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Michael Sep 9
in my house lives a small demon
she has recently learned to share
the heat of my lap
my time or my meals
I often withhold my supper
to show her when sharing is appropriate
that my hunger also bears importance
in her impatience she wishes to bite me
she, too, withholds
she still leaves my hand between her teeth
to let me know she could
though they never sink into my skin I understand
her small body could tear me to pieces
in an single instance of despair or fear
she may hurt me and run
and I would miss her
long for our lessons in sharing
her time
or warmth
our mutual trust
In my dream I was teaching a class of children how to write poetry and I wrote them this poem about my cat, Storm. It was a dystopian kind of dream. My class was very small, maybe only 10 students. The sky was so red, and the world was full of dust and snow.
Michael Aug 9
I carry my heart on the pelt of a rabid coyote
winter impelled and needless pacing
it runs away from me faster than it knows
premature blooms hold me by the wrists
they tear me open with their lonely beauty
don’t go as pleaded by roses
it was a climb into an abandoned house
wind howling through years of dust
together we mourn their soft petals
ignore how each step may be a great collapse
I look for you in every empty room
your rhythmic breathing is the slow drum
I rip apart the static like a seam
the same way the coyote bares its teeth
maybe the agony of its foaming mouth is a dream
maybe my bed is a pool I drown in each night
I surface each morning shivering
I never forget the snow or ice
driving the shovel in with so much force my palms rip
blood or roses or blind white
flesh broken by new thorns
panting just the same
eyes just as wild
I watch as my father pulls out his shotgun
one bullet echoes in the field
a second that feels like years
my eyes burn with sorrow and I grip my chest
“It wasn’t its fault,” I whisper as though choking
“No,” he responds, “But now the misery is over.”
Michael Jun 2020
in a dream my mother ran into a field of flowers
each one lit ablaze by the last ray of sun
red like her lips
red like her hair
at war with the deep green sky
they dipped and bowed their heads of fire
offering a dance to their queen
fragile emptiness still with silence
no hand was offered
her Mona Lisa smile has never held me
I was swallowed up by the oncoming storm
whipped up into the clouds by rain
I watched her tip her body against the wind
and fall into the sway like a burning petal
Michael Jun 2020
train cars sway without the weight of the flock
did a new world unfold
empty out and flood the streets?
each scream along the tracks is into the void
I clench my fists in my pockets
silenced behind every pair eyes
which ones crease with a hidden smile
grim comfort with no joy
shared and sheared
no sir, no sir
black sheep with no wool to spare
Michael Nov 2019
the pullgrab
the uplift
the swallow me whole
I choke on the warmth of you
a pocket of air trapped beneath the ribs
tugging and expanding infinitely
as if there was no breastplate
and beneath is just the heart
a quivering bird nesting
enclosed in barbed wire breathing
I dig in with short fingernails
what is this skinshape
what is the encapsulated story held in my marrow
why is the muscle so hard to scrape from the bone
I’ll be a little boy forever
with scabbed-over knees and a pink nose
burning eyes that have forgotten how to cry
Michael Nov 2019
remnants of a star
bits and pieces strewn about
death like a child’s playroom
littered without consequence
abandoned kaleidoscope
mirror fragments
blood splatter prism
heaven smeared like paint or jelly
the color violet for breakfast
bright red lip curled
crumbs of the bluest Indian summer
trapped in this grin of fire
pink gums and overturned snow globe
the body of confidence lost to the floorboards
glitter impossible to sweep up
even more disgusting to hold
shining universe adhered unwillingly
trapped between sticky fingers
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