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  May 2015 Joyce
Keith Miller
Her eyes are nothern stars guiding me
Her smile is wind in my sail bringing me near
My Magellan eyes scan her coast and sky
My words, a cartagrapher drawing her every curve and line
I sail an ocean of curiosity till storm of her desire
send me crashing ashore
Let my heart be run aground upon her chest
Let me be stranded upon her lips,
My hands castaway in her hair
And wander her silken seashore
Love has led me to a New World
I want to explore every part
I have found the great fortune of my life
in her untamed, wild land
Like Cortes, I burn the ships
May I never be rescued
Joyce May 2015
last week you were sitting by your window watching the sun melt into a thousand shades of darkness and you thought of her. you still remember how she always smelled like lavender and roses and peonies and freshly mowed grass and rain - a living breathing walking talking singing dancing growing but ever so slowly dying garden. you suppose she must've smelled like cigarettes as well, since she went through a pack a week, and the whiskey she laced her coffee with and the teabags she used as toothbrushes, but all you can remember is the garden of her mind and the green of her thumbs that planted flowers in-between your ribs and turned your blood to a breeding ground for aphids. a single lotus flower can live for a thousand years. a single memory can live even longer.

on the train ride to paris she didn't think of you, instead she counted all the prime numbers from one to one thousand and kissed a boy with oceans for eyes. you came home to an empty house in february, a receipt for valentine's day roses still fresh in your wallet. all of your belongings were still there, tainted with the memory of her - the set of calligraphy pens she got you for hanukkah, the sweater of yours she would always wear in the mornings after *** while drinking coffee and filling out the crossword. the endless number of bobby pins she'd left in your bedroom were still there, littering your floor like land mines. you found the flowers she planted in your veins tossed in the trash, and you spent hours pulling each petal from its receptacle and deciding that if she'd ever loved you she would have chosen something gentler than forget-me-nots to sew into your veins. the seeds of a lotus flower must be cracked before they can be planted, must be broken to allow the water to seep into them and breathe possibility into their veins. your heart is cracked, have you blossomed yet?
Joyce Jan 2015
still, my hands have not stopped shaking
since they felt a body fall limp beneath them,
felt all the systems and mechanisms come to
a sudden halt, a full house become vacant.
don’t ask me why i think of angels when i hear
sirens rippling through the night, or why all my
nightmares look like ambulance doors closing.
you can only have what you love torn from your
grip so many times before loss turns into a habit.
letting go is a lesson my hands have learned
too well, they are careless with things like love
and trust. dirt under my nails. i killed the part of
me that wanted to **** itself and buried it in an
unmarked grave, there are parts of me i never
want to find again. give me the corpses of your
lesser selves and i will make graves for them
too, i will lay them to rest if you get weary
of carrying their heavy bones.
Joyce Jan 2015
katie’s unraveling, but even that she does beautifully.
underneath her diamond-hard exterior, she’s all glass,
transparent and breakable like the rest of us.

scott hasn’t been sober since the drought began.
aunt kathy thinks his throat must be the wettest
thing in this whole **** town; i think she blames him.
every night she mutters that if he was a cloud, the
rain would come back ‘cause he’d be so heavy.

travis. at first it was just the knives, but lately
we’ve had to hide the safety pins and forks too.
anything even remotely sharp. he hasn’t
left the house since he got back from the hospital.
john still has nightmares of finding him in the tub,
open wrists. i couldn’t tell if he was floating in more
water or blood, it was that bad. now i just watch him,
so determined to destroy himself. nobody sleeps.

emily’s gone. she said this place was suffocating her.
all the sadness collecting in her lungs like a cancer.
evan misses her terribly and he won’t admit it. but i
keep thinking she left to find the rain — bring it home.

— The End —