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i think what i'm trying to say is that
i wanna know what hand you write with.
that's what i'm interested in,
right, left, maybe even ambidextrous—
show me your birthmarks, and the
little scar you got when you were a kid.
there's a story in your body, on your skin,
and i want to listen to you tell it,
running my fingertips across your freckles
as if i were blind.
nom de plume Feb 11
anything is possible. i don't mean this in a good way.

will you look at me while i'm talking?
not like that.
i know you are.
i want you to see me. i want you to keep up.

i could go completely ******* crazy.
i could never speak to any of my friends ever again.
i could join a fundamentalist christian cult.
i could drop out of college.
i could look into the mirror and see my own eyes reflected back to me, or gouge them out to be free of the burden. i could do anything, but it's all a matter of actualization.

you have to know what you're looking for
before you go out to find it.
the story the eyes try to sell you is always leaving something out.
you want this to be easy. you want the mirror to have a purpose.
don't we all?
you want to know what you want, but we are all stumbling blindly through this desert.
alone despite being inches from one another.
i'll try not to get too cocky,
because the only difference between you and me
is concept, language;
life is a whole other beast to cage.

don't get too hung up on definitions.
definitions are for law. this is poetry.
this is me building a mirror just to break it.
it's funny, how that always turns out.
realized desires are boring.
we get what we want
and we break it.
every mirror shatters in the end
and we all die a solipsist,
wanting and narcissistic.
nom de plume Jan 22
at what point
in human evolution
did we earn
a benevolent god?

did the phytoplankton
get a god?
the apes?
who is the deer praying to
when it finds out
in the end, heaven and headlight coalesce—
libation hits the tar and we know
it’s all we’ll ever leave behind.

maybe
the definition of humanity begins
at the simple hope
of all this work
being worth something.
nom de plume Oct 2020
let's say atlas' body is full of birds
and when he is crushed to death
they will escape
free and resplendent
let's say i am atlas and
you are the face in the mirror
let's say atlas is screaming and
crying and begging
but you are silent and
your face is unmoving
atlas' mother gets that
worried look on her face
and the part of atlas that
still loves himself
is trying to get him to
just put it all down for a second
let's say atlas is smoking
a cigarette
let's say atlas' rib cage
is cracking under the pressure
and it's worth pointing out
that no one will notice
atlas is gone
until the world starts falling down
around his body
nom de plume Sep 2020
what does it say about me
that i think hunger
is what angels sound like?
lineless and with great aching.
and what does it say about me
that i feel like i could
just pull my pelvis bone
from my hip
and watch it
crumble in my hands?
i couldn't sleep so i
traced my bones,
i couldn't sleep so i
felt my gums,
(my skins got a great story that
no onell ever read
fitting, i guess -
i've yet to be anything but
wasted potential.)
but,
despite everything,
there is something comforting
about the lie of a body.
something human in me yet.
what do i want the answer to be
when i feel my chest
and wonder where
my ribs came from?
it was an early lesson that
one must give up ribs
to be worthy of love.
nom de plume Sep 2020
DO NOT BE AFRAID
there is something so
evangelical about fear.
i was raised to be afraid -
it was implicit from my first sunday school and
my first crush and
my first real haircut.
there is a certain desperation bred in youth groups
in local church attics,
in big auditoriums
with looming, radiant stage lights.
perpetual guilt -
perpetual repentance -
perpetual fear.
                                                                ­                                  SACRAMENT
did i think that
baptism would make me feel more loved?
well, that’s between me
and the Good Lord Himself.
but i will tell you
the water was cold and
my father cried.
i received a necklace from
my grandmother and  i
haven’t seen it in years.
fear doesn’t drown in cold water.
it crystallizes, it burns.
                                                                ­                                    EUCHARIST
if my mouth tastes like blood,
let’s blame transubstantiation.
if my skin doesn’t fit right,
let’s blame God’s want for the process of creation.
if my heart wears it self thin at the thought of judgement - Death - finality,
let’s blame my Protestant upbringing.
how avoidant am i -
blaming Martin Luther himself
for a menagerie of ****** Georgia churches.
                                                                             THE BODY AND BLOOD
christ, you people want
to take everything from me.
i can’t go to another easter service
as your daughter.
i never could.
you never seem to realize what
exactly you want from me.
don’t look at me like that -
like this is a resurrection.
i was never crucified. i never died.
it’s no comet, either, though,
i can tell by your face.
this isn’t easter, it’s
a funeral service.
i’m sorry i can’t come
back to life for you.
but what you think is living and
what i think is living are two very different things.
do you know what it feels like when
your own mother thinks you’re
going to hell?
                                                                ­                           CONSECRATION
i’m sorry i can’t cry
holy water anymore.
but there are good things in becoming.
i remind myself that there is progress- growth -
in transformation.
but i never really liked wine,
anyways.
                                                                ­                                               AMEN
nom de plume Sep 2020
i've always written poetry
with the passion of a preacher to sermon.
i experience for literature feelings
which i imagine others to offer religion.

i've never been spiritual.
full stop.
my cynicism denies me wonders -
tired tale, sure, true as any other,

but poetry evokes the holy ghost
a being more skillful, more elegant,
setting my mind's eye alight with
saintly delusions of grandeur

it curls from my pen, bleeding fire into my notebook
if there is Elysium, it is in
the private Eden created between
my mind and my notebook.

if there is peace, it is in libraries,
eyes poring over words pouring over
life, utterly human life, told in a
way that is raw and violent and righteous,
connecting one's private introspections to words.

if religion has a purpose,
a redeeming quality, it is
community, connection, consistency.
God Is Always and Always Has Been and Always Will Be.

the great human collective,
the experience of poetry, of life,
the art of internal monologue,
it persists. it persists.

no, i am not spiritual -
it does a disservice to us.
it unjustly ignores the
holy human hand in our history

time is a chronicle of the messy
affairs of human choice and experience .
it seems unfair to me,
to pin all the blame on a

convenient
divine
deux ex machina
slash
scapegoat.

don't give the big guy all the credit!
the exhausted masses had a hand too!
take some responsibility for
humanity's divine man-made persistence!

so, yes, i experience poetry
with the rapturous fascination
as sinner to saint -
yet there is no sin in poetry.

by nature it is a
narcissist's and hedonist's pass time.
so there is only wonder
and childlike curiosity,
and the slightest sliver of hope to move forward,
which, really,
what else is religion good for anyways?
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