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

Missing The

For my co-dependent leanings- reminders that choking halts organic growth. Let go.

Missing the view

onto a courtyard

from a hotel room

never reserved

Not regretting the

last glass of red

when the cork

is still in the bottle

Reeling from the

first fight

when a dozen

polite words

expand the history

that hasn’t been

Not forgetting a face

not memorized

Not letting go

of a hand

never taken

Not knowing

morning eyes

and midnight toes

Not recognizing

fine from fine

okay from okay

hurt from hurt

true from true

A memorized road

driven with eyes

closed

but needing a map

Remembering everything

because it

hasn’t happened yet

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

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

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

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