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GC Feb 2015
We slipped into the same cold
March, forgetting each other less
than a mile away, shifting
life from death:
some sobbing blue, some receiving sun.

You took lemon and salt
to salmon, oil and a cube of sugar
to dry skin.
I wear hats on bad hair days
and don't drink enough water.

Did you know all our spoons were wiped clean
from our kitchen
in a blistering July?
I can hear God's small voice
in a rare fantasy
before I realize it's your favorite
show on the television set
in the living room thirty feet away.

The calendar's propeller
brought us to December.
Iris petals are tucked
into journals. All the cable lines are down.
The lemon trees,
uprooted.
a rare love poem
Feb 2015 · 409
Wedding Venue to 3035
GC Feb 2015
My scalp is hot from ironing my curls out. My skin is burnt
from the callous on the tips of your fingers and your nicely kept nails

while mine are brittle and broken. I pick at the fire for a second or less, fall
asleep to the touch you left

so I wake with warped skin, pink and wrinkly
at the surface. You're not there yet. You keep your pores clean

while mine will fill and flush. My knuckles are paralyzed:
you, fluid.

Four years of collecting kindling, of poking. The last of May is in my
sweat stains. There is bonfire in your hair.

Our joints move to mold

, your world shapely with straight lines and perfect
acute angles. Mine, obtuse.

You're the only one to ever tell
me I was beautiful, and look at what it's done.
Dec 2014 · 285
apology
GC Dec 2014
i'm beginning to wonder if i'm making these things up in my head
from boredom or maybe because i was socially misinformed on the
ways that one responds to advances and putting i in you and yours
did nothing other than let me know that i'm a fool, my god, every
memory i tried hard and fast to forget comes to surface, and it hurts
but more than anything it makes me wonder when the **** i'll learn
the lesson you and yours have been trying to teach me all this time.

it's more than just banter and it's far more than just the loneliness on
both our ends, it's all in trying to fill the voids that were left by the
coldest of weather and the memories of our ears bleeding when we
didn't know the time or day or place but we knew that it's not supposed
to feel like this, as least that's what mom always said - no, no it's not,
but i think i’ve come to terms and i think you’ve been forgiven but i
don’t know quite yet so don’t hold me to that for i’d hate to turn into.

i was chugging a beer the first time i tried to forgive you but freud has
a name for that, i think, even though freud is an idiot who says that one
day i'll find someone just like you and fall in love with the emptiness
of the promise for the void that you left to be filled but everything is as
hollow as the straw i sip my *** through, ***'s my only connection to
you and it's the only thing that i remember you being so committed to
and the only promise that you ever made was to ***, every night, until
every other promise you made was forgotten because you fulfilled the
only one that mattered in the way you and yours could never do for i.
Nov 2014 · 687
the Sunflower petal
GC Nov 2014
in the middle where I start,
dark ebb, dark flow.
     The Alice in Wonderland:
a washing machine on spin -
weaving this and that 'til
it's just dips between the strings, just perforations in the canvas
     that tear and break night into

pounding pavement,
bringing ocean's hairline to itch and flake
and radio waves booming
to tear mesh 'til texture.

     a post-sodapop hiccup.

     the jump and stumble of a green button-up blouse
whose brown buttons blend slowly
     until, on either side in a landslide
of springtime pollen on the sleeves and
     slowing to a rinse draining dark with a single
highlight of white drizzle
left on shingles and on Monarchs' wings

to drip to soil with the dark dip of horsehair
into the ***** watercolor that’s left over
from the spin where Alice got lost and began.
Oct 2014 · 569
I think I've forgotten
GC Oct 2014
are the walls talking?
it’s the neighbor’s dog across the street
wailing over your ugly unkempt lawn.

is the staircase creaking?
you forgot to take your coffee hot this morning,
get a grip.

is my kielbasa burning?*
you put plastic on the stove.
you put plastic on the ******* stove.
GC Oct 2014
I've been cracking my knuckles since I was six,
but back then my bones were still practically cartilage.

My mother could only make me stop during dinner.
Her brass voice echoed through the house,
like the trumpets in a marching band on the Fourth of July.
(Although not as patriotic.)

My mother didn't know about all the times I cracked
my knuckles when I was by myself.

Sweet sixteen and the joints between my fingers still
crunched secretly under my skin and between
what was now developed into hard white bone.

I've only broken one bone in my entire life.

It was my nose during my homecoming soccer game,
senior year, under the lights and across the street
from the stone-cold brick building that housed
my Catholic education.

Soccer ***** have hit my stomach and my chest countless times,
leaving hexagonal imprints in scratchy blotches of red
over an empty envelope of acid and oxygen.

This time it hit me and I fell to the cold and frozen dirt,
my jersey conforming to the brown-green of roughened grass
and the blood from my nose providing contrast
and complement all at once.

Someone picked me up and I became conscious and self-conscious
that someone’s hands could touch my skin and
that someone’s hands could feel my body.

My hands hung off the sides of the stretcher I didn't need
(I thought it was crazy, all this fuss over a broken nose)
and they swung as I was carried, bringing blood
to my knuckles so that they could swell and expand.

My mother tripped over her questions
when she asked if I could
breathe or eat or speak or if my choking was cause for concern.

“B-b-baby don’t d-d-die,
I m-m-made rice and b-beans.
B-b-baby don’t d-d-die,
I m-m-made your f-f-f-f-favorite.”

You tied me in a robe and stuck a tube down my throat.
B-b-baby don’t d-d-die,
it’s your f-f-favorite.
Oct 2014 · 402
tuesday
GC Oct 2014
the first time i smelled your skin against mine it was tootsie roll sweet,
just as someone i loved popped into the room to turn my senses sour,
but you didn't see him.

it was a tuesday in the winter,
a day when everything was very hopelessly frozen
but your skin met with mine was fire to the ice on your window
and all on the outside could see.

all i had said was what i thought was obvious
but you met me with pity and a sad look that said "no"
before she showed up outside
and her skin froze the ice which ours melted away.

then someone shoved a blanket to my feet
because i had forgotten how cold it got this time of year
and he came with open arms to replace the jacket i didn't have,
but it wasn't your skin meeting with mine
so i was very cold, still.
Jul 2014 · 20.3k
Sisterhood
GC Jul 2014
there was a slice of chocolate cake in the fridge
and my sister asked me if i wanted it.
i didn't respond, stared off into space
and continued to smoke my cigarette
in the kitchen because mom was
asleep already and it was 1 am
on a saturday in july
and it was hot and we were both braless and hoping
the single fan on the counter would circulate the air enough
to make us comfortable in the cottage that we called home
that didn't have air conditioning in the middle of the woods.

the three of us hadn't moved for three more hours,
instead spent all of that time talking about nothing
and everything the way sisters do
because sisters eventually end up saying all the words that have
to be said
but each time it sounds new even though it never is.

we're all different but the thing about sisters is
that other people always see you as the same.

we all eventually grew into having brown hair
even though i had been born a redhead
and she had been born blond
and she had been born the same shade of brunette
that still graced her scalp but was thinner than the rest of ours
and fit in an elastic pony tail comfortably
unlike mine, which broke those things immediately
and she, who cut hers all off in hopes
to cleanse herself and
keep herself from being weighed down.
Jul 2014 · 3.1k
Green Tea
GC Jul 2014
I looked out the kitchen window to see the new springtime grass
But fog from your tea on the sill blocked the view.

Rain came pouring down
To expose a sunny day.

You complained your green tea
Was over steeped. It was brown.

Did you open the (cabinet
To get the sugar) from the top shelf?

I used your mug today
As a bowl to hold my soup.

You were raking outside
But there were no leaves to form a substantial collection.

The grass was frogs’ legs
And told you to jump, jump, jump.

Did you open the (shed
To get the fertilizer) from the top shelf?
GC Jun 2014
i am thirteen years old and i think love is a hand
because that was the first thing that made me feel good
and i think love is supposed to feel good so
love is the hand of a boy four years my senior and
love is a hand that holds a joint and
between puffs of marijuana smoke touches my face
before telling me i’m beautiful
and makes promises to call on the weekends while he’s
away at school
but i’m only thinking of whether or not i
made ninth grade honors english
and he tells me he hates his parents
for expecting him to go to medical school
after college
and for expecting him to become successful and
for expecting him to have money
and a family
and a white picket fence
and i wonder what it would be like for parents
to expect anything from me other than
to stop slicing at my skin and to please finish what’s on my plate
at dinner
but when he asks what i’m thinking about
i just tell him
“love is a hand”
and he looks at me funny with squinted eyes
and i know that his mother does not cry at night
trying to hide bruises from her daughters that already know
that love leaves burn marks on your skin
when love is a hand.

now i’m sixteen and
love is a hand
that shoots up when it sees me
in the hallway between fourth and fifth period and
i’m not one for hugs but when love is a hand
i’ll take two around my waist
to lift me until i yell to let me down, let me down
leaving my cheeks burning red
and flushed from embarrassment
because love is a hand that has never touched me
between my legs and *****
and love is a hand twice the size of my own
that dialed my phone number to tell me
“i asked her to be my girlfriend and she said yes”

i am seventeen and my skin has burned
from staying in the sun for too long
when we went to the beach in the middle of august
and played thumb wars for hours but
you always won because your love was a hand that
was much bigger than mine
and after you kissed me you told me about her.
you always left your windows open, allowing my skin
to freckle and for the sun to leave his
hand prints across my face because you were too
scared of how i’d be if you had left your own

so now i’m 18
and i’m crying
in the mirror because i can’t make out my memories
and i can’t tell which hand print belongs to you
so i cry until i can’t cry anymore and my mother comes into
the bathroom and looks at me in the mirror
and rests her hand on my shoulder
and silently says “i love you”
the way you always did on mornings over my stomach with
your love that was the last hand that burned my skin
on that tuesday night when we watched the ****** suicides
when you told me there was someone else
that there had always been someone else
and that i was the other.
and your hands went frozen and numb and stung
with frost bite to ease the burn that you had left across my belly.

now i’m nineteen and all the boys are the same
they all bite their fingernails
because they’re trying not to love so they chew and they gnaw
until their fingernails are bitten down and bleedy
and your love is a hand that slapped me across the face
because you didn’t have the nails to scratch.
i should have seen it coming when i saw you
bit your fingernails
or when i saw you didn’t touch me except
between my legs and
*****
or when you got burns on your fingers from joints of marijuana
just like my shoulder blades in the sun
and when you got paper cuts all over your palms from
looking at photographs of people that you hate
and i can see that your love was never for me
because i could not love your hands.
and love is a hand.

now i’m 20 and my hands are cold
because in the winter they hide in mittens
hoping that the heat might burn them just a little bit
but it never does
and my love is just a hand,
hiding in a mitten hoping to be lit on fire.
Jan 2014 · 456
Two Weeks
GC Jan 2014
You became the February rain soaking through to my skin
in five minutes time from here to there in a drizzle.
It has to be bad before it can be better (I think that's what they say).
All blanketed in untouched white, it looked like the heaven
that Lucifer loved, and all turned to gloop and glob under
the new rain and our muddied boots
before melting away to ask for forgiveness.
Your mouth is the winter
all fancy like gold
but it's gilt -- and milk chocolate, the worst.
I might have stopped myself (but I didn't)
and my senses were sobered by the too-sweet taste
not dissimilar to that of the cheap drinks you mistook as
my preference. The timing was always off, I know. We bonded
over things we had in common.
Not us, this isn't about You.

I considered the in-between.
Now I have the flu.

It's been one week and seven days.
I have flammable skin and permeable pores,
please forgive me, this is how I was born. My hair gets matted when I sleep
amidst your sheets. I'm sorry. This
view is unforgiving. I wanted to love you but
please understand.
I watch movies but they're all just fiction so what do I know?
Documentaries bore me but they're fiction, too.

I offer you orange juice, with pulp just how you like, but you say you have acid reflux.
They offer you an orange, ****** and poisoned, and you claim to be ravenous.
I understand.
Jan 2014 · 365
between 6 and 8
GC Jan 2014
you force me to live in my own personal hell.
you look like heaven.

my eyes are never given the opportunity to dry.
she's a lucky girl.
Jan 2014 · 566
New Year's Eve
GC Jan 2014
I make noise every second of every day but you don't hear me

tick tock, tick tock

until you check me out
or it's painfully silent.
I resort to screaming

tick TOCK, tick TOCK

but you ignore my every attempt to grab your attention.
I could stare at you forever,
with my face round and pale with many blemishes,
but you won't even give me the time of day
(that's my job.)

Four minutes marks the first.
You've been staring at me for a little while now,
another girl wrapped under your arm.
Three minutes and eleven seconds,
she stares at me too.
Two minutes and forty-three seconds,
I'm self-conscious.
Two minutes and two seconds,
I might break, just to make you upset.
One minute and twenty-seven seconds left and I decide not to.
Because that's just the problem -
you'd be upset.

Running up a steep hill is one thing.
I then run down in just half a minute's time.
Walking up is more difficult.
There is strain on my hands for the last portion of that dreadful hour.
Crawling is the worst.
And I have to do it twice a day.

But when I do, people cheer,
just once every painful year.
(In a language I don't speak, you dream and you scream,
and I can't understand what you're saying but you're rooting for me it seems.
For a whole minute I have your attention and
you're on my side the entire time.)

Another year's passed that you turn your attention away
in order to kiss her in front of my face.
But I made it all the way up, didn't I?
I really did, and that's alright.
Dec 2013 · 514
Gills
GC Dec 2013
fish are not cursed
the same way humans are.

fish are not so restricted
in their movements
(they do not have to
jump to get the cereal off the top shelf
in the pantry).

fish do not drown,
nor cremate,
in their natural environment.
(a hurricane blows and they can swim below,
maybe ride the waves out overhead.)

fish do not poison
their gills with the words that they speak
the way that humans breathe
from the same sin-tainted orifice
they eat, smoke, lie, and choke.
Dec 2013 · 1.7k
From start to finish
GC Dec 2013
weak for your words,
at first.

then we did.
then we were.
before we weren't anymore.

broken, temporarily.

i saw
me without you, and you without me.

i saw the sun.

i was your favorite candy.
consumed quickly,
regretfully unappreciated
upon your final bite.
Dec 2013 · 601
What You Left Me With
GC Dec 2013
you are my dreams and in-betweens,
a stitch in my side.

you are the worm on my sleeve that squirms restlessly.
you itch at my skin. you cause me to crumble.

hungry as I am, (I cannot eat),
you fill my gut with both lust and disgust.

I tried to make art but it was ugly and left me burnt.
charcoal pencils drew lucidly over charred skin.

my eyes try to comprehend the complexity of your freckles' design
(fashioned by Helios with apollo in mind.)

Sunday mornings became less and less important.
my coffee was always bitter. my milk, always sour.
Dec 2013 · 521
Untitled
GC Dec 2013
I was putty in the hands of an innocent and curious child
that ran with scissors and
didn't know his own strength
or the sharpness of his own nails,
his ability to rip me apart, slowly,
and into a million loose and flimsy pieces.

I'm not half as strong as I pretend to be.
I meant nothing. I was nothing.
I am.

It would take me too long to realize that he never meant
nearly as much to me as
I always held him prisoner in my mind,
forcing him to be someone to my soul and
pretending he was strong enough
to hold the broken spirit that even the pillars of the Parthenon could not support.
Dec 2013 · 664
Virginia Slims
GC Dec 2013
I am gentle. I am weak.
I am 3 AMs and lunch breaks.

You lust for me. You crave me.
You might leave me for a while, believing I'm the only hiccup.
But you'll soon realize there is more,
(that your wife didn't stop ******* you just because
you came home with my perfume on your clothes,
and your kids didn't stop smiling at you just because
they knew my name) and you will make your return.

I am not proud that I have you wrapped around my finger,
yours wrapped around me. Or that you can hold my slender
body, only to look away when I fill the space around
you: taking me in, letting me go.

I do not last. I am eternally temporary.
I am a one night stand of sorts.

You tell your friends you hate me.
You tell your wife you think I'm ugly.
You throw me to the cracks in the pavement,
again and again and again and again,
only to ask for more. I am not proud, but

I will adhere to you always, because I long to
fill the space created by the separation of your lips.
Dec 2013 · 697
Fall semester
GC Dec 2013
You told stories of the UV index when it resembled the color blue,
of animal anatomies, the size of Earth, forgetting your manners.

I told you a story of maggots swarming at the flesh of swine.
I told you a story of a violent child finding maturity, maybe.
I told you a story of the post-apocalyptic world while walking through a pond.
They all seemed appropriate at the time.

Then I hated you for the ***** that was on the rug you left me to
clean, from too much red and too many tears that you left me to appease.  

We wrote and we compromised.
Looking back we never knew why.
I could hear you whisper when you thought I couldn’t.

We had wins and losses in the reds and whites.
You spoke like you knew the ins and outs of the alpha and the omega.

Your lucky number was nowhere near that number four
but both implied perfection. I was an unfortunate first.
I studied too hard for things that wouldn’t be graded,

like which strings pulled at what, and grassy trails promising return.

You complained about the snow,
so I removed myself quickly.
Everything you left me with would just have to suffice.
Dec 2013 · 552
You and me
GC Dec 2013
I drank like my father
and was
blackout drunk in my apartment alone,
calling you on the phone
asking for cheap love,
secretly begging you to do me a favor and
make me feel wanted.

So you complied
and you came here,
because I was too drunk to leave
and we watched recordings
of other people having *** on the TV.
I guess it turned us on just enough
to **** each other until sleep.

I woke the next morning before you
and I looked down at my body,
naked and exposed above the same sheets
that we ****** on the night before
and maybe even into the next day.

I stared at you while you slept under the same sheets
that we ****** on the night before
and maybe even into the next day.
I wondered if your mother knew about me.
(I was sure she didn't.)
I thought about how if I ever had a son
I would hope he would be something like you.
and
I thought about how if I ever had a daughter
I would hope she would be nothing like me,
and have to face the fate of guilt and self-hate
that society had set in place.
Dec 2013 · 648
December
GC Dec 2013
it was a dull december
diseased with grey and fog,
making the town look
decrepid
dilapitated
pathetic.
and that dull december sun,
so tired and miserable,
may have risked unemployment
if his employers hadn't been just as
agonized
exhausted
hopeless.
Dec 2013 · 2.0k
babe
GC Dec 2013
my breath smells like whiskey,
my clothes smell like smoke,
you told me i smell like i could use a ride home.

driving, driving.
you passed my road.
no, babe, it's up here, I know where to go.
don't call me that, don't, don't.
where are you going?
then the car slowed.

my parents will call soon,
where is my phone?
you dropped it on the floor, babe, right by your toes.
i can't find it, where is it?
they'll think i'm alone.
you've got me with you, babe, don't fuss,
I'll get you home.

what are you doing?
babe, I’m just stopping for a smoke.
you light your 100s
but i just want to go home.
babe, it's hot, why don't you take off your clothes?
please, please. don't,

don't.

would you put out your cigarette?
i'm going to smell like smoke.
you were smoking all night, babe, I don't like your tone.
why are you unbuckling? can't you just go?
shut up, babe, will you? don't you want to get home?

my pleas, so muted and alone,
screamed at you to stop while i inhaled your cologne.
your body was warm, intentions hard as stone,
you unzipped my shorts,
your hands were ice cold
and sent paralyzing shivers down to my bones.
i wanted you to stop but how could you have known?
you never gave me a chance to tell you
that i just wanted to go home.

— The End —