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Shannon Jan 28
i am running out of new forms of
consumption of new ways to
**** myself i am slowly draining the
pus from a wound i
am washing myself off my/
self and pulling nothing out of
thin air and the ocean turns and looks at me and i look at it and it asks me what i’m doing here and i
try to look at my/
self but i cant i cant my eyes are messy runny egg blobs like the girl with the
bomb i am the girl with the bomb
i am the bomb i am the
**** im madonna and the ***** and im locking myself
back in the tower.
the tower is
burning and crashing and suddenly,
the waves.
i still havent answered the oceans question, its getting impatient,
i am eating breakfast—eggs—and the shore
erodes away until i am standing on nothing, the ocean beating mercilessly away at me—it does not tire like i do. it does not tire like
i do. i can’t look the ocean in the eyes. i want to bottle it up and swallow it, salty brine and all, and maybe then i’ll finally
know just what it wants me to
be i will look at me through the
ocean’s eyes and know
my place but the ocean shies away from my hand and
shies away from my hand and
shies away from my hand until my hand is nothing and nobody
sophomore slump? yeah
Shannon Mar 2020
i had a dream once where everyone died and no one believed me. i spent ten nights
trying to convince a town of ghosts of their death. i spent eleven trying to forget.

it goes like this:
i can’t prove to you that this happened,
but it did — your body through the windshield,
your hands empty and cold, your face marred by sweat, hair out of place.
i’m in the passenger seat. every car stops and turns inside out.

i get out of the car and you get out of the car and say ‘at least no one got hurt‘ but i’m looking at you and i’m looking at your body as two separate wholes. both are cold, but only one lies still and rots.

my face is wet. it’s raining, i think, and a butterfly lands on the broken glass without landing and dissolves itself into the rain.
you lead me away from the accident, to the side of the road, and walk me home.

my parents’ bodies are sitting on the front lawn, skinned and cleaned, but you don’t see them. my parents greet us and walk up the steps to my door. their bodies still sit, and say nothing.

there is no longer a glory in the perverse.
i wet my hands without cleaning.
anyway. sometimes i have nightmares!
Shannon Feb 2020
devour the garden and the
sunshine and the rain, too,
with open-armed and tight-
jawed glory. my mirror is
cracked more each time i
look into it; my mirror is
slithering, silver liquid pouring
down my throat, thorny bird
of paradise curled across my
shoulders. your shoes don’t
fit me right. your scene isn’t
mine and i don’t have a scene
anymore and sometimes i regret
it. is the self-assured smugness
worth its weight in gold? am i
better now that i’ve stripped
myself of bracelets and ink and
leather? or i have i sacrificed the
essential for the sake of your
comfort, for you and your dignity,
for the neighbors and their
mouths? my mouth is inverted and
my smile is crooked and my teeth
aren’t quite together, but i’m tired
of straightening myself out for you.
Shannon Feb 2020
and the river unfurls like a heart attack at work, his body a bomb captured on camera.
We are watching him from the banks waiting to see
     the unraveling, waiting to see if anything happens, waiting for the smell of
fresh blood on the sand, for the ocean cold longing to spill
                            out and over
as he tears his body in half.
                                      confetti falls from the sky and onto my
tongue,      glimmering wet,     the ground is
craterous where the paper falls
and the trees
                         shiver away
  their leaves.
water spills down the canopies like
something half holy,
his body shaking and seizing on the ground,
the river winding around his form like a snake.
is constriction freedom or oppression or are we just waiting for another storm to pass? i am watching the tornado **** my house up from underneath an underpass. i am ******* bricks and it is a very dark morning and i can still see the stars in the sky like tiny pinpricks of light spilling through a velvet curtain.
have you sat in spilled milk yet or licked up the shine from the floorboards?
there is something
                                   pulsing under mine,
under my pillow. there is something whispering his name in my ear i do not want to think of his body in repose i do not want to wonder on the motions of rot.
i have a snake tattooed on my arm
          it is eating its own tail
                     it is removing its mouth from its *** and slithering up to my throat: a shiny new necklace made of emerald to flaunt.
my therapist asks me if i have anything to say and i say nothing at all and curl tighter around myself like a duck-patterned blanket and the man on the riverbank retreats from the waters and sits up right and carries his blood back into himself, him and the river two whole circular separates.
hello it has been a year but i am back
Shannon Jan 2019
Every morning
the birds taste morning light and
soliloquize it like it’s
their job.
The robin’s eggs are
blue but his body is red like
strawberry jam, your favorite
because it tastes like June and
June is for forgiveness.
I must confess, I have never
known your friend in a form
other than from your mouth.
You thought anything, anything could
be forgiven: blood on
the cleaver, mercury in the tea, our
lungs in our hands,
a heartbeat gone wrong:
silent is the night and silent is
the wind and silent is the hand that
takes.

There are other words I could say.
Softer, perhaps. “Darling, forgive me for  breaking our wedding china. I’m
sorry I left for so long.”
Sorry I didn’t say that. Sorry for
making you believe I ever
meant it.

If there’s a limit to desire, I
have yet to find it. Our love is dead but
propelled onwards without
rhythm or reason. In another
universe, I am somehow
kinder, somehow better. It’s
not hard to be. To be better is to
know the taste of honey and still say
no, to get back in the car
and drive away,
to buy chocolates on Valentine’s day
and pretend they’re for anything other
than an apology. Sorry I said what
I said on that night, but
I meant it. I’ve never meant anything
before then and I won’t
take it back. I can’t make this
any easier for you, but I can
ball a melon and serve it
with toast for breakfast if
you’d like.

Somewhere, the robin swoops
over the open coffin, over the
unfilled grave, and
sings.
  Nov 2018 Shannon
Pablo Neruda
Out of lemon flowers
loosed
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
essences,
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
emerges,
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
bazaars
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
brims
into the starry
divisions:
creation's
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
alive:
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
altars,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
wells
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a ******
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.
Shannon Nov 2018
His name brings new meaning to living in the perfect blackness of a
                                     sleepless night, to living in the dusk and the
      squalor of a tired
desert town
        vacated by devils and angels alike.
His body is bathed in pink light,
bathed in bath water,
bathed in marble dust and mildew:
                        you love him.
You love him because you know nothing else,
          know no other way to do or to be
than to be with him,
at his side,
   at his feet,
      wherever, whenever.
He is yours in the way that
nothing is or ever
will be and,
            by god,
do you love him
like the birds love the sky,
            like the gods love tragedy,
like the trees love their roots.

         Without pride or falsities, you bask under
the golden light of the sun at noon, all encompassing and
    burning in the way of your shared home.
There are no new sensations—you've been party to them all—
         but you have no desire for change.
This is it,                            and you are happy.

His name is on your tongue, always, like the rivers of blood that run through your
body, like the warmth of the rocky cliffs,
like
the taste for disaster that swells in your
chest when the air is
too still.
You crave action, movement,
and he is a forest fire at play,
endless and aching.
He burns in a familiar way.

The water of the creek runs red with your cheek,
gunmetal touches your tongue and
for a moment you are in
          another life: you are underground, caked in calcium and
butyl, letting wave after wave of shock make its way over you.
It’s over now and you have him, he’s yours. He’s yours.
You carry his name on your heel, in the center of your shadow,
at the bottom of the well in your heart’s heart.
You know nothing other than him.
You don’t want to.
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