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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 Feb 2020
I always write about my hands like they don’t belong to me
illness has dragged seasons from them
maybe I shouldn’t have likened my father to winter
the memory of my bruises lives in the soul now
I’m not sure which hit hardest
six feet of snow or the back of his fist
I have struggled my whole life to fight back
my knuckles are pink from cold I can’t even feel
this isn’t the first time they’ve bled
these days they crack in between the fingers
splintered like microscopic branches
I imagine them like the bare trees of my hometown
their nakedness in the sun was always so humble
like them, I pray with my arms outstretched toward heaven
When I ask God for forgiveness
I don’t know who I’m referring to anymore
With the first green leaf and fragile bloom
I think I’m answered with spring
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
Michael Sep 2019
what a shrill cry; a thousand sirens
I have always hated the way my mind speaks before you
every tangle of fire licks the heels of passing gentleness
I pry open the shell of us for a hideous pearl
and hold in my hands the stillborn body of trust
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