You have one headphone in the left,
the radio in the right
as a stranger drives measures in clefts of night.
Kiss him how your feet kiss sand or
a soloist breaks off from the band
until the pianist beckons him back,
tuning deft fingers to a single track.
Open your ears to sound’s wordless talk,
beats in a measure a half-step off.
Blue’s lips tactless, ******* you down,
Blue’s lips fastening ankles to ground.
Then sudden and brace;
a rock in the road,
an anchor thrown
as you're caught between verses and words you don’t know.
Then sudden, the break;
Notes shift under toe as the ocean lets go.
When God sowed darkness and the Devil a *****,
Abuela dug so deep
her oldest son fell through.
I dangled my constellations like ghosts that might
carry him to the surface,
a grip hard as ice,
a grip twice as thin.
Inertia yanked ten in two --
five fingers, pop;
ten fingers, stop --
he took them all down, the
tendons’ endless unfurling.
I, ladder, endlessly descending.
He, father, ends up standing.
This morning, I dream of a birch tree bench
upon which she strews jars of sea glass,
filled with blues and greens or something inbetween.
Sunlight shifting like prismarine snakeskin,
shed where sky meets eye, dyes the white wood underneath
in bisecting lines that ripple and breathe.
Thumbing at sea glass, I see her smile, circa redress,
in a pile of polaroids passed over the wood by
hands neither she nor I possess.
And then I see me, my head leaned into hers,
two gray trees grown too free. Hairs tangle and end
centimeters from the edge of the bed.
That’s when I cry.
Beneath two trees planted too close,
below silver halide wiping blue and green from her eyes,
in black ink that's yet to dry, she leaves a note
that I can’t read
this is a dream
and we were the lie.
I had a bittersweet dream this morning and decided to process it through poetry.
I met gravity in the deep end. Saw that god is just
a stadium light casting for bacteria at the bottom of menisci.
When her hands held me under, I forgot my name.
Seven years later, the water remembered me. A force timed
and terrible dicing my skin, grinding my scalp into unsieved wine.
Three point eight billion years came and went, a single exhale.
One day the ocean will consume me. She’ll claim my eyes,
pick my bones. Then pluck what is left
and bury it under the weight of every raindrop.
I have heard her pacing the foot of my bed.
I have smelled myself on her breath.
The snow layered thin upon the rooftops,
lining the neighborhood with rows and rows of bleached skulls.
People crawled forth from toothless mouths,
baring their tongues to a leaking ceiling,
their heads covered like hidden fists.
Clenched in each was the fading ink of bottles
trapped in the carcasses of beached whales
who finally met that distant shore
and did not turn away.
One day I’ll get over this need to relate everything to the sea... but not today.
Bifurcated, broken thing,
longing to belong again,
hangs with hangmen from a string
along a wall of wallowing.
Speak of pain, he speaks no more
but rasps his voice against the door.
Save me, sir, what is in-store?
Salesmen smile and take the floor.
Cauterized with spit 'til dry
lies the spider with the fly.
Of one, blood made two one-alike.
Awry, awry, what's left is right.
Lonesome at last what alone begins,
ten hundred is but ten handfuls of ten.
The hunted, hungered will soon bends
as all are lost as all will end.
The earth dreams of meteors and a frozen age,
a sea of sunken giants clambering towards smoking forts,
white noise that gathers like sweat on a green brow.
Drill and fill calcium with gold.
Her iron heart beats a recall to order,
bellowing from primordial pipes to send Your cruelest sun.
Bury a man and he stays
under your fingernails and in your pores, bleeding
out in every sweat drop and tapping
on the earth your favorite bass lines, becoming an itch
you only get from lying
on airport carpets knitted like mating tarantulas
or from picking at the underbelly of a scab.
For months you’ll smell like him.
Like a dead man’s hole.
I know I called you
a cupcake without any makeup on
so that my friends would laugh
as I picked you apart on the cafeteria table.
But when they left,
I held your crumbs together
and reminded you that you were healthier.
aptly named was
green blushed red
red burned green
so i shook
We make scratching posts of cats,
call it nature’s design
as if God were the sun and to save our eyes
we turned our voices to the moon,
singing to the shadow of a bigger man.
night bursts open
egg sack spills
there's no sound in space.
so you did.
with pine slivers
plucked from vertical thrones by an unpolished stone,
becoming the ripple that would knock charon to the floor.
the ark bowed down,
drenching us all in the needles of your sunken oar.
Sunset smoked itself a desert fire.
Somewhere across the Atlantic,
you were busy painting your own horizon
when the steps of morning met the sea.
That night you learned clocks don't really tick,
just shiver and sigh.
— The End —