Warmth I Give

Don’t know

What hides underneath

The fibers and striations

Only visible without a

Focused scope

What did you do with those scissors

Short levers for skin

Long forces for hair

Fulcrum neck

Pivoting to look

Anywhere else

Except straight

Or back

Make cuts where

You see they need to be

Anything to

Make cuts where

You wrote long

And wrong and rambled

Don’t let them look

Another second

Read another word

Make it go away

Don’t know

How another

Will ever happen.

Because I don’t know

How can you

It’s the rent in my

Armor

That makes

Me curse the arrow

Not the quiver on your back

But you draw

And hold

And hold

And release

You don’t know

Where the flesh is

Exposed

Because if you

Do

Let fly

Give the respect of

Showing my pelt

Pride of place

Thankful for the warmth

I give

Me

I can take the cold

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

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

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

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

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.