Union Jack

Union Jack

Straight lines

Crisp crosses

Bows a frown

When it sees me

A distant daughter

Opposite of austere

With constant

Tears threatening

Like a thunderstorm

Over Westminster

Every

Day

Weeping

Expected

Like

The changing of the

Guards

Upper lip so drooped

Its thinness a gift finally

Less weight to drag

A smoother slide for

Snot from crying noses

A dissociated joker

Of self-depreciation

Waiting to be stopped

At the gate

An ancestral Welsh mother

Fingers her own hankerchief

Embarrassed for me

I want to revolt

Throw taxations

Into the sea

And be free

But I can’t

Jumping in the

Sea before

I change sides

Even understanding the

Wisdom

Of reconciliation

I can’t see past

My own

Poisoned

Constancy

Cutting Ties

 

What does not thread

into the blanket or hat

stays in the circle

Shrinking cylinder

What is too frayed 

for the mittens

is cut to the floor

Twine together and

it can always be torn later

Unless it’s beyond repair

Lengths of inches

will never hold warmth

Pile of wool

Choices left behind

Trim with seeing

don’t look back

you have a singular

option for winter

Hold blades without 

engaging

and no uninterrupted skein

will ever stop your chill

No encouragement 

from the objects at hand

No applause for bravery

after this creation performance

No time enough 

to knit a noose

and avoid deciding

anything 

which is still 

a way of 

shredding the line

Cradle liner or

an old woman’s shawl

How can there be 

bulk enough for both?

Cut ties

Only one 

world to create

The left scraps 

to forget

Shelf

When I was in eighth grade, I got detention. The only one I ever would.

With another girl who also went on to be a writer. A good one. A real one.

We were not detention girls.

The plan was to create a time capsule. Capture the essence and sparkle and unrest of 1991and save it from decay for a rainy day.

Keep a time that was so hard in the living but might be passingly pleasant with distant remembering.

What about putting something precious on a shelf while you still want it in your hands

Like taking freshly delivered flowers and hanging them upside down instead on a wall instead of right way up in a vase of water.

Keeping something to remember before it wilts. A memory of beauty before you put your hands around and turn it ugly with oiled prints

Shelf out of the way

Shelf I can’t see

Shelf I’d like to build in my heart if only

I had the support beams

To handle the screws

Close

Enough to get a hand on

Enough that if it fell the

Memory would break

At least one bone

Want to know it’s there

But not know

Because I don’t know

Leave it there long enough

Might be there for

The next tenant

Cobwebs and dust

Encroach and envelop

So it becomes part

Of the timber

That maybe you’ll forget

When you pack your boxes

And downsize

When your life

Moves on

Or you pry the wood

And take it

Splinters

Brackets

Paint chips

Reaffix to ribs

And fascia

Soft

And brittle

Carry your shelf

Until it becomes

You

Dust in your veins

Cobwebs in your valves

And the memory

Is all that lives

Controller

Up down

Up down

Left right

Left right

Here gone

Here gone

Long night

Long night

Pushed away

Pushed away

Left alone

Left alone

Held together

Held together

Edges sewn

Edges sewn

Blanket tossed

Blanket tossed

Heat apart

Heat apart

Space together

Space together

Smothered heart

Smothered heart

Tangled cords

Tangled cords

Electric out

Electric out

Written words

Written words

Spoken shout

Spoken shout

Risk divided

Risk divided

Assets tied

Assets tied

Chosen familial

Chosen familial

Defeat denied

Defeat denied

Persistent circle

Persistent circle

Hopeful love

Hopeful love

Shelved disappointment

Shelved disappointment

Expectations shove

Expectations shove

Scared restricted

Scared restricted

Movement dropped

Movement dropped

Hopeful foolish

Hopeful foolish

Heart

Heart

Heart

Stopped

Can’t Talk Yet

Sometimes, World Poetry Day is missed because of brutal fucking ignorant mental illness lapses. Anxiety and depression. The pneumonia was easier, gang. By a mile.

Listening to confessions from a mother

And songs respecting the struggle of abortion

I cried

At least the baby didn’t die

She said

I smiled for the first time

In miles

She’s been in

The car with

Me

Us

Half of

Gone

Many times

Can’t talk about it

Not to someone

Being so nice

To me

An indicator

Of true illness

Doing it again

Misplacing comfort and kindness

Where I want spark

Two lengths of jumper cables

Battery leads corroded

Green

A color I knew

Wearing it in the crowd

Staring the stage

Wanting my own light

Coveting conversation

Forsaken for

Hugs that don’t need feet

Those come from both

Sets of Arms

I’m told

Cemented you chipped me

Not enough to be broken

But enough to be surrounded

By ceramic pieces

Mosaic

Disconnected enough

That every edges finds

Your soles

When you get out of bed

In the morning.

Can you sprain your

Diaphragm crying?

Or is that just

Heartache

Setting up housekeeping?

Rattling pans

And nailing down

Carpet

Planning to stay

Until the foundation

Gives

Tucked with wool

Set aside from

The destruction

Handed gently

Handled

Purpled with

Neglect

Color of a fresh

Bruise

Waiting for the

Ease of pain

That comes with

Greens and yellows.

Twitching to a

Touch

Melting to a

Mouth

Stealing comfort

Even though

It’s freely given.

Some things

Can’t talk about.

Not yet.

Drain

Flowing down my leg

Just like my book

No pain

That I can feel

Only what

I can see

Should see

could

See

If only

I’d stop

Looking at myself

Pouring out of me

Like feelings

Seeping

Like purulence from

A re-opened scar

Like rancid

Avalanche of garbage water

From the truck I

Backed up to your door

Dumped my shit

Without ever giving

Ever yours

In exasperation

And exhaustion and

Maddening spinning

And swirling

This side of intolerable

Around the same

Endless

Rankling

Circular

Pattern

Drain that

I felt

That I was

Bivalves w(hole)

letting out

The rot

Sucking up

The reassurances

Leaving a mess

No casual plumber

Could possibly

Untangled

Everyone in the room

Is frustrated

And wet

My stain

More than Neptune’s ocean

Could fathom correction

You called them ours

Spilling so I wouldn’t

Be the only clumsy

Broken

Drain in the room

And I loved that

I would have sat

With you all night

Smelling like our scotch

Letting our shower

Wash it all

Down the drain

Non Ho Farfalle

Butterflies

Those tuggings and

Pullings at leads

And tendons

And lungs

Begging for action

Divine in the moment

Made to break the next day

Because

We aren’t all fed

On myths and moonlight

These things are needed,

In mind,

Mind,

For solace and inspiration

And getting upright

Some days

But most days

Hard days

Sad days

That not even

Butterflies will fix

Mercurial moths

That show you one

Form then

Leave in another

Not light

Not gentle

As their name

Promises

But toothy like wolves

Weighted down

Like

A sinking ship

Surrounded by

Sharks

Instead

A bowl of pasta

Set for me

A extra large sweatshirt

Smells unlike me

a sit down

A trust that

Isn’t questioned

On paper or

In mind,

Mind

We don’t

That’s the wings of

A thousand

Not under your lungs

But beneath your feet

Grateful for solidity

Solidarity with space

And heart

And truth

Warm, Wrapped in wool

Not fragile gossamer

Held in arms

Strong as oak

Living with

Steady

Giving

Knowing

And known

smiles

Rather than butterflies