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(A cop out. And nod to all the times you said “I don’t know” when I asked you what was wrong.)

The fact of the matter she said. Like facts matter. You can say Please do the dishes but what I hear is The labor you perform is insufficient/You are insufficient/You are too much not enough. She wrapped hands too small for their great strength around the barrel of a needle, made incisions in the cloth left behind at crime scenes, looked deep at the source of hurt so she could turn her back on her own. The fact of the matter hung between. A long forgotten murmurance. A shadow highlighting obstruction. Say things too often and they lose their meaning. The fact of the matter. The matter. The fact. The matter of fact. The matter of fact way she dissected us. Laid the body on a metal slab. Went through the motions. Fingers sure and palms unsweaty as they ran over the upset messy tangle of organs and infected tissue. Say things too often and they lose their meaning. Or take on new ones. Like I love you. Like please do the dishes. Like forever. Like goodbye.

 


[Header image found here.]

brutality, truth, and movement

the ides make me think of what i would do
to your heart or your back if exposed to me
in a square before all of your followers

march marches, each one new and strange
the mingling of spring and winter weather
not unlike the twisting of your temperament

each march is different and, in this one,
i find myself devoid of you, fantasizing
about all the things i never said that were
too painful for you to hear. me, your grand protector
valiantly succumbing to the ground beneath your boots

in my dreams, i picture my dagger in your back
retribution for the impact of your fist on my skin
and the delicate intersection of scars left by your words
laced and interlocked against the softness of my belly

January 20, 2017

I spent my day today surrounded
everyone around me ebbing and flowing
and me, a jetty, stoic and unmoved.

That’s how it is for me, PTSD
pushes me from one extreme to the other
so emotional I cannot be touched then
so far removed nothing can touch me.

Today I let the salt run down me
and I stood in the midst of it
eyes dry and heart still
trying to find a way to reach
out from the haze surrounding me
to touch each and every one of you.

All I want to do is enfold you
take each trembling drop of you
and press you into stillness in
each of my cracks and crevices
build a home within where you can
rest your weary bones.

You have been breaking for so long
I don’t remember a time when I
didn’t hear you, didn’t register
your cries in the night, cold fingers
of your hands grasping at me only to
slide back into the sea and recommence
your crashing melody.

Today I spent my day surrounded
wanting to reach out, to do more
but unable to shake myself from my
foundation.

All I can do at times like these is
stand. And hope my stillness gives you
something you can safely break against.

A hundred words on the smell of you.

I close my eyes every time as I inhale the soft skin of your neck. The atmosphere of your pores rushing through me softens the inside of my mouth and shivers the deepest part of my stomach. You smell, my love, quite simply like the deepest, hottest summers of my childhood. Like ice cream melting across my hands and the rising heat of asphalt too scorched to press my naked feet against. You smell, my dearest, like endless afternoons spent lying on the couch, wrapped in each other against the winter cold outside our small apartment. You smell like home.

The Gates of Sarnath

They found themselves within our path
these liars, standing at the gates of Sarnath.
All the truth in them, beliefs, desires,
cloaked and battle scarred and burnt on pyres
their ashes soaked up in the aftermath.

The bloodbath ended, you stood ever higher.
Face somber, body bent, but eyes much brighter
than these fiends could see from their quagmire
buried in the flotsam of your wrath.

They built themselves a road into Sarnath
these toads disguised as friends, these fiendish liars.
But our residents are clever things and set the pyres
burning long before they sought our shores.
And you, my darling, brought them to all fours
their embers glowing in the aftermath.


Header image from here.


 

The War Room

the war room
the bomb was dropped
at dinner
feta lingering between my teeth and tongue
never learned to love it
expanding in my chest
this hot presence
somehow managing to remove myself from me
leaving her a shell

        simple statistics
        they tell you one in three will have it
        and you barely believe
        until your mothers turn inside out
        or your sisters
        and you know

remember being seven
maybe younger…
watching it on the tv
sneak-peeked it
foreign and familiar
something lascivious and lingering
black pleather and podiums
spreading warmth and something
aching

the bomb sat between us on the table
my mother’s bomb
words turned into something palpable
larger than that wooden expanse
star space spread and separating
twisting her away

back to that mushroom cloud
the heat of a nuclear reaction
near my nucleus

i am cowardly of truth
so i washed the feta from my teeth
and smiled

a galaxy that’s full of dust and light

a galaxy that’s full of dust and light
whole worlds concocted from another’s detritus
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night

a collapsing star, a chasm built in space
bodies far bigger than the mind can hold
a galaxy that’s full of dust and light

the solemn edge of routine morning coffee
an afternoon commute, traffics frustration
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night

the footprints of ancient giants, gods almighty,
crafting universal causeways with a gesture
a galaxy that’s full of dust and light.

the incessant, tender buzz of summer insects,
the long awaited smile of a friend,
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night.

the pure attraction of a sheltering sky
its depth, an inescapable allure
a galaxy that’s full of dust and light
and man, so small, eyes closed against the night

Winter Moon

She mounts the heavens nightly in the cold.
In her curving orbit stately, ancient grace.
She eradicates the day, brings forth the night.

I never feel so loved as in the night.
Surrounded by her light, her gaze so cold,
the stars surrounding her with twinkling grace.

No lovers could compare to her in grace,
the way she carves out pathways in the night
and bathes me in her nimbent light, so cold.

Cold and full of grace, the moon appears
and guides me gently through each winter night.


Featured image found here.

Nudity: An Ode

warm winds touch bare skin
softer when it is
divested of restraining fabrics

water kisses more gently
the flanks we bare
so willingly

similarly,
eyes see more clearly
into eyes
stripped of defenses

laid nude like
heroic marble
standing tall
and unafraid


Photo credit: Self portrait of a reclining Amelie Rives Chanler. (MSS 8925. Photograph by Petrina Jackson)