my eyes.
"I will continue to say
I will defend you," he says.
"I will continue to say it."