I saw myself watching the yellow-red leaves
when they fell from the trees. It was so beautiful
with the neony sun-glow passing through its
membranes as it flickered and fell through the
windy licks of the air’s idling turbulence.
Then I became a leaf, and I saw genocide.
It was frantic and murder in the chilling air
and I saw a fleshy monster grinning an awful
terrible grin and I felt a hate of such unbound
potency that I was stripped away myself.
I blinked back into my own head as my body
hit the ground. I had wanted this—I had
anticipated it with eagerness and thick saliva
breeding behind my teeth. I wanted
so desperately to go home.
I found a skeleton key underneath some papers
in an attic-dusted trunk. The papers were yellowed
and creased, and the key held the image of a dove in
its bow. I thought of a magician, draped in a long
coat, producing doves at the fingertips. I chuckled
morbidly at the thought, that this peace symbol
is so easily manipulated; then looking back into
his eyes, I saw a knowing sadness and realized
with a weight that this was no coincidence at all.
I saw driftwood wash on the beach.
Sitting for twenty minutes, I thought
deeply, trying to figure its significance.
And twenty minutes went by, and all
I could see was this wooden wood.
It was dripping with water, which
looked like water. I began to feel
very sad, for surely everything must
mean something to someone, but
this wood just looked like wet wood.
Thirty minutes had passed now,
with this rumbly anxiousness in my
wooden skull, when the waves swept
in and stole this wood from me. Now
I felt very angry, sat in it all. I wanted
to throw a stone at the water, out of
spite, I wanted to yell at the mean water,
who stole my driftwood like my heart.
Then, I sat for minutes more, thinking
instead of myself, who had just claimed
this dirty wood log as my own body.
But this driftwood was not my heart,
nor was my heart made of driftwood.
My heart is soft and pink and fleshy
and full of blood, like the ocean.
Bleeding and aching,
coiled in bed,
you counted my freckles
like tiles on the ceiling.
Lit wicks of a candle
dripping hot wax
into your fresh, open hands.
I followed my jealousy
to the door of your closet
and sheltered myself from the rain.
Take love with sugar, or
Take love with salt.
If there’s anything to learn,
love’s not your fault.
“How do you feel?”
“Why do you feel that way?”
“There’s no one to talk to.”
“I’m right here.”
“No. I don’t think you are.”
I held your shoulder while you were asleep.
I swear a voice from behind me
spoke lucid and real “remember to hold her,
to joy with her laugh,
to speak lullabies to her tears.
This life is not yours to keep.”
So now I mold my body around yours,
to never forget the shape.
I keep journals to record the melodies of your dreaming breaths:
the last entry says your heat was like
a river, your heart like a rhythm, your
twitching nose like the final
beat of a hummingbird’s wings before
it lays in its nest.
Your eyes fluttered open like the sun.
My fears lifted with your hand,
I feel splotchy.
Like one-hundred different puzzle pieces
from one-hundred different puzzles,
open ends stretching for another.
We fit together okay,
but our picture is a messy one.
My arm is a branch
with birds for leaves.
My bathroom-tile skin
littered with graffiti,
my lighthouse leg
in a Kintsugi shoe.
At night, when I sleep or pretend,
little bugs gnaw on me
and spin their memory thread
through the notches of my railroad spine,
between my scissor fingers
and pipe-cleaner toes.
We get along.
I was given flowers
after the death of her.
They stumped on the desk
drinking each day. By
day three, their love-purple
tint was dwindled, and the
littler leaves drooped softly.
Hunched over, much like she,
in the weeks before her death.
Slumped in her bed, that
un-godly bump on her head,
she grew pale. And sad.
Those little leaves now
are brown. The colors
all white-washed, freckles
of mold dot the creases of
her pedals. Hungover eyelids,
catheter stem from her abdomen
trails blood like blood.
Was it a motivation to
let me watch her die again?
To see her clammy face in
the coiled roses, sad and mute?
What dumb compensation.
October is hurting again,
a rag-doll, dumb-drunk hurt.
No method or madness
stuck-up, tongue-tied hurt.
I miss old friends with their
tag-team, seamless hurt.
All to see now, the
dry-rust leaves and the
ice-pick, guilt-sick hurt.
And I want to lie and
say it’s better.
But I just
glassy wind button
wrinkling cushion carnal lust
winged kiss bone white
wonder thumb lemon gall
absolute tender mouth mill
boot flute funnel flask
orgiastic spices color young
dumb croak merry narcotic
static dionysian love
garden tadpole dizzy drunk
bulbing yielding waxing ballad
subtle ivory phasing cradle irony
sore stringy vessel
scuttle swirly trial
nocturnal silk vexing
mean pretty capsule