Hysterical

That I can be called

Not funny

Too serious

Too sad

And still hysterical

When I make you laugh

I’m not hysterical?

Or is that when

you laugh at me

Get a thicker skin

Toughen up

Have I tried this

meat tenderizer?

It’s sharp and shiny

I bet I’d love it

I bet I could make it

Work and still

save my skin

What if I couldn’t even

get that right?

That would be hysterical.

Just a riot

A fight

a shelf to stack

the rage on

because it’s to

heavy to hold

for a lifetime

But easy reach

for when I need to

start throwing

Fits

Most things don’t

and even fewer people do

Don’t blame the jeans

It’s my ass

Or maybe my

wandering uterus is

taking up space where it

ought not to

take that out

before it does any more

damage

Blood and pain

from no source

Wouldn’t that be hysterical?

Popcorn and Tires

The popcorn comes later.

Is it the popcorn

And not new tires

that breaks

Your back and then

your heart?

It probably is. Makes sense. Mostly air. But when it’s

Packaged and given with a bow

And it’s a proof of something

that’s substance and warmth

And big enough to park a car under

And that car is something of heft

Not what was expected

But nothing ever is

Dark turned to light

In the most DNA strand

Twisted

of ways

Heat of ginger

That is warm

When the burn

Of whiskey was

All you knew

Can you pair

Popcorn with a steak

What about the cheap

Wine when that is all

You can afford

But it’s together

And it works

Beautifully

Especially when you split it all

two ways

Times two

Becomes

5

7 needs

A car even

More capable that anything

You’ve ever driven

And that might be

Too much machine.

Every last grieving has

Taken parts

Ever-changed

Not returned

Maybe there are

Allen wrenches

Instead of anterior descending

And the tools

To turn an engine

Are here for the first time

The Weight of Forgiveness

The Weight of Forgiveness

Lightness

Freedom

And just a touch

of moral superiority

Isn’t that what we’re

meant to get

from forgiveness

Wrongs released

and hurts mended

Rivers crossed

and ramparts of

differences breached

But what if that

isn’t the case at all

What if by giving forgiveness

we don’t un-weight but instead

yoke ourselves down with

the burden of it

by keeping ties instead of cutting

we find ourselves lashed

with rope that chokes and cuts

and grinds its filament fibers

into our skin, leaving

wounds we can’t see

at least until that slightest of

skin cracks fills with

infection and rot

What if we don’t give

forgiveness but instead

take on a heft

far heavier

harder

more forever

than the hurt

we are meant to

absolve

can gilding a dead

flower cost more

in preservation and

effort expended

when the kindness

is to return it

as the cycle

dictates

and not lug it

around and molten

monument

to what’s lost

and what to do instead

forget

walk until there

is no more land

and no more steps

and no more words

to fill empty space

and replacement poxy

for broken hearts?

What if the

matter of forgiveness

isn’t the grace of air that

Elevates is

but the

drowns us

Unthought Thoughts Us

Unthought thoughts

Mind drives away from

city security

down winding rural road

where grass grows higher

hiding

snakes

screws

splintered boards

rusted joints

oranged and weather beaten

into submission

behind sheds and

outbuildings

nails eager for bare feet

begging from buried spaces

for admission and acceptance

life’s blood

the places we avoid

don’t even look at

the mangled earth

left to rot

not forgotten

more painful

willfully ignored

and neglected

apathy as a

determined choice

even ambivalence

gotten wrong

not strong enough

to bury wrongs

in more than a

shallow grave

tetanus

protect us

if only there was

us

unthought

Ego

I’m not a narcissist

I have a list of

my flaws

long as my over-sized

arms to share

a laying out of

my short-comings

wider than my

ample thighs

a telling of my

strengths

shorter than my

fleeting patience

a collection of

my accomplishments

smaller than

my calcified heart

Ego feeds on

thoughts of me

I

mine

here

now

want

help

fix

save

cry

hurt

take

away

stay

and with my

ego appetite tentacles

I

push

shove

remove

surrender

retreat

demand

compel

withhold

withdraw

silence

compete

demean

mother

no partner

friend

not parent

all

but nothing

everything

to myself

Maybe I am

Where Does Everything Go?

Where Does Everything Go?

Atomic displacement

A Feeling someone

left the room

just before you

got there

Not a scent

Not a wayward

strand of hair

lingering among the dust

not a thumb smudge

on a tumbler

A Feeling

Deeper than skin

receptors

vibration

that hasn’t stopped

echoing

When the Feeling

leaves

Where does it go?

Everything stays

Water to wine

wood to fire

Skin to putrefaction

All collected in the

balance

The missing element

unbalancing the scales

Something goes

Love to apathy

Hate to acceptance

Grief to nostalgia

to melancholy

to despair

to

to

to

nothing

Not every particle

walked out the door

Not every element

covalent bonding

Not everything

stays

The ones behind

know

not everything

goes

Preface at the End

I like to know how movies end

before I start

How much do I invest

if prescience is possible

When death is far away

can I love a little more

My time is that precious

My heart is that sacred

My grief is that engrossing

that a spoonful

sours any milk I kept behind

Would stone instead of bone

gravel in place of saliva

wet mortar for blood

find me any more secure

than a pallet of promises

The condensation is inside the house

windows turned to block glass

no where to see

no one on the other side

only what I already

allowed in the house

I can’t see

Run from room to room

right brain to left

and I still can’t see

how it ends

How can I manage

another day

another night

another forsaken turn

on a wheel

that I want to smash

and recycle into

cages for tomato plants

but I can’t find a door

big enough to let it out

and I kill every plant I touch

Should I be the one

behind the metal

past brought it here

unwilling to future

present

enough

to build

to keep

the ones outside

safe

from

me

It’s Not About the Taco

It’s Not About the Taco

It’s not

It never is

It’s about the tremblings

at the stove

About did I get food?

Should I get food?

Can I afford to get food?

About a long day at work

Grateful?

Spiteful?

Do I have a job?

Do they know where

my money goes?

Do I still have a job?

Please

Remember

this is all in my head

banging pots

scraping metal

billowing

and

bounding off

dirty wall

over open flames and plastic tools

Don’t stalk in corners

Loud footfalls in hallways

Please

Announce

Don’t shout

I can’t hear

But I will burn myself

Down

I will fall

It’s about not

having the leg

strength

to bend and fix

one more thing

About not having the arm

strength

to push down another feeling

About not having the

throat

to stifle one

more scream

Because I

only have

one

voice left

It’s not about

the flaw and

the mess and

the mistake and

the collapse

not about

me

But only me

left

when

it’s done

Quartered

quartered

four chambers

valves between

one leaking and

flooding

whooshing

too much

in one half

the other

starved

valves between

anatomy set to drain

right scant

left swollen and

sluggish

skin dimpled

outer layers

turning to stone

fibered and

scarred

adhered and

atrophied

drawn four ways

and you

stand

still

a drill

crooked

and twisted

wrong space

wrong side

metal shaving

under fingernails

probably

not enough

for tetanus

probably

but

there a shot

for that

don’t need

anything

don’t slip on

the blood as

you

slide

in and

leave again

Floating

For Jamie

They float in with the light

the ones who left

Not in reflections

Not in words

Gestures and turns

opposite from

everything I ever

planned

prayers condensed

still etched and smudged

Clean the mirror

and my face is still

only now

I don’t see before

Can’t remember yesterday

Maybe around the eyes

When I’m tired

I see then

Lights out

heat up

Looking for before

again

floating in

forever