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Always anxious at gatherings;
Moon slips slowly into darkness
One silver sliver at a time
Does not wish to inconvenience anyone
Ochestrates a slow fade
(slips) out the door,
Into a still world we do not know
Peeks back in
Shows enough face
That we do not worry
Re-enters the gathering for our goodbyes.

Moons full face
Is not the common state
Our knowing so incomplete
I want to ask;
Show me that still world
You leave us to rest in
What does the darkness of your sky hold
Recount your lunar dreams for me
Those thoughts
That keep you safe
From all these greedy eyes
To the boys who thought they were being funny but we're really just cruel
and the girls, who treated my hope like a punchline to a joke they never let me in on;
Last night I drempt I was lynched:
Your hands were the ones that strung me up
Your faces,
filled with the snarling lips of wolves-
Crowded beneath my swinging feet
Your tore me to pieces.
I drempt
You chased me through the woods
and along a beach
where the sun
was always just about to set
I sought safety from the presence of strangers
but you came at me anyway:
Hungry mouths of predators
you dragged me away ****** and screaming
bystanders just as silent as ever
even in my dreams
there are no bodies
that provide protection.
I have not felt this helpless in years.
I have not felt this scared in ages.
I have not thought of  you...
                       any of you...
   In so long....
Do you still have this power over me?
Is the sight of you
in a crowded public space
where you probably won't even notice me
still enough
to twist my body inside out
To leave me trembling and shivering
in the middle of summer
I thought I was free of this?
But in my nightmares
it is still your laughing eyes
Your jackal lips
That fill the face
of everything that tries to consume me,
be it man or beast.

The fingers
that try to dissect me
Are yours
The bodies
that hold me down
Are all yours
        Hasn't it been long enough?
All I wish for
Is peace
And to forget;
what your faces look like- all twisted with taunting
the specific sound of your hateful voices
the touch of your hands,
                        where they shouldn’t be,
                                         the things you say about it afterwards....  
Last night
         I drempt
that you ate me.
              With the teeth  of a hell-hound
                                      you  split me open
                                                      reduced me to mangled, shredded piece of meat
             but I could not die
you smiled at me
               with ****** lips
                                  over what used to be my body
                                                              and I could not even howl
                        because you had torn out my throat.

[Tell me now, that is was still all just as joke]
monster in my clothes,
how boring you are;
           so sad
             so withdrawn.
Your misery
-is not interesting.
with my face,
who made you?
gave you permission
to parade around wearing my name?
told you
that  you could undo my life like this?
with my teeth,
stop biting my tongue,
stop leaving my cheeks bruised

Stop hurting this body;
monster walking in my skin,
do not own her
[despite all appearances]
Give me something else to write about,
no decent person
wants to indulge my madness
give me something wholesome to tell them instead.

Give me,
a strangers smile,
give me a fox’s baby teeth

Give me
    the tree
               in your grandmother’s back garden
                                          with the plump bodies of plums
give me
      you child hands; sticky with their juice, in the tall the grass
                      give me the pit
                                          worried clean by your tongue.
Give me
    your mother,
               waltzing barefoot through the moonlight on the kitchen floor.
Give me
    your father,
              humming to himself as he plays with your baby sister in the late summer light.
Give me
           your brother’s first skinned knee
Give me
         the scar, on your left cheek; your first lesson in the territorial nature of nesting season
Give me
       the family roadtrip
                       that you took every year to visit your grandparents
                                                    until you all grew too old to have the time...
                                          or the patience
Give me
        something new to write about
I can look at objectively
       I can call lovely
                        because I do not know how sad it makes you.
Lavender blooms
opens herself up for the solstice,
puts spring to sleep.

Freshens her house
brightens her garden
She invites summer in,
dusts off the patio furniture
sits drinking raspberry lemonade in the late light.

naps beside the lake
softens the hot days of July
this wild world
of the importance of rest.
I turn to you
     lips red with love
                      such a violent pleasure,
it drips from me in streams.
Reaching for you
I am undone
a wave
rage on the shore,
leaves bowing
                                          “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”
I was unprepared,
no one told me it would be so hard to be human.
I did not know
that remaining soft
was a daily choice,
kindness an hourly one,
empathy and honesty
needing to be chosen
every moment...
If only
I had stayed
curled up
               /with no body/
in that deep place
where we
are all formless.
But I
wanted sunlight
I wanted
and the soft songs of bees
I wanted
a wet tongue,
I wanted
and toenails,
and freckles,
and knuckles,
and eyelashes
all of this strange, cumbersome beauty.
If I had been told
this was the price;
so much heart it beats to get out of you,
the unrelenting need to be loved,
so many words that my tongue grows swollen,
raw skin and blood in my palms,
skinned knees,
lost teeth,
the confusion of something I think is love,
the inability to make the people you care about stay,
learning to say goodbye,
learning to let the same person go
a thousand times over
because their is always
one more thing
you wanted to say to them
If only I had been told all of this first,
I would have forgone this human form
chosen something more fleeting,
perhaps a pollinator;
Holly Blue,
a few beautiful months
of sunshine
and flowers
and summer breezes,
feet small enough to rest on the softness of petals
to taste the sweet secrets of spring’s blooms
before the sky gathers me back into her arms.
But I did not know,
jumped in blind and laughing
waiting for miracles
dreaming of bird’s songs
and warm arms
to wrap around other bodies.
                                                    I have seen miracles!
                                               I have heard the birds!
                                 Been warmed by so many other bodies
                   I have been given, so much more than I could ever have imagined.
                                                         But at what cost?
                                                             Look at me!
                                                          all stained red;
                 the metallic taste of love
heavy in the air
              too much
                       too much
                                      too much
                                                             it pours out of me.
                          We were not taught what to do with this.
I turn to you,
              overwhelmed with love
and you cry out
             perhaps in fear
                                          perhaps in joy
                            and in that moment
             I question
                                                     why why why
I pray
           to be made simple again,
                                       return me,
                                                       to that deep place
                           where all things rest
                                      wait formless,
                                                  till they are called back into the light
                                  I promise;
                                                         next time
                                                I grow hungry for the sun,
                                                                I will choose a creature
                                             who does less harm.
can you be both
so confident
                      and so unsure?
Making jokes
                           when you want to make confessions;
allow me to accept
    the gift of your honesty.
I know,
    it is precious
                  I know also,
that it can be so heavy....
I could carry it for you awhile,
                 if you like...
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