I whispered your name into the inner
twisting curl of a conch shell, hoping
an echo from saltier waves would carry
it through shadow-rimmed currents until it
flowed softly along the shore, like my breath
settling across your neck
Safe in my watery church,
I quietly watch warm water-drops
gather on every bit of my thin, scarred flesh.
My eyes become moons, the demi-globes
of water on my skin become moons,
my heartbeats become moons, the moon
becomes an even nearer moon
and I pale in all that sacred bright.
(There are galaxies pinwheeling all around me and I can’t sleep.)
there is a malignance
festering within my bones.
night has hypnotized me numb.
it pulls Lake Michigan’s secrets in.
i stare at my cracked wrists.
there is mold in the crevices
of my mind.
i need stardust, to taste the burn of light.
the moon pulls blood from my heart,
shivers from my skin,
a sirens scream from my throat.
Lake Michigan sand rests within my bones;
it slows the timing of my heart
and scratches the vowels
budding on my wet tongue.
I imagine waiting for you
on a bench of ghosts
with coffee and binoculars,
observing the rush of continuous
flutter as seagulls settle
and then unsettle, as indecisive
as the mottled lake.
The afternoon light is brisk,
pulls my breath like a buoy chain--
my heart sounds like it's underwater,
its beats drive the tide
that draws you, like an undertow, to me.
Lavender thoughts hung in her heart, airing
out her blood with the scent of daydreams.
She wanted to believe in love letters
but a blue fox warned her not to.
Handwriting is a dying art he said between cigar puffs. Even we know that.
She longed for the purr of an R, the double swerves of an S.
The snow brought her breath to life
as she stood by the frozen pond, staring up at the stars and she wondered
if she’d ever hold someone’s heart on paper.
There's gypsy soul in my blood,
and airy with wonder.
I breathe best in water;
I trip too much
My hands are cold and dry;
I soak them in
I can't tell if the tide is coming in or
that I sit in showers
because water understands.
No questions. No judgment.
It just holds me.
It’s all come down to this:
prongs and damp curves
and lots of serration.
My bite and your bite
and we all
I left your yellow-brick road
and followed a forest deer trail instead.
I belong to the unknown.
My heartbeat pulses
like the north star
in my lower lip: I am, I am, I am.
My hair is humid; it curls like
I toss Petoskey stones back
to Lake Michigan
where they’ll be safe from
at least until they
land on shore again.
I suppose dreams are like that,
washing up again and again
on our eyes shoreline.
I awoke to a piano
lullaby ringing in my ears
and moon lyrics
whitening my lips,
goosebumps illuminate my pale skin.
The stars talk
to me: they blink
Morse-code. I drag
my knuckles along the blue
wall, force my skin away.
I want to see bright bone,
like fresh moon in the dark.
You can see bones in her slender neck—
like ******* knuckles gripping the back
of a dining chair.
She hums a love song while staring at the pages of a romance
novel, grey tea cooling beside her, sun fading from the room.
Her canary dropped dead in its cage. The mailbox hasn’t been
checked for days…
She has ‘Once upon a time’ tattooed on the inner lining
of her lungs, ‘Happily ever after’ carved in each finger-bone.
She is the one roses wilt for—the ghost of a fairy tale left
to a room with only the memory
My eyelids shutter-click
your face in frames per
second: your lips quiver
as you stare at me.
Did I mention that I am ****?
The clock you bought
from the gypsies scratches
at the bedroom air.
When you kiss
me and I kiss back,
I am not here--
my skin is, my heat,
I've left everything
here in this moment
even my pulse
I once held so tight,
like the lake clings
to the moon.
Not even Seagram's whiskey
can tame tonight's cold starlight
and I'm ok with that.
Reminds me of your blue eyes
that summer night we met.
Right now, there is a narwhal
bathed in the same moonlight
that drifts like a gypsy
into my room.
I am sure Bukowski had nights like this:
not enough liqueur,
too many thoughts.
I just pray we keep the moon in the sky,
away from our mouths, our teeth.
I sit here,
cat on my lap,
an evergreen forest in my lungs
and silver fish in my heart.
Your blue eyes are beneath these typewriter keys,
behind every sheet of paper.
“I will always find you,” you whispered as our stars ripped apart.
And you did,
on a May night warm with sangria and bonfire:
we made eye contact
and our souls crashed
into each other
like wave against wave,
starlight against starlight.
These 20 milligrams of Prozac
have my brain wrapped in lace:
warm blues and white sighs.
One white pill, each morning
to dull the blade of life
and my brown eyes rust
hazel in the daylight
the doctors shove me, face-first, into.
The sun is so much harsher
than the moon: it burns
holes in my vision
and I stumble and blink
until they scab over.
I do not howl or whimper,
scream or cry.
My face is silent
like the white-powdered moon:
wide and brimming.
It wasn’t until I looked through
that I realized oily,
black leeches were feasting
on my wild heart.
“Too many daydreams,” explained my father.
“Not enough light,” explained my mother.
I drank saltwater to dry them out;
I floated in the ocean to draw them out.
They would not leave.
My heart was draining.
I became white watercolor with
a hint of pink on my cheekbones,
arctic blue on my lips.
I only have so many heartbeats;
they smack against my rib cage
like birds hitting a window.
— The End —