I think sometimes
about the thing lost
inside that bar bathroom stall
And about the blood
that had flowed effortlessly
in brilliant, shiny-red globs.
I said goodbye then—
to the accident I never wanted
or even knew existed.
Take me back to a different hotel every night and living out of a suitcase. Getting comfortable in our naked bodies around each other; comparing breast size and stretch marks—examining ourselves like the men who’ve carelessly fondled us before for our likes and dislikes. Sharing a bottle of lukewarm tequila in the world’s smallest bathtub and then I sing you to sleep. Highway cars buzzing past and there’s only one road to get lost on, but we manage it every single time. Your car becomes a dressing room at gas stations where people stare with disapproving glares and worry for the safety of their wallets; because we don’t belong here but we laugh—still drunk from the early morning hours and just trying to find the next check-in spot for the night. There never is a real destination but home always seems too close and we both hate that part. It doesn’t feel right when it ends or when I have to crawl back into my own bed without a time frame to be out by in the morning—before the housekeeping maid comes banging on our door,
It is fascinating to listen to the world wake up in the morning. It’s as though everything is still and frozen in time that even the birds are hesitant to start their morning songs. But then suddenly, as the first stretch of daylight crawls across the lines and rows of rooftop houses, you can hear the whole Earth start up in stages. First the signaling of the distant trains, their own morning song in a way I suppose. Then the rest of the neighborhood follows suit in a chorus. Car engines rattle on to melt the ice off their windshields and they too, groan and moan not yet ready for the daily grind. I picture people sipping their coffee while their kids quickly and hastily brush their teeth to make it to school on time. The buses stagger in lines to greet them at their doorsteps. One by one the birds unruffle their feathers in the treetops and begin to rise in song. The streets that just lay undisturbed moments ago, pristine with a thin layer of 4AM dew, are now bustling with car exhaust and scurrying street cats who are simply trying to get out of the way. And you in the midst of your tossing and turning murmur something in your sleep and I wish I could lie here forever.
A lesson in prose poetry.
The local convenience store dealers lean on glass windows with ****** pupils scanning the parking lot for any takers. I pump my gas on station four and spy from afar. Don’t make eye contact or that means you’re interested. No buyers yet. What do you suppose is on the menu for today? Judging from the amount of zombies I’ve seen pushing stolen shopping carts a block away from here, I’d say smack. Tar. Black. ******. Whatever they call it where you’re from. Welfare bodies withered down to just flesh hanging from bone, wandering around aimlessly for their next fix. I’ve only ever tried it once; I was curious and sad and it was there—in Violet’s hand and then in my lungs. Do you think my mother would cry out in those disgusting sobs of snot and heaves of not-being-able-to-breathe-tears if she knew? Do you think my sister would look at me with that glare of judgmental disapproval because yet again, here’s an example of why I’m the family ****-up? Do you think my father would smack me upside the head and call me a *******? Probably. And do you think my third and sixth grade teachers who told me I should one day do something with my writing would be gasping in disappointment? Definitely. The gas pump clicks off. A potential customer staggers across asphalt to meet his makers and I am no better than he is at this very moment.
A lesson in prose poems.
An inhale, exhale
I bend, you press
We hold and we lean
Through sweat and salty skin
His energy pulses through me
In momentous bursts
Of pain and pleasure
Uncertainty and unrequited love
Dance inside my womb
And flutter their wings to make their exit,
With the fragile whimpers of my breath
In a final act of exertion
And a careful execution of timing
Our performance comes to a euphoric end
And I fold back into myself,
Hoping to take a fragment of him
I ask myself if I’m making a mistake
How can everything fit together so perfectly
Yet keep coming apart at the seams simultaneously?
You want me
So just say it.
This dance of “what if’s” that we keep practicing
Is not making either of us
Any better at our footwork.
It is so strange
to see someone else
reliving one of your past lives,
spitting out the same words
you once spoke.
I think of all the different lives
I have lived over the years
And I mourn the losses
of all the personalities
that I will never get back.
Time is cruel like that;
it just comes barreling through and
But I suppose what comes along with the taking,
is also the giving
of new faces
I cannot say that I wouldn’t have it any other way,
For I think we can all agree
that we aren’t given much of a choice,
I catch myself looking at him
and wondering if there is still a glimmer
of hope for us in his eyes.
It is your birthday
and my heart hurts,
I want to kiss you
but I know it’s forbidden now.
When I was a girl
I would always go for the most marvelous
flowers at the local garden to bring home,
And my mother would say to me:
“No, those won’t last. You must get the ones that have yet to bloom, in time they will become even more beautiful.”
I believe this could have been a metaphor,
If only you’d have let it.
I can’t do this;
Exist with you, not existing with me.
of hair glisten
Soft, solace scent
of an old home
Goose feather pillows
Blue veins disguised
inside cautious hands
Embrace me, radiate warmth
And with the utmost careful placement
of glasses on her nightstand
For Mother’s Day.
In a dream,
the millipede pleads to me
for his freedom.
I look the other way
and as quickly as he
emerged from the dirt
He is gone.
A new beginning;
A do over.
Time does not stand still
But instead moves rather slowly
and sneaks right up on you.
I blink and everything is changing;
In a hundred, wonderful different
shades of blue.
My biggest fear
is that he marries her
After having spent an entire lifetime
detesting the very idea of it.
I am forever
plagued by noisy yard work
when trying to sleep.
Skipping class again
because of anxiety
I don't need more sleep.
It is my birthday
I am crying in the car
27 looks real rough.
Men are dogs;
You can hardly call yourself a brother
With no respect for a father's daughter: me.
A man of God are you?
Plead to him for forgiveness, for your wandering eyes
And unfaithful hands.
It is men like you who lust for me,
As if I'm to fulfill a fantasy
Or be your one time secret
I will never be anyone's one time secret.
If your sons had been born daughters
Wouldn't you want them to do the same?
I want to fall in love
and eat fresh figs,
plump and swollen
dripping from my lips.
But most importantly
I want to feel free,
Free to do these things
without question or worry.
Something you never gave me.
I remember naps with you
God, your arm
Can we go back there?
Even if just for one day?
my heart was bursting then
and I can still feel it now,
in the same way that I can still smell the salt
on your skin.
Everything I've ever loved
I've gripped by the neck,
feeling the air escape
And when they go to eventually leave
I've held on, kicking and screaming
to their pant leg
Demanding an answer to the question of "Why?"
That I really never want to truthfully hear.
It is always: "I don't feel the same."
I remember an old man, wheelchair bound
His body crudely sewn together
with bolts and screws.
his bones wouldn't stop growing
and breaking within his tiny, feeble frame.
He offered me a metal plate from his shoulder
after his next surgery; I pictured ****** flesh in Ziploc
But alas, I never saw him again.
On the visiting ward of the hospital
I ask my mother one day how someone so blithe, despite their condition
could end up in a place such as this.
She said depression doesn't discriminate;
The constant nagging, piercing pain he lived with daily
was enough reason to search for an end to it all.
My mother was right: depression stealthily maneuvers
its great tentacles, its black, feathered extremities
across the minds of the unknowing, the unsuspecting, and the undeserving.
It is a black sludge sickness, spreading from generation to generation
And somewhere along that genetic timeline, her and I,
Sitting across from her at scheduled visiting hour
I am reminded how our roles were reversed here
just years earlier.
They say time stops for nobody,
neither does this beast.
And just like that,
the warm summer nights begin.
The desert's short-lived Spring
mostly undeniable in the cooled evenings.
The palm fronds swaying in a cowardly breeze,
the ruffling of bird feathers, housed in their pine nests.
All to be replaced by the chirping of the crickets,
the shrieking of the cicadas, and the yelling
of cats in heat
of quarreling couples nearing their ends
of babies too feverish to sleep
of lovers exorcising their souls through open windows
for all of the night to hear.
— The End —