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Corey Oct 1
It’s prom night, inclement weather,
when we danced I barely held her.
Blinded by the flashes of everybody’s blinking,
blinking phones.

The drama, straight out of a sitcom,
followed us around like hungry dogs.
Begging for the last scraps of our tired,
tired moans.

But better yet was the constant beggar
who wouldn’t accept any shelter.
Called my words as good as jagged,
jagged stones.

I began aching for some calm
But the beggar pried open my palm
And opened me everyday only to slowly,
slowly close.

It’s a calm night, my minds weathered,
and I think about what I’d tell her.
Every night, this is how it always,
always goes.

I think one very little wrong.
and off goes the string of bombs
Slowly tearing down my already creaking,
creaking home
Corey Jun 8
He
There’s a spider on his wall. There’s a bruise on his leg. There’s one pill left in the bottle he uses to keep the pain away. There’s desperation in the air and he doesn’t know how quite to say it but he’s spoken all of it. Only part of it. Only words that covered up the whole pain of it. Only band-aids over cuts that don’t need them. Only a map that will eventually lead him to the thing he has been craving. He is full of hating. He is looking around his world and has always been naming. A name for the plant that sits on the shelf. A name for the rock he got at the creek. A name for the chair that crushes his spine when he works at his writing desk. A name for his shoes, for his favorite shirt. A name for the night he spent digging through the dirt. A name for the day he framed his worst. And the next, the next, the next.

The next morning he had tea at sunrise. He had a bagel covered in butter. He had a moment of silence for every single wasted day of summer. The browning of the lumber. The gunshot of the hunter. Always dancing in the rain to the same off-beat drummer. Among the rain was dense heat. Barefoot on soft concrete. Strawberries in the refrigerator that nobody dared to eat. He spent the day outside. He spent the day sulking. He spent the day lying on the ground letting it leach the grief from his body.

Coffee in the evening. Window from floor to ceiling. Sitting cross-legged on the couch looking out and daydreaming. The branches just keep freezing. The pastor just kept speaking. The spider strung its web in his room and spent the day sleeping. And there he was quietly reading. There he was softly singing. There he was in another relationship only nodding and agreeing.

Creating a name for the budding flower. A name for the passing hour. A name for the feeling he’s had inside of him making him a coward. A name for the taste of sour turning sweet while it dissolves in his mouth. Clouds weep for they are proud. Lives go on throughout the drought. He found a space to let the desiderium seep into the ground. A name for how it felt to fall. A name for that silent phone call. A name for the process of growing new leaves after the old ones had been mauled. A name for the spider on his wall and the exciting new joy of it. The wild ecstasy of it. The violent liberation of it. The small simple things that bring the love of it. The love of it. The love of it.
Corey Jun 4
There’s that theory that people
only have a certain amount of light
to give before they need to recharge.
Given to anyone, in rations,
in parts by the million,
in trust, and love,
and jetted brilliance.
Give and take; push and pull.
But while my rations spread thin;
given to mother, father, brother,
friends, family, lover,
the dog I see on the street,
the plants growing in my room,
to the neighbors, coworkers,
the people handing out perfume.
to the books, the poems,
the music I play in my sleep;
I feel like I’m giving out my light by the heap.
An even spread, a tiny amount to everyone.
I feel like I’m treading water.
Your rations for me, well,
how do you have that much left?
How do you ration for grass and bugs,
for bees and trees and birds and lungs,
for printed shirts and coffee mugs,
and still give me so much?
How do you ration for finer things,
the kind that only your rich friends bring,
for park benches and silly string,
but my portion stays untouched.
How do you ration for food you eat,
for whistling lips and calloused feet,
and when you finally start to feel complete
another round of rations go out.
While I simply have none left to lend,
I keep on trying with an empty tank,
empty rations, and empty promises to a friend.
You give the times more than I can give
and get scraps from me in return.
Give and take; push and pull;
but the balance has long since burned.
You say I owe you nothing more.
You say I have given enough.
You say there’s one ration I’m forgetting;
myself.
You say that ration feeds the others.
You say, in time, your light will grow.
You said I asked you a long time ago for help
but when you gave me the solution I did not listen
and instead struggled harder, longer, to show
the people, things, places, the light I had.
You said my light has dimmed,
but of course, will grow.
Corey Jun 3
Every evening I walk. Every evening I take my bag of seed, hike down the pass, cross the creak. Every evening I go to the field with a ***** in hand, crouch down in the dirt, plant handfuls of seeds until the sun goes down. Every evening I lie in the dark.
On some evenings it snows. On some evenings the sky is grey, the river is slow and shallow. On some evenings I hum the whole way there, and others I need to convince myself to go.
I’ve never missed a day though. I never forgotten to buy the seeds, though the worker always gives me a funny look. I don’t always bring my *****, sometimes I like to feel the dirt, the wild grass.
I remember my father took my down to the water to look for crawfish.  We did this many times. Once we took one home, put it in out fish tank. It lasted a few days before it attacked our fish, we brought it back to the creak. My brother and i used to wade up stream as far as we dared. We never told mother. My best friend and I would wade down stream to the sewer pipes. We never told father. It was my cousin who first walked right through to the other side. It wasn’t said that we shouldn’t, but we didn’t.
Walked right into the woods, the thick of it. The tall grass, all of it. Winding path of dirt and stone and dead mice the outdoor cats hunted for the sport of it. We pushed branches out of way, crawled over boulders, and stopped where the path split. He asked me which way to go and I had to admit that I had never been here before.
Though now it’ so familiar.
Every evening I take the left path. Every evening I pass the willow tree, the old hunting stand, the decaying fence. Every evening I make it to the open field and remember the first time.
It was a late August heat, the sun hanging low in the sky casting light in horizontal rays across the field. A thousand crickets chirping while the gnats irritated the eyes. The grass danced in the wind like ants move in patterns, while the birds sang from the far tree line. The bees hopped from plant to plant collecting their harvest. The grass rose to our knees and weeds dominated landscape. Where there weren’t leaves, flowers. They were purple.
So purple.
Then black.
They said these cases aren’t usually closed. It’s not worth the effort to find someone who started a forest fire if it did little to no harm. The land belonged to no one after all. But they don’t see the harm. They’re blind to it.
My father says we were fortunate to have seen the smoke when we did, no harm no foul, there was nothing there. He says this to my mother, not me. I spent years trying to get him to see it, he would never cross the creak. My mother says she had seen smoke coming from that direction many times before and thought nothing of it, said nothing to anyone. My brother didn’t find the same beauty in it as me. He was older, liked being outside less. My cousin remembers that day fondly but it was the only time he was there, and he remembers it incorrectly mostly.
Eventually I moved out. Eventually I thought less about the field. Eventually I stopped visiting my parents to forget it entirely. They caught the kid when another fire reached my parents house. They moved. Eventually the land sold. Eventually the house was demolished, no contractors got permission to build. They tried a shopping mall, the tried a neighborhood, they tried local airport; nothing. Eventually they sold the land, I bought it.
I went down to the creak and crossed it without hesitation. Up the hill, into the woods, the left path, the willow tree, the hunting stand, the decaying fence, the wide open field.
Every evening I come here and reflect on the past. Every evening I come here and plant seeds of all the native plants. Every evening there is nothing to show for it. Every evening I know that my work is not done. Every evening I know I must continue to plant so that I may grow.
Corey Jun 2
Tea in the morning. Stretch the bed away. A jog through the neighborhood in the heavy morning light. Shower off the sweat, cold water on the hot days, I rest my head against the tile and forget to wash my hair, brush my teeth.
Clean my face. Breathe in deep. Swallow my medicine for the hundredth time. A few drops for the plants. A few drops for my eyes. A few drops of the lotion bottle when I’m trying to reapply.
There's a word that escapes me. There’s a word for going through the motions in such a way that you are exhilarated in your content. There’s a word for wanting your back on the floor and legs up the wall. Feet in the air. Lungs under pressure. Tight in the hamstrings and the lower back.
The doorbell rings, the dog barks, the lawnmower outside gets louder by the minute. Anxiety drives up the volume. The toaster snaps, the eggs sizzle, the air conditioning hums, the garage door opens, closes, the wind hurries past, the fly in the other room hits the window pain over and over again.
Did you say good morning? Did you say goodbye? Did you say have a nice day, I’ll see you tonight?
Did you say I love you? Did you say it twice?
Pick up a book, read a few words, get up and pace around for an hour. Stand completely still for the next. Lie outside. Photosynthesize: the birds are too loud, neighbors too talkative, bees buzzing by your ears.
Scrub off the feeling of disgust in the shower. The feeling of being overwhelmed. The feeling of sadness, hatred, pain. The feeling of complacency. Scrub off the feeling of needing to make accomplishments throughout the day.
I start the oven. Prepare the dish. Chop the scallops. Chop the beef. Mix the sauce in a large bowl. Wash my hands. Twice. Three times. A drop of meat in a searing pan. A drop of salt. A drop of doubt inside myself. Taste the meat. Breathe in slowly. Clean the kitchen sink.
Clean the table. Clean the chairs. The dog starts barking. Fly hits the window. The garage door opens, closes. Greetings. Embrace. Soft skin. Light kiss.
Clanking. Carving. Chewing. Calming.
Scrubbing. Splashing. Steadying.
Talking. Quieting.
Quieting.

Quieting.


Comforting.




Tea in the morning. Stretch yesterday away. A jog through the neighborhood in the soft morning light. Shower off the sweat, cold water on the good days, I wash my hair, brush my teeth.
Clean my face. Breathe in deep. Swallow my medicine for the hundredth time. Water the plants. Water my eyes. Water the dirt where my problems lie.
There's a word that escapes me. There’s a word for going through the motions in such a way that you are so far deep in a rut, you can't see the light. There’s a word for wanting your back on the floor and legs up the wall. Feet in the air. Lungs under pressure. There's a word for the person who can convince you to stand up. There's a word for the rush of blood to the head. A word for the small victories. A word for good days and bad days. A word for saying thank you a thousand times over. There's a word that gets stuck on a loop in my head. A word that encourages me to get out of bed.
Corey May 29
I cut off a piece of my plant and propagate it, but I’ve done
                                           this so many times I don't have an empty ***,
       so I offer the clipping to you which you accept.
                               I'm running out of space in my room. The shelves are dark walnut, the walls are ice-y white, the book that sits on the
                             nightstand is creased at every page.

You visit twice a week and we talk about
                                                interior design and the way a yellow
                           throw can liven up a room. You want to get out more but sometimes struggle to find the motivation to move.
          I wanted to name my daughter something regal and eloquent
                                                  but you don’t like my options so we
                                                                ­  brainstorm for hours.

                                                      We count the stars, you ask for more.
                     A new home. A large backyard.
Build a greenhouse with reclaimed wood. Think about the rain
                                  on the windows. Think about the oxygen. Think
                                         about the energy the plants give off.

                       The house is full of light, surfaces regularly cleaned, the magazine on the coffee table is about jazz. You laugh out loud,
                   you dance in the hallway.
                                                   A painting hanging. A **** drawing.
The washroom with white honeycomb tile.
                         A cup of tea when you’re feeling anxious, a cup tea
                                           swaddled in a blanket, a cup of tea and we crawl into bed.
Corey May 29
you told me once that i was nothing more than second-hand
I asked you please don’t take my borrowed heart for something dammed
It’s been working day and night for a long time now
Beating through the longest winter and an historic drought

I tell myself over and over that I’m ready to mend
But I’m scared to ask for help in fear I’ll cry instead
And when you pull me under I can’t help but let myself drown
wondering who will be there when my body is found

I’ve got scratches on my windows and bruises on my knees.
Through all your ******* innuendos, can you hear my pleas?
My voice is too weak to shout “this heart belongs to me”
When will I be free
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