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Jun 2019 · 100
elle Jun 2019
You built me, years ago
And in a fit of tears what began as a question, an act of creation and letting go
became a
celebration of the unknown.

I was born from an idle whistle,
as the doe walked by the picture window,
as the kettle screamed
imagined rhymes and futures drifted on by her,
like knees knocking on the swing set, hair that stands straight out, cheeks flushed in the rain.

Now we sit at the kitchen table
like it's the simplest act in the world,
to love
to have given life
I don't want to be a walking womb
I want to nurture, with my whole body-
heart included. I want to give and receive equally, the joys and sorrows that mortality bestows us.
I want to know,that I am more than a body. That the thoughts which echo within me, bounce back into the universe
with some symbolism and clarity
with some recycled dirt and magic
and with my consent.
Jan 2019 · 354
dilation/ she
elle Jan 2019
through the slit of her mouth
where dandelions smiled
begging to be
uprooted, undone
in a cosmic sigh across this endless leaf, the Wind she
turned her back to us
what felt like a yawn across a fatal gorge
and down below, the tremble of her core
lifting up our dreams in outstretched fists
of flower dust, from a time before
close our eyes in unison
breathe out
the tune   of our birth,
which our mothers' hummed in their sleep, our being
only imagined
in their unfathomed dreams
Jan 2019 · 78
A call
elle Jan 2019
I, a blue jay, circle your driveway
And you, a child beneath my
Calculated swooping wings, stare emptily.

And I, the
Net you peek between
Sweaty fingers, chain link fence
A vehicle of crass but fated feelings-
Your follow-through
Your thoroughfare
Take it: the ball, the eyes, the roaring noise.

Inquisitive yet silent
Such balance becomes our solemn dance
Of hunter and the prey.

I sing to you in looks and hums
And hand on belly you
Eat me up.
Jan 2019 · 2.0k
this bleach
elle Jan 2019
it seeps
under my fingernails into skin
doused in clean! the filth is killed!
then I spit at it.


caress my brow in a palm, any warm pocket of flesh
a grandmother’s *****
the spine of a leaf
my dog’s velvet-soft triangle-shaped ear
anything that will let my grief get some rest

sorrow is heavy trash bag to haul

find me a bellhop or a sidewalk construction man
something with biceps and a hardened face. someone who can clean **** up.

these shards could maim a bystander
         why force one to bleed such an unnecessary truth
wouldn't want to wreck these shiny floors

better to keep it hid, better tighten my lips around it
I mean,
how do -you- feel under these fluorescent lights?
who is studying who?

I understand now my circus of an existence was born
in a tight space
between the exhausted description of my histories
-the official ones- and

these secrets,
the juicy stuff
encrypted in me
Dec 2018 · 619
elle Dec 2018
how the seashell
screamed so faintly in my swollen, pinkened ear
labored from listening

mama's face open,
all lit up
and how she whispered "it's the water,
she's calling you

and I
turned on my heel
fell into myself
my little face, stone-cold

and the sea
she got me
quite figured out

the lurch in my stomach
was her, and her
millions of
of doubt

we stopped the car at the ocean
and you all jumped right in
and I
hung back-
of the black, crashing abyss
Nov 2018 · 130
two sides
elle Nov 2018
mouth gaping and open
beneath this once-trundled bridge
the southern crust met the northern

connected by water in which
trouts dance and
ladders rot

we search for our reflections in the
dead of night
seeking a something
we cannot find on either side

who will swallow us whole,
the water or

thought of this on the bus home over the big bridge tonight
Nov 2018 · 665
it is all soft.
elle Nov 2018
the pursing of brown lips
Earth as she inhales
feet which prance quietly across
the folding of pink hands

corners of a dark room, melt
by candle
billowing shadows
cast and crowded into Darkness,
who is holding hands with

embrace of opposites
stark and subtle dance together
a fluid

one being, like a river

undeniably roaring

Such is the transience of anger and
flightiness of love

who call upon us
even in the scarcest of moments
Nov 2018 · 145
elle Nov 2018
starch and static,
it hangs above and
residual softness strangles me

Your tepid breathing, arms an
lain across my path (your chest)

Are those wayward willows eyeing me?
How many t's and trees will speak to these stormy,
stable days?
in my haze I felt warm and held
it irks me now

your home is closing in on me. I've got to sleep in the driveway. I know
your timers, I see your calendars
like your squared and timely, equal breathing

There is no comfort, in death that is daunting
She waits on those who measure
plans etched into palm,

toil jumps to erase them and
the peacocks and pitchforks all hung in your kitchen
sit and embrace her,
continue to hum
in the straight-backed chairs
and new steep light
seeps back
over our prospective life
Oct 2018 · 193
our God is the city
elle Oct 2018
the sunset
and it’s fury beating-
stretching across your face
restricting, conforming
thin plastic over space

this city dies every night
born again each morning to fresh laundry
and hot trash
steaming in the beaten streets

this city is beating
thousands of hearts clapping
at our own demise
muffled, behind closed doors
hidden, like the heart of our one, true
dead God

in church halls and train station platforms
he sings at sunset and again each dawn
at every note his hand
reaching out to you
across impossible time

the wheels of shopping carts all screeching his name
his message, his orchestra

but our struggle, our bleeding
just for this love-
stifled and fleeting,
still beating in our stolen,
swollen hearts
Oct 2018 · 158
elle Oct 2018
pull myself out of a sewer drain
try and shake off
such heaviness is condemnation
but it has seeped into my clothes

I reek
walking down crowded, sunny streets
tears in my eyes and
little girls staring up at me
Oct 2018 · 197
can you hear me?
elle Oct 2018
I started to eat the mailbox,
could not bear to hear from the outside world

I slept in every morning, to put off going out

just imagined you reading my writing
with cruise control on
and a contagious smile spreading

I started to **** the house plants
and dress more promiscuously than ever before

even a glimpse of eye contact might qualm
this rage or
fill the well
which has grown here

can you hear me?
from across this abysmal pond,
it sickens me,
so swift and crashing below

can you see me?
dancing in your living room,
all of eight years old

well, I’m a woman now

and I still need you
Oct 2018 · 581
elle Oct 2018
each New England home you’ve moved into
and out of
creaks the same
under my changing weight.

the porch sags,
sporting chipped paint
from years of cigarette breaks
spent shuffling, feet dug into wood

flimsy locks and screeching mailboxes,
the basement granite walls
and clunks of the laundry machine,
speak to me in familial hums
as if to sing,
stay away.

the same centipedes
scurry by my feet
as water falls deafeningly
I’m frozen in time.

staring empty-eyed into these brimming closets,
my vision strains.
florescent light
gleams across shut picture books of
treasures lost.
nothing left but old habits

found, as tools to our escape.

even I’m still slipping up,
and into the courting beds of lost men
mothers looking to me longingly
bearing sad smiles and gifts, as they lock the liquor away.
every son’s depression tugs the same short leash

knowing this much,
calms me.

home is a sad that
hangs dry in the cool thick air,
a sad that feels like November
like drenched rain coats, muggy with our heat
and after school how we
sailed paper boats
just to watch them drown in storm-sewer drains

home rings like
the bell of every summer heartbreak,
which coddled me to sleep
then too, shook me sharply.
only to find myself deserted

a ship at sea,
my heart buried in sand, again.

home is
the heavy drought before the rain
it stands on our heads
it dances past our eyes
it lives in our reflections
teasing us,
as if to say
we’re not allowed to cry.
Oct 2018 · 459
elle Oct 2018
is across the room
welling in her eyes
as she thinks of her country so far away and burning
to the ground
every night

grief seeps in and
under our skin
burrows tunnels in our bed sheets
mapping the places we tried to forget

he lives on the tip of my tongue
a language I can’t speak, but mindlessly hum

grief is the anchor in my grandfather’s ocean
the sky and the sand,
the captain to his call

spreads like vines
a yawn across the bus
stitching together our string-thin lives

grief has touched us all.
Oct 2018 · 165
train thoughts
elle Oct 2018
I see myself, over a blue pool
teetering on this slab of elevated plastic
an invisible hand covering my
insatiable mouth
something tricks me forward-

a dome over our heads, we all wake up in sleeping bags
who am I now?

young and waiting

looking out at the
train graveyard, tracks like teeth
the mouth of a shark
an underbelly roars
below me,
the cogs of a machine.

I woke up in a dream again
of my dad, young and in love
of the beach at sunset
of someone warming my hands in theirs at a bus stop,

waking up between nights
to the smell of summer and
lost time
Oct 2018 · 271
elle Oct 2018
starch light, wet wood
leaves drip overhead

I look out my window,
morning sweeps up from underneath, pink light
the mist over our fields, guides me to the coast

hanging rows of laundry,
gravel under bare feet
the wind sighs through my sheets,
and sings herself
into me

I keep changing my address-
and fresh dew lights the way
no concrete stairwells or cigarettes
no tab on my path,
just laying in the grass

with a new book. with my quiet thoughts.

I’m a girl in the woods,
here to greet my big sea
and touch the dirt with my heart
I'm a girl
inside my mind, and right beside my body
I don’t need your city. I am

elle Oct 2018
I saw you withering
before me, like I felt the air in my diaphragm build up slow
then fall out shakily.

I saw my grandmother wince
put her hand to her mouth,
side-ways gripping this tiny Chaplain
who’s name I’d forgotten, the moment I heard it.

I saw my cousin staring deep into empty space, his nervousness illuminated
under harsh hospital light. My uncle’s red tie screaming in this room of too tired eyes,
wearing reddened faces from crying.

The fear of this reality bit at our ankles. We shifted in place, we talked about the Sox game. We dared each other to keep on pretending to carry on.

Through this blur,
I saw you underneath piles of tubes.
Lain upon the bed a shattered man
shoulder blades peeking upward and out in what was poised to be
an eternal shrug
head hung, eyes fluttering, only held up in increments of straining. Straining to be part of this conversation about nothing.
About your impending death.

Rounds of tears and silence
rounds of nurses coming
and going,
rounds of knowing
then suddenly,
not knowing.

Propped up by a tank of air, a bag of liquid, a ton of pillows and the slow-burning will to live.
It’s hard to see the end coming when it’s around the corner. It’s hard to feel the truth when is rises up inside, hot tears and quivering words. Before you know it, you said what may be your last words to him. Before you know it you’re in an elevator, then a car, then you’re waking up and it’s months or years away. But you will still feel it- that hot sadness, that burning ache for that tiny space carved out in you, from when he gripped your hand so tightly and opened his eyes and stared into your face. His presence firmness so captivating, like my face held his only hope, like it was the only place for his big blue eyes to lay their path on. Like he is still looking at me. For answers. For a tomorrow. And I try to live like he’s watching. And I try tell myself he is.
Oct 2018 · 360
elle Oct 2018
the world folded in front of me when Collins said, "Nevertheless"

TO claim womanhood and 'championing' the rights of those left
lifeless, left
left to give birth without choice, to rot inside

and at the turn of a comma, disregard your
people. your state. your country(wo)mens' fate.

to turn a key
to throw your sword to him,

a ******

there is a ****** in the highest court of the land
it is not 1514

when the streets are teeming
with rage and age-old wounds,
re-opened, gushing
with truth for you.
we bellow our truth for evidence. we are living PROOF FOR YOU.

when half of the world is screaming, from their front lawns
classrooms, desk jobs
to the ruling class, we
p l e a d
write letters, leave voicemails,
wait outside til they return,
get arrested, demoralized just trying to get a word

So, we wait
Patience, is the strategy they say
"We’ll get to you one day! You chose us, and it’s our duty to listen!"
they say,

well look at where it’s brought us today
a ****** is our president
two rapists on the court of courts
they run our media outlets, they pay off the people in charge
and pay off their victims to silence us

and here we stand
in our 'Homeland'
survivors of the daily toil, just trying to eat, to make a safe home
we shift and pay our way through this unending maze

we are walking wounds
and I do not feel safe
if this is home i want to GO
very far away.

We are silenced, our voices drown out.
We are beaten in our own homes.
Our opinions are unheard or unwanted. Our lives are unwarranted.
WE live and breathe this unjust air.

This is not when men had birthright to the land and a hand of a wife
this is not when black men were a fraction of a person
this is now
and it is the same.

when rich men have the birthright
to the key to our tomorrows
our childrens' and our childrens' children
will suffer
this system has us suspended

merely a change of scenery
but not one rule has changed,
fundamentally, it is clear to me
we live a rigged game.
Sep 2018 · 109
elle Sep 2018
it’s all eyelids and teeth
skullcaps and rain drops

and less and less of me

January 15th, I had a dream

I dreamt the mountains split open
and of rain,

rain on an early wedding day
too foggy to see who was taking my hands
I dreamt of lightning reaching out to wake me
I dreamt of a world where weather could overturn this
human devastation

One where the words of men
didn’t leave people barren
Sep 2018 · 1.6k
elle Sep 2018
theres no grief like another day
with each foot
sunken into the sand-hills of contradictory continents

straddling this divide of time and language
the ocean has been colored red
from our aching hearts
since they hammered these border walls up

i’m crying at my computer waiting for my best friend to answer
i’m crying while i write this letter to my dying grandmother,
under her covers
an ocean away

i’m hoping for a call to me
a distinct answer to which
side of the shore i belong

each time i look at my reflection half of me is gone


strewn across unforgiving terrain
the stretch of an abyss
only as far as the stitches on my left hand

the six hour time divide, waiting for my sister's awakening
to tell her a dream of us holding hands,
which i won’t recall by
her morning

what is the divide anyway?
except an inherent part of my heart

i carry the world within me-
spilling rivers
crushing waves,
but it still feels so far apart
Sep 2018 · 535
elle Sep 2018
Ripping hands from around my throat
prying greasy thick fingers out from
my mouth

screaming inside
grasping the tired air for a chance to speak
to breathe
to take up space in this room I pay to learn in.

men standing their ground
men taking my ground
men raising their voices
men shouting above my words and trying to prove me,
prove this theory, prove this gay professor
not just here
around every corner, behind me in every parking lot, too close in every line, every bus seat, every elevator ride

breathing down my back
always there to contradict, take back, rephrase
laugh louder,
humiliate then divide and conquer

sitting in the front to hear the words first or
sitting in the back like a king at his throne
superimpose these whacked out standards for my clothes,
my *****, my tattoos, my smiles
my frowns

bench pressing their superfluous beliefs that they’re under attack
when I flip them off, when I lead them on, when I run away, when I talk back

hard headed and white knuckled
clutching to their masculinity,
just like my throat
Sep 2018 · 83
elle Sep 2018
fireworks explode over lawn chairs
anchored to the summer grass
it is family tradition

like the the cringe on her face
as she is being shaken awake
deafened by explosions--
a war

that she did not agree to wage
born into a fit of rage
the ****** of a tidal wave
the red and white striped lawn chair reclined
atop a native grave

but we’re looking away
clapping our hands rowdily
amused and swelling with
4th of july, patriotism, colonialism, native americans, pride
Sep 2018 · 202
staying home
elle Sep 2018
cupboards clash and bounce
startling my heart
the sounds of this empty house
waking me again

already weary by the very thought of daylight coming in
goosebumps ride my skin
and the compost rotting inside me churns
i tell myself these days will end
but there’s not an end in sight
wash myself with bristled brushes
and rinse the pans with care,
watch the water drip through the ceiling
but the neighbors upstairs
aren’t even there

my feet tread circles
small trajectories to map my self contained
stick my head in the oven
just to see how deep the dark goes

let me replace the people i once knew
let me
blanket my misery,
air freshener over mildew
tablecloth soaking up spots of blood
cover my face in make up
to mask the fear
i don’t dare to show
elle Sep 2018
they still reek of stale smoke

like the golf-green front porch of this widow’s home
years of promises enclosed.

And the dead men
they’d lined up all day
one by one
just to pass through

And when the last one has left, like an alley to death
your body is but
a cave

holy in its’ loneliness

no man’s words reverberating off
the walls inside your brain.

when your body stops being a hallway

no longer weighing their heavy thoughts, their pending deaths
all their could be’s making your worried skin
ripe with sweat

you pull grief out of yourself
like weeds,
ripped from their garden-beds.

all wrapped up, lifeless
spun, in their careful webs

when finally, they shut themselves in their coffins

and your death guilt has dulled

your dreams will condemn
all the dead men
as you watch them shovel dirt
all night to
bury themselves
side by side
Sep 2018 · 126
elle Sep 2018
sharp tongues
and fuzzy eyebrows
a dead fish mouth with a hook to the side,
a lazy, lazy eye
you haven’t listened the entire time
as she is breathy with stories and the life of a young woman
but you pounce (i saw you crouch)
at the adverse ideas, that we live in a space and time
much newer than yours

that my boss could be a woman before he was a man
that my friends might look and sound and feel different than you

but who are you, stuck in your room, glued to the tube?
to spit such fire, to set ablaze a hope i’d raised
and coddled since it was a sprout
who are you to raid this land, and damage it with doubt?
a man, a-fraid
of losing what he’s won

dreaming of those
olden days
of fighting, just for
elle Sep 2018
how many Junes will
run me out of home
how many summer nights
undefined in their destinations
ending only
empty-handed, no stories itching to
leap from our tongues
dried out from heat
that hangs from the sky
like the skin on our backs

we wait
until September turns his back to us
until the leaves trail the ground
until I am too
left barren
laying in these streets

dark nights
push me face-first into
a new year

how many months
will phase me
until I start to see the world
instead of fold?
Sep 2018 · 336
the city is dying
elle Sep 2018
in the air I breathe, dust stirs
and old men stare
kick the concrete in my way
but don’t cry in public!

sidewalk stale trash smells
creep up from below

children yell and the elderly saunter
space full of lungs and shouts and smoke and thoughts

there is firm and fatal
there is passing and translucent
wafts of fresh bread, intimate eye contact, the jump of your heart
it all passes
and soon too
the city passes
and all that’s left is this limp air
daring you to keep on living
Sep 2018 · 1.5k
elle Sep 2018
I am drinking water that is meant for the plants
I am singing songs I used to sing for my dog
but she’s dead now

and I talk to myself while I scrub greasy pans,
read messages but never answer.

my vocabulary doesn’t stretch the length of expectations
by now I know that my silence sends the right message,
clearer than my hand-picked words
when I feel my blood boil and my brain lunge to keep up
I shut up.

they are just waiting to speak
at me and
I am just trying to sleep
Sep 2018 · 785
Another poem about waiting
elle Sep 2018
like bathing, all of this waiting
stillness, silence
a pin submerged in water

or a wide-eyed boy scanning the sidewalks for his father
groping the dark

an abstract art

the effortlessness in the breaking of this vase
fine wrinkles in its maker’s hands, deep creases in his face
his pain disintegrates
a million pieces on linoleum 

that beautiful vase.

then suddenly
becoming a chorus
of chaos and moaning

this waiting,
this hayride
my swollen balloon

it’s lifetime is numbered
in pieces of you.
Sep 2018 · 524
r ever end
elle Sep 2018

careful man, hey

yes, you!
with the suit
and the beanie hat-
folded hands
hands bathed in contradiction

let those grinning demons in!
our crowded hearts echo of repent

each ringing in your hollows
Q-tip squeaky clean..

O, Reverend
Mend me! 
teach me
how to take and take and take,

and still look upon this turning world with empty eyes
Like no lives are at stake! 
Like we are actually brave
Like we are really awake

As if all is only
left or right
black or white
day until night
lines then spaces
words only prayer
built upon prayer

never can one do harm without intent

never would a holy man
two hands
sewn by God— 

you must be remembering wrong.
Sep 2018 · 85
elle Sep 2018
i’m just intestines

pink and squirming
screaming, alive

the angry bird-heart in the mouth of a cat
still thumps
grasps for some meaning in these untimely events

and my head
the inside of a rattle
all the beads fall senselessly

sharp noise which cuts the air like a knife
but cuts it deep
and hollows it out
like love

and softer still
and from inside,
a voice

spouting out from the throat of a man
who i did love, once

his yell
answers mine

our intestines and intentions
finally aligned
Sep 2018 · 1.2k
elle Sep 2018
I can’t discern between the thoughts conjured in
the empty space between our words
and those I let float out

Unapologetically, woman

passive I,
let your fingers trail
the cracks in my mind.

I bet
this isn’t a game of
who is listening,
but who will say the least.
Sep 2018 · 1.9k
This body
elle Sep 2018
what is this body but a vessel to you?
carrying your what if's and
your unborn children

a fixture
to *****.

This body is but
curves that turn
and cut your wit

dim forest
that you trail-blaze
converting rolling hills
to farmland
unearthing soil,
to dig your pleasure graves.

what is this body to you?

But two bouncing *******,
under a cotton summer dress?
what is this body but lips spread wide
open, teasing
a flash of teeth?

does it make you break a sweat?

what is this body but your chess piece?
mantel piece
piece of ***
strip tease
a body
beside you
to look down upon
and fake a smile at
in photographs

what is this body to you
but a vase?

to fill with your complaints
to empty your sorrows into
to empty your ***** into
to let down
then help up
to coo over and
cry on
and cry on
and cry on

— The End —