She said the Guatemalan women
had a trick for situations just like this.
A variation on a familiar tune of
slow and steady wins the race:
Just take small-calculated steps,
don’t exert too much force,
and when you finally reach the end
it’s like the journey was a godsend –
but I rise helium heavy, each step
an angular insult to my weight.
This modern pilgrimage of bottled water
and Doritos, clothes marred by tide and decay.
Otis, I pray that you’ll hold me once again
I’m not made of hearty peasant stock
My hills are made of concrete and
I order Seamless ‘round the clock.
It’s just made to look like one,
to follow your preconceived notions
of what a poem should be and do
This isn’t a poem and I’m not a poet,
I wish I could **** with a stanza
flashes of lexicon that burn right through
If this were truly a poem, and not pretend,
not even your marrow would survive
but these are just a few words I spewed
Waiting for the Mexican lady to finish
folding my shirts and boxers into neat piles
while I scroll past titles in my Netflix queue
When I burst forth,
you held your breath,
and ever since
there’s been nothing left
but unmoving air.
A stale uneasiness.
The CD in the tray
and the sun on my skin
hot vinyl beneath me
and an unstoppable wind.
This is one of the few days
I try to remember.
I cling to it like the Newports
between your fingers,
ashes settling on the dashboard.
But after all that happened
with the roof off
the memory is hard to hold.
Yet, I wrap myself up in it.
Tie myself inside
the days when I felt your
hair hit me in the face and
I’d see the ocean stretch
on one side,
past the endless median
on the other
When I knew
that love rolled on wheels.
For my brother, it meant everything
to stretch out and press
his face against the pane
of candy stretched crystalline.
To take the path away from father
for me one step away from
baking our dreams into
crumbs we left on the floor.
We’ll trace them back
to the place between
lost and found,
once we’ve fulfilled
he’d always tell me.
But he doesn’t understand,
and honestly when does he,
that we’ve been doomed
from the start.
There is no Gretel,
to stoke the logs,
close the grate and latch
no heroine to fit the story’s need
there's only me
So when the witch comes back
has Hansel truly grown fat?
a little pinch of the skin
an inadvertent test to see
which one of us should win?
It’s always an offering
always a suffering
always a surrender
of what makes me, she
and Hansel truly him
But I don’t mind
filling this role
I know it’s what I was made for
half baked like the crumbs
in a crummy oven
the real Gretel’s long gone
so her understudy will do.
If Mother could bake one daughter
why not try to bake two?
The witch will say it’s time
and ask me to reach back far
to find a warmth she can't see
it’s really not that odd
to hear the words escape me:
"why don't you try,
it's utterly exhausting
always having to hide"
I always desperately wanted
someone to show me
And I’ll even smile
as the crackle burns for just awhile
Hansel holding my hand
my pigtails askew.
The crumbs, our true
eaten in the leaves.
Uttered wishes don’t come true.
There’s a breach of contract
in the act of saying what you want.
It’s the reason we’ve never reached world peace.
Every pageant queen sliding it out
between clenched white teeth, ruining the
surprise before she blows out the candle.
We’ve mined out wishes from the earth
and put them out on display;
“a wish for a better tomorrow”
Mason jars full of eyelashes
just longing to be blown
to the wind, dandelion free.
How can we ever expect anything
but the decay of our future?
It’s all boiled down to this singular wish –
a sideways stare at this candlestick,
and no matter how nimble,
no matter how quick,
whatever we think before the blow,
won’t change what we know about tomorrow.
Once we make a wish,
There’s no more room for light.
I sometimes wonder why it is we’re forced
to close our eyes right after *******
to fall into bed with the cease
of all that has just occurred
your kiss put me here
instead of waking
and heavy lidded I struggled
with the snare of all these sheets
but I really shouldn’t be surprised
at the moment I closed my eyes I knew
you were a walking contradiction