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Ris Howie May 2014
There was sunshine coming off of her
Blues and cream dripping from her lips down the crease of her smile
Pooling in the corners of those cheeks
Neon and tangible
The warmth irradiating from the swirls of her fingers
Southern hues
Her intonations dancing between the half moons between her index and middle fingers
Her skin shines
Mississippi mud runs clear over the rivers that dance beneath her collarbone
You can hear it flutter with the clouds
Her heartbeat
It stills the fields she runs through
There was sunshine coming off of her
Whispering strawberry sweetness
Tingeing the souls we carry on our feet.
Ris Howie Apr 2014
I swear the palms of my hands look far too thin for the
weight of my world.
My fingers too short to count the number of
times I've been unsure how much longer
my legs can go.

But where my body fails my heart will not,
and though sometimes strength dictates that
the words I can't write leave paper cuts beneath my nails,
I swallow every word for safekeeping.

I'd give them back if I had any pounds to lose,
but I don't worry anymore for the safety of
the pages I choke down,
I don't need a bookmark to remember,
thats what bruises are for.
Ris Howie Apr 2014
Your excuse in a word,
The title you give in order to keep your slate clean of saying "no,"
To turn your hat backwards,
Tilt our worlds,
and pretend you are still facing forward.

The word might has no integrity,
and it leaves scuff marks that don't easily polish clean

as would a yes or a no.
Ris Howie Jan 2014
I speak to you in riddles
A mismatch of half formed inflections and watered down complimentary words
I constantly tailor my speech to try and fix the places you need patched
Attempting stitches to fix the pools of pain lingering in the spaces between the freckles spanning your back,
My fingers try to touch them away but my hands cant block the bruising spread beneath the plane of your skin.

You’ve become one of those heartbeats I have to keep my eye on for fear it will scatter down the screen and never return,
Your clothes are brightly colored, meant to weather the wind, but on your thin frame they trap you like wetted wool
Making it impossible for you to leave the form you possessed in the past.

I try different types of talking these days
Leaving maps for you to find the thinly veiled meaning behind the paper kisses
And the gold-leafed print floating inside the swirls of my lips
The pads of my fingers try to score your jaw with reminders
That the only thing hollow is the space between your neck and your chest
And the words I whisper into your void is heavy with inflected subtext.

I want to place your quilting back around your heart,
Make your veins more insular to keep the warmth inside that instead trickles out through your hands and feet that never feel the sun,
Your body temperature is constant and chills my intonations,
I can’t give what you won’t take and every day its 20 degrees.

I hope that in your desperation to forget the words you will better remember their meanings.
When you want to give so much to someone who can't see what there is anything needing to be taken.
Ris Howie Jan 2014
I painted in broad strokes,
I didn't like to see the details and  the darkness hiding in the corners of my brush.
I asked you to take me to a museum,
But you refused, because there they don't allow you to touch the masterpieces and your fingers needed to find mine.

I paint in brighter colors now.
Ris Howie Jan 2014
True or false, when you stood behind me with your hands on my face and mouth to mine,
I was sitting on the floor, but my feet were no longer on solid ground.
I wonder if the distance between us is not from something as innocuous as miles or hours
but the more discrete variable- past open legs leading to closed hearts.

I'm not asking you to open your front door to me, unwittingly there is no need,
you've already found a spot in the sheets from me- conveniently forgetting you've already let me in.
And while you are speaking in operational terms to create what we are not,
you have quietly defined what we are.

Counting the statistics of it all, if we are the 95th percentile in our sample size of damaged goods,
5 percent is still unaccounted for- I place my hope of you among the population of those still yet to fall.

I can count those invisible scars when my lips are on your neck and you remind me it's too hard,
but when placed elsewhere the rule is no longer valid.
True or false, it is only too much when my breath can trail thoughts closer to  your heart
where my intimacy is harder to un-feel.

True or false, some distances are so deep within our heads they become simply not real.
Ris Howie Jan 2014
My fingernails are ***** from the blackness of the graphite coated words
refusing to come to actualization.

My tongue chokes on the half formed sentences
swimming in the back of my throat.

They fill my mouth with a bitterness
coming only with the acidity known to unrequited thoughts.

Physiological markers of one who has simply too much to feel,
the penance for scar tissue of wounds who too quickly "healed."
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