art teacher

I want to scrape together your shatters and remould them,

working my fingers through your cracks, the places

love has been torn away from, your insecurities

burned away in the kiln of my hands. (fire of angels, fill me)

I will use my nails to scratch off the gluey false security,

let it wash away in the water, leaving paint.

You are beautiful, creative, and capable

let me help you see that.

packed/storage: south jersey

tight chest & gleamy eyes

gaping out the window at some memories

which flow over the wide grasses

the flickering trees that flash by

as sunlight dapples, shades, twists

a hint of nostalgia, the recall

of something good. Spring has sprung

what can I fear? this is real, I think

or at least I was

loved here once

seven hours

back home, this would be an adventure

I would know what to do

something great would happen

and we would eat chapati on the side of the road.

Would. But we are here,

I am windswept, arms folded, staring into a stream off the shoulder

of 215.7 southbound at 7:00pm (it’s getting dark, we have 4 hours to go)

and the engine is spluttering. Maybe it will explode.

Every pothole will be a curse, every damn trucker

will be stress.

Will.

Panic & Attack in America

a girl screamed like an animal and I woke

only a screen and ten feet of air

separating me from their fight

the Jersey Shore turned ugly at 2 a.m.

I cowered against the pale wall, swaddled in dark sheets

the only light from the porch flourescent across the way

flickering punches and profanity flew thick

she kept screaming, begging on her knees for them to stop

pulling on their clothing, now torn and bloody

my heartbeat in my eyes, resounding with

dull thuds of knuckles on flesh

scrambling for each other’s pain, falling down the stairs

their faces broken and twisted, they were not human anymore, I shook

and they tossed a tanned shirtless [someone] over the third floor balcony

she shrieked and was cut off, thrown into the wall – “shut up”

my windpipe closed just in time for the cops to show up

they pounded up the stairs yelling, guns waved around

she was crying softly now, I retched into the sink

mascara running down her face as they barked questions at her

I choked on

a horror in me awake, that visited

every night, the fear

that feels like dying

and nothing will be or is

beautiful;the demon animal in their faces

that triggers a break  in me, of mind and body

I am eaten and fall

it was meant as a joke

racism begins with ignorance, so

why is it an accepted excuse?

“I didn’t mean it/I didn’t know”
do NOT

remove the hurt, heal the wounds, hold the hearts

with a thoughtless joke old heartaches are broken

in haste, we waste

time could have said “this is a bad idea”, but no one asked

the point is, an issue is raised

and this is our chance to fight for the right side

get up, stand up already against

land of the free, free to be

(a little bit) racist?

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.

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.