Forest For

Never so acutely focused

While so helplessly detached

House built within my room

Without me hearing a single

Hammer blow

Only think to look up

When I stop looking down

The nail in my own foot

Through and through

Pointing to the new ceiling

So encompassed

By my own pain

I don’t see the art

He made

Work of children

Ignored

For the play of adults

Not managing tears

Real or forced

The stakes are too high

Serves me right

Should sweat

Streak across the floor

Hope the skin catches

Pinches in the grain

Remember the trees

Cut down with my axe

The next time I

Curse the sun

Beg

Beg for shade

And burn

Daren’t

Such things as purple, bruised sunsets

Shared with the happiest of proclamations

If I knew you, I would already know

But I don’t

I daren’t

A step outside to see, in wonder

A foot, a hand, and neck closer

To the fall

None to fault if there wasn’t a push

But a hunt for protection

Defend against recrimination

Regrets as evidence

Trust?

I daren’t

Bible is crumbled and faded

Can’t hear the good news

Over the banshee’s scream

But at least the deserted howl is familiar

Nothing left but desire

Smashed in place

Like a broken bottle

Clean up the pieces

Only your own soles to slash

Everyone gone but

Nothing

No worse for wear

Kindness of strange

Comfort of packing

Leaving keys behind

I daren’t

Depend

Best to leave the stage

In the uncovered dark

Alone

-for Tennessee

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.