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You wanted a love like in the movies;
rain drenched white shirts, palms covered
in daisy pollen; I love you more than--
a phone call, long distance, your fingers
curling the telephone wire like you're pulling me
towards you
like a fibre optic pheromone.
Soundtracks of a jazz piano, and old jukebox hits,
flared skirts and Mary Jane shoes, square dancing.

But most of the time, we don't get to choose
the colour of the bedsheets. In this story,
I know you're going to leave me. I can sense
the zoom of your eyes, rolling away from me.
The lighting in the room, like the ones where something
awful is about to happen: a sad, sick orange
like a cheap sunset; the music, or lack thereof,
the way you bite your lip like you're about to
break my heart.

You look to the ground, and I know this is where
the narration will start;

this is the story of the first time
someone broke my heart.  
She's going to look up at me
and say the words,
It's all over-

and in a jump frame
the thunderclap will mask the sound
of my heart shattering, the sob disappearing
into my throat.

You wanted a love like in the movies,
we all did.

But then the rain came, and the flowers
drowned in their beds.
You left your umbrella by the doorstep,
I hope you don't catch a cold.
I'm not sure why.
 May 2018 iridescent
Train 85 leaves the station and bursts into the blinding sunlight with a surreal suddenness. Below, to the left of the tracks, a field of wheat sways as though still under a summer sun. Golden-brown and lively in spite of the snow resting at its roots. The blinding sun hangs high, glimmering on the water. It gives me a headache. I try to ignore it.

Ahead of me, the laughter of two young people fills the car. I wonder if they are strangers, engaged in conversation just minutes after meeting. I wonder if they have the same destination, if they are each equally happy to be heading towards it.

To my right, across the aisle, a woman no older than fifty talks loudly on the phone about her father’s tumor and the biopsy that will soon determine if it is cancer. She sounds optimistic, and I am happy for her. I tread lightly on the thought that maybe her loud optimism is a front. I want to be happy for her. But in an hour I will get off this train, and if her father dies, I will never know.

The woman sitting next to me returns from the café car with a Dunkin' Donuts coffee and takes out her laptop. I turn down my brightness so that she can’t see that I am writing about her. Even though I write nothing bad, it feels like some sick invasion of privacy.

My fingers feel heavy. This train feels heavy.

I want to be outside, before the sun sets, while the golden-brown wheat is still bathed in light. The sun is going to set without me. I try to be okay with that.

The last time I ever wrote on an Amtrak — the last time I can remember —, it was a song about loneliness and self-destruction. It was more than two years ago. I want to be able to say that I have changed more than I actually have. But even as the world rushes past me, snow and wheat and house and sun, I still feel impossibly lonely. The heaviness from my fingers is in all of me now. I can’t shake it.

The young people ahead of me, the woman across the aisle, and the woman next to me all begin talking at once now, and I feel hot. Their words bounce back and forth off the walls, and I need to get off of this train. Receiving these airborne snippets of other lives feels wrong, feels overwhelming.

Anyone who reads this piece will think I’m insane.

The woman next to me stops speaking. The young people ahead of me quiet down. The woman across the aisle is engaged in some other conversation that I can’t exactly make out. It’s quieter. I might still break the windows of this train if I could, but it is quieter. My fingers feel a little less heavy. It is quieter. At least the insanity is in words now.
this is something a little different, but i hope you all enjoy. 12.14.17
 Feb 2017 iridescent
 Feb 2017 iridescent
on tuesday,
dylann roof was sentenced to his death.
on tuesday we tried
to make one body feel like nine.
to make one body feel like justice.
on tuesday we said
there has got to be some price to pay
for entering the house of god
with a sinful tongue
and a handgun.

six days later,
we remembered the rev. dr. martin luther king, jr.
we looked at the world,
called it a place with potential for change,
called it that because there has to be some softer way
to look at bloodshed,
for sanity’s sake.
if not then
all that remains is a solitary image of dr. king rolling in his grave because he knows,
knows that breathless black bodies
are a constant,
are transcenders of time,
whether sunken in rivers,
hung from taut ropes,
or bathing in blood on historic church floors,
singing, singing, screaming, shrill
for some messiah bringing mercy, mercy, mercy.

felicia sanders wants mercy:
prays for it, wills it down from up above,
unfolded from the hands of god
so that it might fall upon the head and in the eyes
and within the very being
of the man who killed her son.

it takes a certain grace —
one so foreign to me i can hardly write of it —
to see god in such men who deliberately defy Him,
to ask that heaven’s gates
be so indiscriminate and overt.
i would want him to burn for this.
but it is not my say,
not my life,
not my long, resounding, unflinching “hallelujah!”
not my certain type of grace.

breathless black bodies
are a constant,
are transcenders of time, a recurring motif.
but so too, then, is the black body full
of breath,
that inhales and exhales faith
without ceasing.

such is the black body
that sees a little bit of god in dylann roof,
that prays that he prays for forgiveness,
that thinks there to be but one kingdom,
and he, too,
a worthy subject.

the solitary image of dr. king rolling in his grave
is not a surprise.
the black body has always known
so well
how to die.

but felicia sanders hopes her son’s killer finds mercy.
perhaps the one thing the black body has always known better
is how to love.

written 1.16.17 in honor of MLK day, and of the charleston church shooting victims. #blacklivesmatter, today, tomorrow, and always
 Jan 2017 iridescent
you are leaving again.
i find myself saddened without tangible reason.
and i know that with my sadness should come some joy,
and if not joy, 
then relief,
because when you are half the world away,
it becomes just a bit easier
to forget the times when you were so painfully closer.
i can look up at the moon — a pale phantom sliver —
and know that you do not gaze upon it at that same time.
in that moment,
the moon is mine.
i do not mind that the sun rises for you
so long as i cannot see it.
so i should breathe easy;
your absence gives me a little more room to love myself.

and yet —
there is always an “and yet” with you — 
when the easier breathing begs for entrance to my lungs,
i turn it away.
to forget you would mean to forgo grieving,
and god knows i live for a good ache.

so i think of you,
faultless in the dim yellow glow.
images i shouldn't call upon.
small, soft moments when you seemed to see me.
i remember the time when you crowned me with a halo, deemed me an angel.
i imagine that you are the only one who could ever make me believe that i fit the part.

i don't know if you were but i was.
if we have to share the moon, then so be it.

i find myself saddened without tangible reason.
this is the part where you come in.

but you are leaving again.
i could ask myself if you were ever truly "here,"
but it always hurts the most to ask the questions i already know the answers to.
so i think, instead,
of you,
faultless in the dim yellow glow.
the pain is a little bit more bearable.
i imagine that maybe you were glowing, too.

written 8.5.16 & 8.6.16. sorry for my brief absence. i hope you enjoy. xoxo.
 Dec 2016 iridescent
phil roberts
If ever
I get too old to laugh
**** me

                   By Phil Roberts
 Dec 2016 iridescent
SG Holter
Writing in love, and then
Writing without.
Breaking two stones with
One bird.

I'm a poet, my darling.
I can **** with a feather,
Revive you with one written  
 Nov 2016 iridescent
no taste.

still, though,
cool and crisp enough
to bring about a smile.

and what a relief,
what a change of pace
to write a poem
about something that don’t deserve no poetry,

for once.

i feel a little bubble of anger,
of bitterness
at the knowledge that the words come easier when my mouth is on fire.

what the hell.
for a few seconds the cool seeds slide down easy.

no taste.

written 11.25.16. inspired by eating cucumber. i hope this makes sense.
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