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you burst blackberries between
your fingers. blue juices, sweet somehow,
drip down the curve of your wrist, bleed
like ink over the soft lines of the palm,
skin-colored fortune tellers. the spilled
blackberries leave letters in their ink-paths
here; perhaps an anagram of my name.
now sun calls you daughter. she nursed
you in her light-womb, watched history
unfold on earth like a crane stretching
its feathers. dropped you like a blessing
and brought the first sunset, beckoning sky’s
cotton-candy pinks, sugar-coated cream,
freshly-squished blackberry colours. dancing
down your hands still, sweet, saccharine
ink; all earth’s berry bushes stretch their
twig-arms toward you. the apple trees
call you sister, pick you bouquets of
honeysuckle. sun warmed their blossoms,
they say. their smell is smooth and sugared,
melting in your rosy-fingered hands,
like soft slices of daybreak, snippets of
syrupy dawn. you are eve now, stretching
bare skin in twilight, opening love-laden palms to
blooming bushes of roses, plucking them from
their stems like petal-coated candies; the apex of
nature, zenith of earth’s creatures. a thousand
years wax and wane; beyond the limits of time,
you are one with sky, all the sweet seconds in
history condensed. you pop a blackberry
into your mouth, delicate ink-skin bursting.
(g.c.) 1/28/18
one night, when the stars had burned all their fire
away and the air had turned to thick, strangling
molasses, i became curious about anatomy.
with a handful of pens–dripping ink like
butterflies stabbed through, stopped and static–
i picked apart the ghost-bodies sitting in the corners
of my room. in depression i found my heart, rotted.
in the chambers of anxiety’s unease i found my lungs.
between them both, held in the gaps between their
shaky bones, messily melding their shivering hands and
rattling cave-chests, i found shredded shards of my mind,
so darkened and charred i could hardly make them out to be
my own, remnants of something that once glowed.
the sky weighted down, the blanket of clouds shifting
into trapping echoes of iron and steel, and the desolate,
dust-buried rooms of my skull sung, littered with the
dregs of light–hungry and hollow. the night was quiet,
deeper than all the world’s caves, the roof of stars suddenly
suspended above the reach of the tallest tower. the moon
was absent, hiding from the sight of impromptu autopsy.
like amber, the air trapped the world, froze it in time–
scrambling insects stopped their struggle, gave in to
stillness. missing half my organs, i could not resuscitate
the sun.
(g.c.) 12/26/17
I often feel like hollow light. If you
were to touch me, there would be
nothing but a hand passing through
a few swirling luminescent particles–
I am a ghost pretending to be human.
I admit that this is hard for me to say–
writing without wrapping words
in warmth is unsafe, risk-laden; my
fingers freeze up, unmoving,
suddenly unknowing. There are
a few moments each day when I lose
all my speech, and five, ten, fifteen
years of learning how to hold myself
together with shaky hands vanish,
swallowed like lifeboats sinking. I
would like to tell the truths buried in
my stomach–like cutting open the sky
and watching all the stars fall through
torn fabric–but each time my
words fail me, and so I will never call
myself a poet. Perhaps one of the
most difficult things is writing
without metaphors–I can’t make
fear or pain or the shaky breaths
that happen after you’ve cried for too
long sound soft or lovely or like deep
ocean tremors, and now I am no longer
an artist, I am just the raw, bare soul
of a person who never quite got the
hang of stability. Still I am attempting
to decipher how all these people
keep their feet on the ground, so if
you find anything for me to saw the
wings growing from my ankles off with,
let me know.
(g.c.) 12/16/17
i am going to tell you a story.
but first, you need to look up–
no, further. further. further.
beyond the ceiling, beyond the
buildings, beyond everything
you know. eject yourself from
your body and look up
until you can see the stars for
what they are–jewels embedded
in blue velvet, stitched there by
some god’s hand, or orbs of
burning hydrogen
destroying themselves. let’s just
admit it here–we do not know
what they are, the things
we call the stars. does it matter?
they decorate the night. they
sing me lullabies when i cannot
sleep–they will for you, too,
if you promise to listen to them.
listen to me, too–you need to feel
the universe. feel all the atoms
moving around you, in you, over
you–your hands, the sun, all the
things that have made you hide.
feel them. they are nothing.
feel yourself. you are nothing.
feel the universe. the universe
is nothing. dead or alive, infinite
or creeping towards an ending–
listen to me. stars still implode
when you’re crying. the earth
doesn’t stop its motion, all
the galaxies keep running
further and further away from
us. i know fear, and loneliness,
and the end of the world–and
you do, too. but listen to me.
andromeda doesn’t care that you
throw your voice into the night.
cassiopeia still blinks in the
sky, even when everything you know
on this tiny, wet rock of a planet is
breaking itself apart–the universe
will mould all those atoms into
something new. listen to me and
everything will listen to you. you
are part of this existence, right down
to the quarks that make up your
fidgeting fingers and the electrons
that buzz in your eyes. the night sky
will swallow you up when you’re
looking for somewhere to sleep,
if you let it. you don’t need to be
afraid. you don’t need to be lonely.
you are okay. you are okay. you
are okay because the universe
stands still, with its arms open
for you.
(g.c.) 10/14/17
the woods are home
and i am a pine tree,
disintegrated and reborn
into the shape of a girl.
“come home,” they say–
i already am, at rest in
the trunk of an oak.
closer to the source of
my atoms than i have
ever been. each tree
has a different voice–
some high, some low,
some smooth, some
rhythmic, all with the
cadence of a lullaby.
“you are home, you
are home,” they say,
and all the leaves rustle
in the wind and slowly,
slowly, i fragment,
fracture, splinter,
shatter–into something
tall, sturdy, reaching to
the sky, reaching to the
soil, reaching through the
earth. the woods
are home and i am
a pine tree, disintegrated
into the shape of a girl
and reborn into the
arms of the forest.
(g.c.) 5/25/17
tonight,
i am spinning poetry
from my empty spaces,
and the moon,
my silent guardian,
listens.
are there books on
how to spill your
sorrows in a cup
of tea and stir them
away?
if i muffle reality
in hardcover spines,
could the fluttering
pages scatter
the darkness?
my fear has claws
and teeth and a harsh,
harsh voice, and i
am bleeding again.
i am soft enough to
melt and my words
can’t rise above whispers
for help, or guidance,
or sleep.
tonight,
sadness is a blanket
and the world smells
like lavender smoke.
i can’t find light;
candles aren’t
enough to fool me.
tonight, my prayers
are stuck beneath the
ceiling. i have lost
the key to my own
house and i cannot
leave this chamber.
do the stars taste sweet?
does the sky sing in
golden crescendos?
tonight, the earth is
heavy and my body
is heavier, and i cannot
remember the feeling
of peace on my tongue.
(g.c.) 6/13/17
let us speak
of the way death
splinters through a life
before ripping it away.
let us mourn
and kneel on dirt before
the gravestone—
death sows the seeds
of the violets that bloom.
let us hollow
out our chests, reach
our hands through
holes in the lungs,
hoping to grasp air
and receiving nothing.
let us weep
as we clutch our
fingers over wounds,
let the blood soak them
like sunlight. it is all
we have left.
(g.c) 3/12/17
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