my fingertips bruise
along the imagined
arch of your mouth
i am sorry i never said
ng wort h mu
i carry your bones
the sad smooth curve of your ribs
i cleansed what was left of you under the tide
bantling, n. a very young child.
she is organza and rough, nubbly raw silk
that tears your fingers
and bleeds you purple, sweet.
civilizations rise and fall
in the curve of her mouth.
and they'll be sun, and fresh pages, text spilling, twisted, frothing at(out of) the mouth, they will be ghosts, transparent, don't touch wet paint, fingernail ghosts. symbiotic isn't smooth, biological, organic twining of vines you could cut with a nail, picture frames of postcards of gilt china and five sixteenth caviar plates. rhythms follow their own pattern, a set onetwoirresponsiblenumber of a monday pattern, rash birds, ink birds beat in the thrumming warm alive of you. curled, embryonic coats in white and grey form three barriers in notes of bibliophilia. sleeping aniseed furls sails of pretty youth and immortality, secrets -hush!- in a tiny box of a hand, palm first and shining.
a slithering urge rips up my appetite by grass-like fistfulls,
an urge to condense
falter every thought that has the audacity to contaminate my psyche.
the gentle thrumming under-skin is knotted firmly
to the drum of words tapping.
a shell, its contents,
tearing, perforated and utterly whole.
wring the rag
gulp the freshly stolen, assimilated goods
and spread the contents of your stomach for special exhibition.
she leaves pauses,
pregnant and lingering,
until the route to the next unmists.
a familiar pang gasping,
urging now shout and dare and spill
spill invent a new word for the pulsing
of yourself rising within yourself,
like so much bile,
fuck as you please and leave careful notes
until the entirety of your vocabulary is spent,
burnt to a nub.
dab, we’re spitting,
moisten our fingers
and spread an understanding fear
quickly on our foreheads,
a mark of thoughts unread,
reading themselves and tying
knots in chewed, spat-out
hair, textured thick and tuggable.
how you’ve changed,
apologies accepted and regurgitated,
a roughening granite pattern
pressed on your skin
for attention purposes,
a knowledge bank.
a scream flips itself,
fetal in the wires of your words,
read underneath, through the sickness
there’s a density
gentle and curved,
it waves funnily at strangers
and cowers in front of that black dog,
she sleeps on the porch
because of her lack of emotion.
my loose hair hides in the pockets of my clothes
calves and elbows jumbling tiredly along the gravel path
that leads to the road
that leads to the only quiet place
left in a city
the strands close their eyes individually so i can dress
the blinds are plastic
and it's too bright to nail a blanket over them
so i make pancakes
blond hugs the black of my coat and declares illness
washington doesn't have a secretary of commonwealth
which means the question is blank
the concept of death lies parturient in your mouth,
swollen and festering, writhing in itself,
as weighty as a missing molar and just
retch and gag,
spend nights fishing for your soul
through your stomach,
you are beating bus seats
for dust, for dry little particles
that will hopefully soak through
so you sit there,
your awkward little hands folding awkward little birds,
as if you could inhale your own paper wings.
so you sit there,
and you think
about you watching the people and the people
not watching you.
and i whisper darling,
darling the only thing you're good for
is reading walt whitman out loud
to your used-to-be-white walls
until your throat chips, and your eyes dust over.
and you just shift your weight
and shake your head
buzzed in your ear.
i am a thing dug of poetry,
and mangled into death masks
for the tortured,
burnt, and drowned.
if i slept, i would sleep
between your fingers,
then twithe down to the padded
things that hold your words,
bend them in a kiln
fired hot by the breath of
if i were to eat,
i would consume the entirety
of your vision, swallow
the rods and cones
to curl in your tear-ducts
and taunt by holding
back the curtain
just long enough for us to smile.
if i drew, i would outline
myself on your forehead,
as a stamp, swim under your skin
and carve each bloodcell's
name into their limp, cracking
foreheads. if i breathed,
breathe in your humanity,
and char it, exhaling
only the cinders to
gift on the outstretch of my palms.
i am the death that
in the mouths of others,
tacking their days on my body
for a high. i am
more tired than you,
but i will be around for longer.
the people look like ache,
shriveled and lost inside
their twisted interpretations of movement.
we're tired here,
spitting out apologies and
niceties, the things expected
of a well mannered member of society.
looking at the hands passing by,
wrinkled and lined with everything
it's exhausting to think of every life you've contained.
she'd burn out before i wake
and be replaced by packs of whiskey
cigarettes and outer space
then somebody moves
and everything you thought you had has gone to shit
broadripple is burning.
the windowsill is hilled,
shoved into lumps and valleys,
too frothy for flight,
heavy to be held.
the pane of glass separating
twenty degrees from a cool sixty six
would shatter neatly,
somewhat like poured sugar
or the skin of a balloon,
stretched tightly and then
the asphalt is stubble,
unshaven uncleanliness, blackened
by ages of rain and snow, seattle slush,
still elastic when a rubber
ball hits it, throwing
to be clutched in a moist
smoothed by the run through air,
skin traced by blue (ish green)
my stories are writhing under your hands,
remember when we shed
everything of us in portraits of airports
you'd never flown in, in
descriptions of raindrops i'd never tasted,
remember when i twisted
sideways, fell smoothly out of your mouth.
the expectation of sanity
as you emerge from a nine-month womb
a waving sensation of breathing
overtakes instinct-driven lungs
and that is when your humanity begins to dissipate.
do your invisible friends get recycled
when you decide that society is more
important than imagination?
if we're all hiding something,
people are entirely too polite
when you sing loudly in their inane
faces. sometimes expression
is the best way to get ignored.
stuffing cotton and paper
down your throat, does not,
in fact, shut down your emotions.
shrugging off your body,
in an attempt to be god-like,
on sundays i ask myself questions without question marks.
like: how did you figure out that i hum when i'm afraid.
like: why do my parents call themselves christians when my younger brothers sound racist at the dinner table without knowing the term.
like: how old is the term 'hipster', why do people name themselves after spit-upon-ground-up words, what is the number of swallows you could conceivably snap the necks of in an hour.
am i writing this.
do you remember talking about mental disorders and broken beer bottles on railroad tracks. do you remember wishing we were younger and then forgetting that in the haze of 'growing up'. do you remember asking me why i never wrote i with a capital and spewing on about the underlying self esteem issues that represented and why do you say that, you don't have any self esteem issues, do you shen. do you. do you remember talking about rubbed pink thighs and ladder arms and elbows too bent out of shape to hug someone. do you remember the month when i would only eat rosemary and olive oil bread and you didn't speak, not once.
some people write about bones and teeth and the skin scraped under nails when you blackout twice in a row. some people write about the decay of humanity, and some people blather into the air on buses, the stale air between business men and crying single mothers, some people blather and whisper and write about the space bar and aluminum foil and finding themselves when there is nothing to find, because that. that is quite a feat.
volcanoes and thunder storms, bolts of lightning and heavy clouds, heavy eyelids, lead coffin words and the whirling dervishes that spin holes into your palms sometimes. these are the things little girls are made of.
i was going to write a piece using the word we entirely too often. talk about the slip of your palms down my cheeks, the floaty high after you don't sleep for forty-eight hours and then skip gallantly through the albertson's parking lot. i was going to write this immense prose with weaving metaphors and phrases that begged to be spoken. a piece with a moral, about a boy and a girl, or maybe two girls, or an animal and the voice that haunts it. about a willow bride with gauze wrapped firmly around a puncture wound. describe the inner monologue of a park bench. but maybe not, because that would be deleted.
i could write you a letter, because you know who you are. or the empty waterbottle that is staring mournfully at me, or burlap sacks, or the words that i speak of constantly but never speak.
a house in your palm, roof and glass windows taken to a microscopic level
and destroyed in the name of philosophical reason.
today my fingernails are finally growing. nobody noticed, but i haven't bitten them in almost a week. i'm very proud of myself. last night the letters in my notebooks swam. maybe putting off writing is a good idea. the christmas lights are starting to go up on the apartment sills out of my window. mine have been up for two weeks, but it's exciting to think that the holidays have actually started. soon i'll get a tree, and breathe pine and lights every day.
i walked on my roof today. all the people scuttling on the ground gave me a headache, so i sat and swung my feet over the edge. you'd probably say it's too dangerous, but it feels alive to thump the building with my heels. my tea came in the mail. it smells really good, but i put it away until you come.
dear grains of rock,
my cat died. the last thing i said to her was get off the bed. i have only ever cried over you.
sincerely, wild portions of the ocean.
tums taste nice. they're all i've eaten today, so i thought of you. you'd feed me, wouldn't you? put a sandwich in my mouth with my hand. i poured my leftover tea into the street from the top of the building. black tea has zero calories, which is a pretty number. it almost hit a child skipping, but he dodged it and held onto his mum's hand more tightly. that made me sad, so i thought of you.
more love, waves.
the tea from yesterday isn't yours. the ribbon is tempting, but i shan't. shan't is another word i've learned from reading european fairy tales. especially that one about the sprite in a woman's body who falls in love with a knight. that one's pretty. i missed your voice today, more than usual. i'm tired without you, particles.
i could not feel anything but your grassbeats under my fingertips, quicker in the anticipation of neck-snapping.
"i hope you know that we are so very sorry about the accident. there will be measures taken to ensure that nothing like it occurs again. freshly, our extremely sincere apologies."
the curve of bird spines decorated my eyelids, question marks displaying assumptions to the turnablindeye world.
"no, sir, you are the one who is incorrect. the blood you see isn't really there, look at it. look at the transparency of your hallucinations."
october grew three heads and shredded the chunks of grass it ripped from the ground, spreading you as mulch across stranger's flowerbeds.
"three hours ago, a messenger twicely found you screaming and ranting about various invisibilities on separate corners in this very city. can you explain?"
i stood on curbs and spoke for change, spoke through three woolen ideas to the desperately closing ears of people that refused to look quietly at themselves, look at their thoughts without noise.
"no. we have broken you. there are not voices, nor stars, no hexagons spelling curses onto your forehead. look at me! sir, you are undeserving of a name."
ghostings are immensely entertaining things. i hope you'll come on one with me, some time after i screw my thoughts back into their shoulder-blade space.
i want to scream you through my mouth.
i don't have to exist any longer, as sun
shine or stretched clothing that doesn't
fit any longer, the shirts in your drawer,
the scarves fumbled with and discarded
underneath the stairs of a community c
ollege. if you want this, would you tell m
e. i don't have to step outside this door,
not once or twice without you. because,
of course, there are better things. i don
't think i make any more sense than pre
tty birds that cheep unicorn songs, and
grow shelters for their green-houses. i
could write you a song, if you'd like.
when the sun shines for the second tim
e, i'll let you know. right now the clouds
are labelled grey, and drawing islands i
n the discovering sand does not remedy
seasonal blues unaffected by the medic
ation of your smile and racing for play-g
round swings that cut up my thighs any
way. if i could put you on repeat, i woul
d, but life ain't youtube, and people ain
't paintings you can put in a frame and
hang on the wall, they ain't songs you
can listen to until you go cross-eyed wi
th giddiness. i'm not new anymore, i'm
words i've already written, places i've
already been, i am people unfamiliar b
ecause i've talked to them for so long.