smokey

curled around you, oddly intimate

maybe you love me? I want to keep you

in the hollow of my hip, leaning

so tightly-soft together; I pull my fingers

down your slate-grey spine and you arch

Halloween-style

little paw-toes uncurl

lamp-slit eyes in the dark

(hum-purr)

Advertisements

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.

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.)

gator ride through the orchard (easter)

the tractor growled, and we flew down the hill,

twisting, turning through the trees

steering handle spinning as we snuck past the fence

“This is illegal, by the way”

the grandkids are screaming, half fear, half delight

that grandpa would do something so reckless.

mentally, I am careening back across that Arcade highway

the snowplow shatters us again! I snap back to reality

jolting, the grass is high and the road is rubble

the steep hill we are climbing, fast

like the road to Kidepo, soaring over the stony hills

swerving, sliding around in the loose shale

even the dirt matches, it is orange dust

and I am 12 years old again, home and free

after burning season, the grass comes back this green

and the ash leaves charcoal traces all over your white skin.

fair son (fort portal, summer 2013)

upon leaving, the last a terrible tirade

I wandered home, a great explorer from Europe

skin glowing without light, hair dark from too many shadows.

We slept on tinder, a great tree-built tradition

high in the elephant-grass hills.

the walk down to the lake beneath us was long,

and I burned my soles, arriving dusty to the enveloping tree shade

where I fell, over the rocks and into the murky greeny-brown

ka-splash silence

everything suspended for a moment

and break the surface to air again

still aching from a year of misunderstanding, my form

my frame, my body

just really wanted to win something, do it right for once

so I began kicking, arms pulling,

working every muscle till it burned

I slowly swam, the far shore my focus

rocky, looming, dramatic grey cliffs

it seemed hours, but I used the last bit of my strength

to heave myself out of the unknowable darkness

tearing skin from my arms and legs, I collapsed

heaving air into my diaphragm as I lay beneath swaying palm trees

bleeding onto the rocks, water and sweat diluting each drop

running from me in rivulets, soaking the fallen reeds

(I conquered fear of the unknown)

and I couldn’t see the far shore.

distanced hypothesizing

“poverty and death” said the classmate

self explanatory, the overused overwritten idea of something

never experienced completely known

to the point of cliche.

 –

I –  in whom these bitter texts

ring and resound like churchbells in my ribcage

painful, horrible truth

guilty of wealth, seeing that which is untouchably impoverished

– am incredulous that this hideous,

so close to my heart and home

is so easily exhausted when never encountered.

dear anna VII

you with your piles of blond hair all wild,

evergreen eyes, you’re the one I wanted to find

when you woke me up, for my heart

falls just where your chest is.

You would have laughed to see me

stumbling, trying to dance today,

standing on the wrong feet

you’d make time for me, I know you would

because we read the same books

and you love Lana as much as she deserves

and you don’t get surprised when

I am covered in paint and crying.

in which I express how much I do not understand the youth of America and their social inconsistencies

one night on after a night off, it’s

so frustrating the way each of you check in check out

of my life, our relationship. “You can trust me”

“I’m here for you”, etcetera. You have my number. This

is supposed friendship and connection, supposedly

we are friends, yet when I turned

you down you walked away to find

someone who would say yes.

So when I am spent, broken, wrecked

and hurting so, so badly, I cannot know that you will be there. Many

are not interested, they say I am melodramatic and over-the-top.

“I just don’t know what to say”

as if there is a right answer to this question – Help me?

silence is a no. thanks for that, by the way.

Last night, I am called upon

to wipe up blood, clean cuts

wrap one up in bandages and make a cup of tea

because no one will respond. This

hyper-individualization of self expression makes

introspection a dirty word. Your selfishness

is cowardice, but of course

what you have to say is most important, most relevant, most true.

Ridiculous. Sickening.

The point is, a semi-African girl will handle this

attempt at suicide willingly because

all we have is love and that is enough. God,

find us here and help me survive

these individuals.