Uncircled

I guess I’m supposed to be embarrassed

Everyone else seems to be

For me

I don’t go to law school

So I missed the instruction

That

Over forty

divorced existence

In public

Is a crime

Only whispered about

And only slightly

Preferable

To manslaughter

Which I understand

I’m also meant to

Crave

Swirling

Wished-for revenge

Through my teeth

Like the glass of

Malbec I had to

Buy myself

You just haven’t

Found him yet

They pat and

Comfort

And cringe

ever so slightly

Under concerned

Eyes

And above

relieved shoulders

I guess I’m supposed

To be sad

That BBC and flannel

Was my real trauma

That checking an

Unclaimed box

At hospital admission

Was my real crisis

That an empty box

In the back of my

Drawer

Was worse

Than a backyard of bones

I guess I’m not

Dried from Rain

Staring from the

Introvert side of the window

Not really wondering

Why

Unlovable

Unlaughable

One in the crowd

Not seen for the

Roses

Or

Thorns

Not fit for the bouquet

Not good for forever

Maybe a season

Likely less

Watched me fall

Never raked me up

A dried addition

To a spinster’s

Kitchen beams

Waiting for the withered

Fingers

To match the

Inside

Not really wondering

Why

Unlovable

Unlaughable

One in the crowd

Not seen for the

Roses

Or

Thorns

Not fit for the bouquet

Not good for forever

Maybe a season

Likely less

Watched me fall

Never raked me up

A dried addition

To a spinster’s

Kitchen beams

Waiting for the withered

Fingers

To match the

Inside

Why

Unlovable

Unlaughable

One in the crowd

Not seen for the

Roses

Or

Thorns

Not fit for the bouquet

Not good for forever

Maybe a season

Likely less

Watched me fall

Never raked me up

A dried addition

To a spinster’s

Kitchen beams

Waiting for the withered

Fingers

To match the

Inside

Salt

Reach

There’s a branch

A net

A blanket

Held by a family

Waiting to catch

He’s dead

And much

too distracted

She’d try

If the cells weren’t

Unstable and mutinous

He’s just like me

Looks and despondent

Disposition

Godless seeker

All anchor

No raft

Swim toward

The chorus echoes

Behind masked

Faces

Blank in front

Of blank

Reach

For the Pagan

In your bed

Or the

Rope sent

From the heavens

What if you believe

In neither?

In faith was long

Ago burned by

Emulsion of misplaced

Trust, rendered fat

And a spark that

Refused to

Alight

Reach to

Yourself

Arms tight

Around

A poor

Sailor’s knot

And try to

Breathe

Through

Salt

Didn’t See

Who does your hair?

He asked me from the hospital bed

What size shoe do you wear?

Me.

Size 9. Maybe bigger.

How do you get it to stay like that?

Days of oil and a rubber band.

Why did you look away?

I didn’t.

No, listen, I need you to believe I didn’t look away.

That’s not me.

I don’t look away from ugly scars.

Blood doesn’t bother me.

Decay and shit and desperation.

I don’t look away.

Why?

What did you see?

Tell me.

What did I let you see?

Before you leave.

Please.

Tell me what you didn’t see.

Moth in Motley

Requests are refusals

Needs are needles

Wants are worthless

Asks are assumptions

You didn’t deserve

Fine

I didn’t deserve

Better

Spirals

Like lost stairways

Where trinkets of us

Fall between cracks

And left behind parts

Follow them

Calling out

For lost limbs

every time

A ghost touches

The railing

If I don’t know

Enough to mistrust

Who is more

The fool

Fools don’t know

They are crazy

Or is it the other

Way

Round

Dressed up in a

Harlequin motley

Of

Over

Emotional

Sensitive

Ir

Regular

Rational

Respective of

The rules of

Court

Is the moth that

Fights the draw of

The light

Resilient

Or dishonest?

Will she bear

Sharp teeth

Or begin to swim

If pressed

Begged

Provoked

No

She flies

As she must

Perched to

Rest

And flies again

Knowing

It is her

Doom

Once Upon an Albatross

 

Red-faced

one way and 

another

I wait

and wait

and wait

The burn will blister 

and ooze

soon enough

Unexpected 

since I wasn’t the 

one in the fire

But the gods

do get a laugh

out of their 

distribution of

gifts

and 

grievances

So I wait

maiden 

to 

crone

mother

to 

dowager

virgin 

to

harpy

Face 

like acid

heart

like thunder

brain

a calvary

of untrained beasts

Who are they

charging against?

The battle field is 

empty

war declared

then abandoned

long ago

So I rage

against the

bare balustrades

and the

destitute dales

of my 

defeated mind

 A horse

A horse

my kingdom

for an escape

from this hell

And I’d kill the beast

with my expectations

without every

laying a hand

Maybe instead

turn and 

plan a path

alone

Sail

Remember when the bed

was a raft?

A lifeboat to carry you

through the volcano

lava of the bedroom floor

a magical mattress 

impervious to the heat of the world

Is it still?

What if I need it to be?

What if the carpets and 

halls of now-

when I fill the bed

with height and weight

and expectation and 

emotional bulk-

what if I need that bed

to sail away?

Still only me

solo passenger

sagging on my 

skin and

my side of the 

bed

Not to where the 

wild things are-

they’re here-

ranting and stomping

in my head and 

all around-

but somewhere else. 

A quiet place

away from 

rumpus and 

questions 

and 

things I wanted

but 

now wonder

I can’t leave

What if the ship

pushes off 

without me

Can’t leave

No

I can’t get out

Not today