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heel Jul 23
i am trying to hate you

too close--you're
spitting mad, and teeth:

this is our orbit. we are
a balanced dagger. still,

a harsh breath is only
a hair's breadth

from that small word
you're scared of.

i will wait in wrath
with you, until it falls

soft from your snarled
lips, like wine.

they say it's a fine line
heel May 29
i am not my father's daughter
but i do have his wrists
hollow-*****, bird-*****,
we both lose the handshake.

i did not get his eyes, but
we share the same skin:
midday we are twin moons --
cat eyes flashing white, the

pale, open underbelly of a shark.
i didn't get his chainmail of
freckles, or easy, open grin,
the diplomatic checkmate --

'we descend from the court
musician of a french king! we do,
it's true, i swear it's --'

i think even then, young and
hungry in a dark kitchen with
a runny tap, i knew it wasn't.
but, fine-***** fingers spelling

a one-step, two-step in the air;
his laugh could have been
the rough burst of a fiddle, voice
the dripping gold of a throne,

and the tiles the open prairie of a
ballroom floor.

i am not my father's daughter,
but we both spin to the un
deux trois
of the groaning pipes,
pretending we are magic,
so maybe we are.
heel Apr 27
the apple of my town
is never ripe --

one day it's stone-hard,
a weapon, to make
the neighbour's nose
bleed like Red Delicious

the next it's rotten;
browning in the grass,
too-sweet and caving like
a kicked skull. still, for a day

the apple looks a gem --
waxy, mythic, the red twin:
worm-holed like the kiss
of a snake --   

the ultimatum of the year
nestled head-height.
now, this summer cider.
it is stronger than it looks.

to a too-small town, with bad buses.
heel Apr 7
i dreamt last night
of a house in a city, and
music, rising from it.

sardines on the sofa
he spoke in my ear, and
lowly: i was shame

incarnate. i wanted to
look at him closely, and
then i wanted to

punch that spark out
of my stomach.

which urge is more
animal, i can never tell.
heel Mar 20
i caught a break
held it gently in my hands
and examined its surface

it seemed unripe for me—
craters dusty, i was the clumsy
giant fumbling it to the floor.
i caught a break, then let it scuttle off. villainy.
heel Mar 16
                the avalanche came quickly,
white chuff thrashing
like the surf.

                       he was found with
snow in his mouth:
a death sentence, sadly

                               i wonder what it was like.
did he inhale, deeply,
his body screaming for air —

                       were there white fishes of light
swimming before his eyes, black
spots of seaweed kissing him bye?

                he was cold when they found him
it's only been twenty minutes
but i thought he looked asleep:

                       strapped to a board, being
tossed by the break: not snow
but salt in his mouth — from smiling

                                into the spray —

                        and they weren't crying, but
cheering him on as he crested
the white wave, figure cutting

                fine eights in the curl,
faster, faster away from the
shore, then, with a wave of the hand,

                       clearing the peak, disappearing,
                                   glittering on
                                            slicing neatly his piece of the light.
                                                          ­                                                    .
heel Mar 14
Bartender: saintly kiss
   audibly terribly arrogant
ah — i crow the prayer quickly
   a *** and coke for me, please

blue stare, nauseating
   (a bright-eyed sparrow)
a ******, alien combination
   i am blushing from the drink

auburn burns my brief defense —
   my theology roams straight
into an ill churchyard
   your number then, too?

i don't need the menu, i'll just
   swallow your psalms:
each gold word is so
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