On Top Of

On Top Of

If I hold my pose

And hold my breath

Lean into the pain

Away from stability

Crane

And peak

And peer

I can almost see

on top of

What’s on top

I don’t remember

another dust I forgot

On top of

The paper

That was suggested

Not mandatory

Not have-to

More half-two

Meant to be three

But I’m lucky

To see one

So I guess that

Does it

Like that last

That did it

Can’t remember

When I did it

Last

Gather my

Pennies

My books

Secreted away

See

I like their dust

My wrinkles match

Favorite pages

Begging to be

Remembered

While I’m

Hiding

To be forgotten

Doors and

Blankets

And a

Reeeeeeeally

Long

Garage

Door

Closing

Right there

On top of

Me

While I’m below

Everything

Everyday

And

Every breath

Is a pose

Toes curling

Not releasing

Digging

For control

On top of

All that

I have to

Maybe when I’m

Alone

Under

Done

I think we’re all done. There is nothing left for nonsense and red tape when working in a hospital. There nothing left for another e-mail from school about a missed assignment. There should be nothing left for to return a passive-aggressive message to a religion teacher that contained most uncharitable language and suggestions requiring dexterity and cartoonish imagination. But there is something left for that. Which means there is even less left for laundry and cleaning and cooking and the urban warfare that is obtaining essentials. And patience for those behind the fence with us. I’ve lost that. And also for forgiveness when all shit is lost and behavior bypasses bare civility and dives into blatant selfish assholery. We’re all done. And then somehow we do it again.

I’m kicking my own ass and soul everyday and it’s not helping. Be kind. Forgive. Save something, however that looks, for another day. We have to do it again tomorrow. If we’re lucky.

Pacing

Waiting to be seen

Dreading

To look

And we look

Again

A different page

Again

Another problem

A new way to

Disintegrate

In the water

That pours inside

The open doors

We can’t breach

The hardness

Still seeps in

Anxiety gets

Stuck in that sludge

As fluidity stops

And settles new

Foundations

Set apart

Cemented together

Can’t reach too far

Or the whole

Thing

Cracks

And we’re

Buried

In

Ourselves

Under notebooks

And spelling tests

Misspelled Spanish

And overdrawn

Art

Face masks

And pay checks

Lost hours

Not time gained

To show for

The hours

Given

Alone

Too close

Weighty

With

Consequence

And

Losing what

We can’t see

Can’t be

Everywhere

When

I can’t be

Anywhere

Gentle

Pokes through

The fences

Fingering

Unknown air

Bitten off

Or kissed

Maybe make it

Better

Can’t make it

Stop

Incompatible

People aren’t incompatible

She said

It’s that someone

Isn’t rising and learning

And meeting and changing

Seems unlikely

Turning a Montague into

A Capulet

With not even a nurse

For some comfort

A flower in a city

Sidewalk unwilling

But growing regardless

Doomed to trampling

Incompatible or

Foolhardy

City sous vide

In a cottage kitchen

Too elaborate

Too unknown

Incompatible or

Self-injurious daydream

Oxygen

Apathy

Fury running

Code eglot

Cell debris

Connecting it

Ready or

Not

Stick on

The axis

Soon facing

Each other

Longitude

Polar

Magnetic

Take over

Incompatible

Inverted

Corrected

Connected

Until the season

Ends

Icing

His smile was a Tom waits song

Wrinkles and grey hair

Wry curmudgeon

Who still stayed up late

Not wanting to miss

A chance to complain

Or to touch her thigh

Sneaker and

Sweater

And scarf

Mr. Rogers cool

with a curse

And tequila

On his breath

If it was a bad night

Most weren’t

Maybe that’s why he never slept

To make sure

The nights stayed

Under his control

He was an argument

You’d never win

a heart you couldn’t

Catch

Always sliding away

Of the ice of

His words

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