hold my feet

maybe you know the way we are falling

the way that I must sneak

with turned-in nails, cringing against

the wall of you. there is no loss

in long eyes – I read you every day,

splintering on door-sills and lintels. Do you know what fires

lap up the last? How can I forget?

(Sh)anonymous

in the centre of what is supposed to be good, Dreams speak my truth.

little blood speckles from mozzie bites in the sapphire evening, and you

 listening and loving. (forgiving) Both caught up in the quiet, fire

pouring from your throat, smoke teases up

spelling burnt hope into the tile roof.

– oh, you. Still friend. Still real. Still here.

I don’t need a dream this time.

eye contact

sudden, unconventional family waiting for the bus

dripping rain on our luggages, 1am Chicago time. The pilot Matt (or was it Mack?)

says this is the first time he’s seen O’Hare like this. The woman in the red jacket agrees

and hugs her purse close. When the Country Inn shuttle pulls up, we rush

squeezing into seats, holding each other’s luggage and making room for standing.

Matt is the last one on. We bounce down the highway laughing, making jokes about

spring break and beer runs. “I need a drink!” people keep yelling as we pass

shady convenience stores. LIQUOR. BEER. CIGARETTES.

For these twenty minutes, we become best friends. I say something

and everyone laughs. The guy next to me makes a comeback. (Do they know

this is my only dream?) We pull up to the hotel’s automatic doors.

The round Texan man with a barbecue drawl lets me out first.

coterie

(The Mindy Project says

that psycho people can make friends. That I

can make friends that stick. I will run up stairs

to find them. Gamble for it. Dance in the dark.)

The girl who did my nails had bright blonde bangs

and we talked about “down the shore”. Maybe

I am actually from somewhere. Maybe I have a tribe.

My Delaware valley accent is back. Outside smells

like the Easter baskets Nana Wagar gave us that one year.

I’m under the gun again, but with so much home stored up here

I can get back on that motorcycle and cruise over these buttery roads.

Someday he will sing “Sha-la-la-la-in love with a Jersey girl!” and I

will be that girl. We will stack rocks at the Cape May sunset.

The band will play again. I will get splinters on the boardwalk,

hell, maybe even a spray tan. No one would judge me for it.

My wanderlust has been beaten, frozen out of my heart.

I just want to sleep till noon and wake up somewhere

safe. I want to give my kids

this sandy soil, as it pours through my manicured fingernails

and (no one called me “weird”.) they will pluck tulips

and yell,”tractor!” The old folks church will smile

and take them out to breakfast. (as they loved me.)

april of last semester

if we loved the way that we were told to –

following that film mirror perfectly

 – you be strange enchanted, I, glowing naive,

cut the scenes with screams and yells

frustration exhaustion anger bitterness

all the days we can’t make eye contact.

would then that idol, effigy

the standard become the norm?

 

barbarian waiting

Is it wrong that I let others speak my mind?

though I am so unbelievably dumb – I would ask you again

to slap my face, but I cannot dictate precisely. What are these words that

my mind whispers? Even hinting at them

implies betrayal, but betrayal of what? of Whom?

are these shapes something worth mentioning, or

shall I still silently ponder,

in this spontaneous, aimless, underthought fashion?

Do you know what you have said or how it has been received?

Of course not. Never. We construct relations from that

which we choose to share, those facets

that roll forth when our die is tossed.

Even those who claim pure genuine expression as their own

are limited by their own tongues, which cannot

trace shapes in colour or even communicate some

internal form of unconsciousness:

We can’t explain our dreams in the morning.

Are we limited by intonation, inflection and implication?

quietly, my toes on a windscreen say otherwise

as we speak physically. I believe in hands reached out,

so I leave mine open-palmed and everything drops.

Perhaps, in utter black, we would see clearer

no longer attracted by these visual limits, but

borne on words alone, love fed outside of

all but the person. Perhaps then, honesty would be less trite.

In short, I am baffled by intimacy.

For that is really all we are – darkened blind figures reaching out, if we’re lucky

in a world we cannot comprehend. Logic will not love you,

Rational empiricism will not make you less alone.

These birds and bees restlessly flocking in your mind

must meet with similarity, or drown in the black.

CCH 2013

as usual, we do not live eye-to-eye.

Everyone pulls out their technology and sits alone,

dicing, marring, rationalizing beauty into tiny pieces trying to Understand.

what you do not know: the quiet cloth is my dream

I glow with it, I grow in it, white-hot is the clarity in me.

Fear, the orangey-pink shapes that attacked me in the subway that night

were from your lips. And yet no one said anything.

Maybe that is why I have painted you all in vomit, for

we learned how to eat each other, but we could never

keep it down. All over the walls.

this time, we’re brushing to gold, raising spirit glasses

to our eyes and lips. To new beginnings.

three chicago friends.

maybe I just tripped and fell into you

I was so tired, your every word cushioned my weariness

more than you know. I leaned back into years of security:

we are still friends.

I still know you and you remember every

detail of things I told you.

No judgment at all. In fact, you love me just the way I am.

We laugh together, sunlight

and transit breezes pull back our hair and we squint, grinning.

I reiterate: “I feel no pressure to be anyone else!”

and you take my arm in yours, making sure

that I don’t walk too fast or slow, that we

are wholly together and here.

Then I cried on the train

because you poured love into me and filled me with hope.