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ASB Aug 2015
you liked
red nail polish &
the smell of gasoline;
the molecular structure
of oxygen.

you liked orchestras,
dinner candles in empty bottles,
the sound of moving trains, you

cheap ballpoint pens
  & you father’s new cigars.

you played philip glass on the piano,
put too much ice in your whiskey,
only ever cried in the shower.

you only owned one DVD.

you used newspapers
to light fires in flower pots but
never read them —
you got the news from the radio
in the car, when stuck
in traffic.     you ran red lights,
balanced on the edge
of the universe as if
was a tightrope
or some nihilistic punchline.

you had the courage of stars
and wildfire eyes — I tried
to find myself
outside of you.

you called me ‘baby’ and burnt
my lungs
with your perpetual cigarettes


I cannot
(there must be some kind of way out of here
said the joker to the thief)
ASB May 2015
talking about court cases
and history of law.

casually talking about
****** connotations
in some poem or other
when I still try to find them
in your smiles.


I had moved on from that
a while ago
but when you mention

well, anything, really

I still kind of
my mind.

you'd think after years I'd be used
to your eyes and your hips
and the way that you speak and
your voice, how it sounds, but
I'm not, I am

over you.

except when you're
ASB May 2015
she started crying over the phone
again and it was
as if I was trying to come up for air
and she pushed me back

I say it to myself at night like a mantra

I am not my mother I am not my mother

she loves me but then she left me
over and over again
she loves me but then she said she didn't want me
told me to leave told me she didn't want
to see me anymore and that is what I learned
love is.

you are not good enough (she said) (but not
in so many words)
(and maybe she didn't mean it but) it is all I ever heard.
you are selfish (she said) and
who pulled you out of desert sand, mom, who
talked to you and did your laundry and who
held you when you cried and which one of us
told their child about their dreams of suicide and
why was I the selfish one and why do I believe you?

I forgive you, I think. I wrote a list of 50 reasons
to forgive you and I do but sometimes
my heart breaks a little under weight of your words.

you had no more to give, I think, you
did the best
you could.
the day we threw my father's ashes in the ocean, you
walked away
towards another empty grave.

he sank.
I swam.

were buried
ASB May 2015
there is us.
not really, not us
anymore, but there is
I'm here, too.

I never believed in
my sorrows
but you said you do it
because otherwise you would
drown in them.

I can't drown in mine because they are
not water, but a tunnel or maybe
a pit
of blackness.

there is you, trying
to stay afloat.
there is me, trying
to clim brick walls.

you need only to swim but you're tired -- so tired;
I need to ******* learn to fly which human beings still find
to do.

and so I am trying to be a life raft
and so you are trying to be a ladder

but at the end of the day there is not
us, anymore.

there is you and me and
is a glass jar in wonderland.
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