Australia is on fire
and I imagine that I can smell
the burning fur and flesh of
animals I can’t even name.
I’m full of ****.
The truth of me is that
bushfires a world away
are not the reason
I haven’t been dry
a day since Christmas.
The World’s Problems
do not keep me awake.
Syrian children with melted skin
won’t ever feel as real as
knowing I have not looked -really looked
into the eyes of my own in months.
The m&m’s the Vraylar drug rep brought are real though
they are as real as the number on the scale.
Which is at least as real as my boss
when she used the words “corrective action.”
Which was at least as real as my ex-husband
who is back to the job of propping up his half of my life.
Which is at least as real as The Boy who is a friend turned stranger
who wrote the poem I stole those words from.
It’s turtles all the way down.
The shallow words you offer now
will never begin
to fill the deep chasms
you've eroded into me.
Into the heart, soul, bones, brain, sinew of
When we were still new
you had already begun
to chip away at
But you said
with each raise of your maul
“I love you
and I would never
do anything to hurt
but NO ONE
had ever loved
I opened myself wide
and you crawled inside
to make yourself a home in
I was empty before then
and still I am empty.
According to Bukowski
I should have let you ****
In the moments before death my brain had flooded with DMT
And I could see in my mind’s eye all of the best that had been between us.
From somewhere above my body I silently screamed that the DNR was a mistake
I was comforted then in knowing that you would soon follow me into the dark
-a willing victim of our shared cancer.
I had seen your hospice nurses and heard your death rattles for years.
Even still I longed so much for you to grab the paddles and force me back
but we had agreed not to resuscitate;
so paralyzed I watched my life leave.
It was first with a whimper and then with sobs
that I grasped wildly around the small pitch box
in search of you who had promised to die with me.
I found instead more darkness, the smell of dirt
and that not even the ghost of you had come to lay.
I can sometimes hear you eulogize my goodness from above
when you come to pick the flowers I’m growing with what is left of me.
I won’t reach for you anymore as I did last night.
I will lie very still.
Without a whimper.
This may still be a work in progress.
I stumbled upon you
Like a child
that finds a pretty stone
Bewildered by your presence
I sat and admired
Counting your cracks
Caressing what makes you glitter
You stood infront of me
Bold and beautiful
Like nothing I'd ever seen
And as you gave me your attention
I think I misconstrued your intentions
I wanted to put you in my pocket
But you said no
So there you sit
I can only visit
the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
crawling in and out
the bone and the
for more than
there's no chance
we are all trapped
by a singular
nobody ever finds
the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill
little dark girl with
when it comes time to
use the knife
I won't flinch and
i won't blame
as I drive along the shore alone
as the palms wave,
the ugly heavy palms,
as the living does not arrive
as the dead do not leave,
i won't blame you,
i will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I
offered you what was left of
and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
our morning coffee
our noons our nights
our bodies spilled together
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
who made me laugh
little dark girl with kind eyes
you have no
knife. the knife is
mine and i won't use it
My body is a rugged mountain pass
whose dangerous peaks and valleys
call out to the hubris of would be adventurers
with its hungry siren song.
Lovers have come the world over
with their maps, pickaxes, fire starters and rope.
Some brought tents intending to go the distance;
several with flags to stake their claim at the summit;
a few with pocket knives for carving their names.
All leaving trash on the trails as they went.
“Did I make you ***?”
they would ask believing in their foolish arrogance
that their movement and noise were really capable
of causing my avalanche.
Covered in the sweat of my labors in Sherpa-ing them to the peak
I whisper “Yes.”
Understanding in those moments that some things cannot be taught.
Only one ever came truly naked -without intention or ego.
The many times he found himself cresting my summit
it never occurred to him to pierce me with his pride
but instead he kissed the earth beneath him in gratitude.
He always moved through me as if he had gone this way his whole life
and yet still could get lost on the trails of a single limb.
He made himself an eager student of my skin
and produced waterfalls where before there had been none.
Singing songs into me as he studied my topography with adept fingers.
The echoes of which ring through me even now.
Never was he concerned with the ridges
for he being too preoccupied with the beauty of my slopes
thought of them only as trail markers.
The songbirds in the trees of me call always for him.
The animals of my wilds stay hungry as never before.
A small fire burns constantly for his return.