i dreamt i was shot in the throat by a man who loved me.
he cradled me gently, nestled beneath his quilted wings
in the dim lampshade light of a Scottish hotel room
when he put the steel in the notch above my clavicle.
i dreamt i was shot more frequently in my younger years
by an older man with jagged stubble and antifreeze eyes
and a chilly smile, but the man who loved me was sun-soaked.
my mother often tells me my throat turns red when i touch it.
relaying some experiences with a nightmare recently, to explain how paranoia feels
He told me i was prettier in person
the night after we kissed in my best-friend's foyer
awkwardly missing the mouth because he was afraid
he would make a mistake
with a mistake
who had acne on her lip
and crooked teeth he'd luckily missed
when he kissed mouth closed
the second time
He told me Jesus Christ I was lovely
the moment I returned home
to cover my legs unfairly scratched by grass and flowers
with CVS brand diaper rash ointment, all over my fingers,
in my eczema cracks,
because I couldn't take the pain on my knees any longer
He told me to please not move
when I laid my head on his shoulder,
my unshaven arm round his waist and unshaven leg touching his own
and I could feel the bridge of my long nose
pushing in to the carotid artery where his heart pulsed faster and faster
as he ran one soft and gentle hand through my hair
and held my eczema cracks in his other, my grandmother hands,
that the other boy had called contagious, and the other girl had called
He told me he loved to walk behind me
though i had forgotten to suffer through bra stuffing
and wore baggy pants to prevent my knees against the trees
and my figure resembed a giraffe, knobly and unkept mane and all
He told me nothing
when He leaned in to kiss me a second time
and He put his hands in my mane
and His leg under my CVS knees
and His face in my Alligator hands
and my unstuffed bra near his chest
And His open mouth on my acne covered, crooked toothed mouth
because I am prettier in person
i met my boyfriend for the first time and i met myself too
you will never know how bright you are
because in the darkness of space all other objects are illuminated
but they would remain in darkness
were you not a star
They ask me why I go through the pain.
The pain of distance.
The pain of silence.
The pain of difference.
The pain of jealousy.
The pain of harshness.
The pain of helplessness.
The pain of bitterness.
The pain of emptiness.
They ask me why I go through the pain
And I reply that
Without pain there is no joy.
The joy of finally holding each other's hand after a long flight home.
The joy of a "how are you" after a busy day.
The joy of learning a new song or listening to an idea you'd never dreamed could exist.
The joy of relief when they say you are the one and only.
The joy of hearing quick wit from the living room, starting as a lighthearted chuckle, changing to boisterous and cynical guffaws.
The joy of finally hearing the tears begin to fall when they've been held in for far too long and you can move forward.
The joy of the break in the silence after a difficult day when the apologies flow like honey, slow and sweet.
The joy of finally being whole, when life becomes real and free, and everything before it a papier mache mystery.
They ask me why I go through the pain.
What a pity: they have never been in love.
Love is not a fairytale. It is an experience, and every inch of it is terrible and beautiful.
dancing was all right
until i finally found you
now it breaks my heart
It's waking up in the late morning and the sleep in your eyes bringing you visions of the world before time began. The vast eternal plains carry on into the midday sun while you walk towards the horizon. You don't need to be curious anymore.
It's lying awake in the night and your restless mind bringing you visions of the world as it falls to its death. The empty forest opens up to the sea, where the sun sets and you can finally admire the billions of stars in all their magnificence. You don't need to be strong anymore.
You don't need a reason anymore.
You may rest.
draped in sunlight she moved
with soft arm and solemn face
as i sat in the shadow
leaves and dirt in hand
examining her bare freckled shoulders
as she laughed at the mud on my face
and she'd read to me in harmonies
and she'd sing to me from the pages
and she'd laugh like it was something
and she'd promise me she was a calendar:
sometimes you see that people are there but you know that they're gone