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Sometimes I miss the abusive men in my life.
It's like the difference between having a bouquet of flowers and a broken heart... Or just a broken heart.
I miss having a sweet-faced boy sing to me, even if he assaulted me.
I miss being told I'm beautiful by the farmer's son even if he forced blow jobs on me through tears.
I miss coffee and books in the park with the boy who made me search for him in a nightgown in a snowstorm.
I miss the sweet dreams because even if they were just dreams, all I have now is nightmares.
I feel as though
I've been letting red wine pass through my lips
Tasting only it's bitterness and none of it's beautiful numb

I've been crunching on cardboard that I've mistaken for holy
And everyone else is too ashamed for my sake to call me a fool

I've been in a fevered, drugged up half dream, unable to escape the waking world and never having touched a pill

My whole perception is teetering and careening
Seasick between inability to escape, and everything feeling unnervingly too real

But nothing is beautiful in this fairy land.
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We'll wash our hearts with coffee until they become the color of the swirling liquid earth.

They'll breathe in the aroma and anoint  themselves with the curls of richness
     Dancing an escape from the brim of the mugs.

We'll pray to the weathered hands that harvested the beans that even in the biting briskness and cowardly violence of this world
     We may become warm and hearty and nurturing      
          like that with which we fill our cups.
If I could,
I'd blow away on my magic wishing ****,
But there are no dandelions near me.
There's no shooting stars
No guardian angels
and equally enigmatic and mystical,
No one who loves me.
I wish I could go back to tell the little girl I used to be that everything gets better.
That her wishes came true and her hope in those magic sunshine flowers well placed
But I hate a liar.
I couldn't do that to myself.
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Art might be beautiful as long as it's true.
I might hope I'm Sylvia Plath.
But at the end of the day I'm just an emotional wreck hoping my neurosis sounds like poems.
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That first night, I pulled out all the pulp of my swollen, pumpkin heart and showed it to you.
All full and wet and messy
You cupped in your hands the filling from your own heart
Much the same as mine

And we shared a likeness
Two souls born real and rich
Out of garden patch dirt
Full of gourds and crickets

I trusted your blossoms and your stems and your weeds
But you stowed it all away as suddenly as you came
And I'm still standing here
With all my stringy
Sopping soul
Sometimes it takes distance to bring fury.
The way my mother boils thinking back to what my father said to his children
     When we still were children
     And she hid behind a glass of wine and solemnity.
There's a quavering fire in her voice now when we talk about his **** fits
     replacing her quavering smallness from then.

When a lanky café singer
     who loved Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
Stole my breath
     … and something small and soft and white from me in a Monterey
     Monterey parking lot
I cried
I hid
I scrubbed
But you had better believe
I burn.
It wasn't my fault his hands were warped and crusted with filth.
His touching me
     did NOT make me filthy.

When the curly haired beauty
     with his biting, crinkling, smiling eyes
     that flash above his mischief mouth
Poured all his sweetness onto me
     Just to have me shocked at the bruises
     Purple and green and sudden on the heels of his softness ,
I was lost and confused
     and blamed myself for his
     swaddle-****** blows
I found my brimstone, hours later
     Lapping at my lips after a cardboard confrontation
Just because you have a vulnerable heart
     doesn't mean you have to be a coward.

     Just look at me.
I want to press your kisses between the pages of a book
     Like dried flowers from a June day
Your lips flutter over my cheeks, my nose
     the throbbing valley of my throat
And I'm convinced you must be a hummingbird

Each kiss feels like a bouquet
     You must have drank from the foxglove and yarrow before you
     flew to me
Your heart stutters under my palm
      Throbbing fast and full of sweetness

Tell me
     Do you understand how delightful you are?
Drink the sugar water from my garden
The cottage is always a little sunnier with you around.
I'm trying not to think about him, but I know his eyes, his mouth, his energy is there in the back of my mind.
Like a finger scraping down my spine
Like ignoring the lyrics of a song when you can feel the bass reverberating in your stomach
It's that nervous tossing and turning exhaustion after a *** of black coffee has left you buzzing
I can pretend
But who's going to buy that when you can see the mosquitoes prickling and buzzing about my cerebellum?
Being a star-crossed lover isn't all it's cracked up to be.
It's a lot of hurt.
But God,
I'd rather be hurting for him than not have him at all.
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Calling burns.
Sunset leaks from my lips at the touch of your name.
Orange sky fills my throat and belly and soft wisps of clouds puff beside my Cupid's bow.
You are the glow brimming along the edges of a dark world.
The precipice of peace and fire, tickling the jagged upcroppings on the horizon.
Melted sunshine, you overflow.
Liquid wax and flowers.
Passes between our lips.
You are treacherously beautiful
My tragic aubade.
How gently the rains of your face fall upon me. How sweet the dew of each kiss. How nourishing your body. Your chest and torso, broken bread. Your scent coils and creeps from you and I, buried in your crevices, drink it in. The intimacy of kissing your curls and the delicacy of meeting your lips. They all fill me. Sustain me.
I swallowed a pebble in a garden today. It was hard and thick and the graininess of it scraped against my teeth. I ***** the stones back up, shiny with bile. Perhaps I'm just tired.

I retch on cue and he smiles
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Sometimes there's something jarringly disparate About the fresh sea salt fog and the beauty queen moon of the Monterey wharf.

Sometimes you need the painfully cold sludge of a Cleveland street with no sidewalks and the crying skeletons of trees to match your black coffee soul.
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— The End —