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Swells Sep 2020
FATHER,

I felt around the threading
picked at each seam until
there was nothing at all

and every inhale you took
took a part of me with you
down an empty echoing hall

and your lungs filled with the pilling
of each fabric I swore by
on my way through the fall

and with that breath you held
and kept so halfheartedly
there was no one to call

FATHER I’m sorry
for the ventilator in your throat
there was no one to call

FATHER I’m sorry
for the infection that ran up your spine
like an empty echoing hall

FATHER I’m sorry
for the pill that they said could help
on your way through the fall

FATHER I’m sorry
for the cloth that couldn’t hold you together
because there was nothing at all.
Swells May 2019
I became solemn in my own grave
and shallow were those who forgot
and sunken were those who mourned.
I laid facedown and bruised from honest
words that broke my heart and
offered the pieces to each deity
that played with tiny crosses on my skin
like I was the wide Mediterranean unknown
and unkempt.
Where is your god when the sea breaks and
bellows in riot?
Where is your salvation when each breath
drowns in protest?
I indulged in your grace and came up empty-
handed and from there the words were all
scattered and helpless on my tongue;
the syntax I could not find to sift me out
of my old bones that shuddered in a nature
as though they might crumble into dust,
and it was your face that I might not see again
that held me tight between a sky bloomed of life
and the inundating tides of
death.
Swells Sep 2018
17
Mister always told me he liked my dress
like it was my sunday best
and I sat before the god of my inane
thirst as he rowed me across the atlantic
in romantic suicide.
I laid with two stakes in my hands for
eight years hung up on the cross of
my Father’s back where he carried me
to the center of my own christening,
and the gathering’s gathered eyes hallowed
“I swear he’s a good man”.
I had to dig a hundred graves to bury
the parts of me that died with you
and your fascist grin,  
I had to burn the home that housed
your greasy robes
and from the smoke those memories
rose unforgiving and sordid where it
was my throat that choked instead.
How do you figure what stays
and what goes
in order to live?
Swells Jul 2018
It began with a break that wrenched
my heart, a red-bloom sack,
back into my hollowed chest--
a coffin that had been recycled
after a few good deaths.
I regrew two months in an old
cast on a regimen of self-love and
strawberry toast, reminiscing tales
of Venus and Rhiannon, who I
believed once ran ghostly white
through my veins and then exited
as newborn of my guise.  O body!
I regret the dust that had settled
in your stomach; the bones that couldn’t
even mold the blood was too dry;
the worth that looked leonine but
was serpent in the placid waters
and bartered with me to cross
where a noose was tied to my
name; the skin that twisted at the sight
of blighted bloated bones the hands
of scandal held tight.  
Gone, gone, gone were the days
before calamities rang in my ears
and tamed me submissive to a
garden that refused to flourish but,
rather, grew into itself to protect
the roots.
Swells Jul 2018
feverish in desert-dry tides

the mountain hungers in crescendo
for the sky that crucifies her;
her staccato tops of green
and earthly graves
are titanic gods in all-
seeing tremolo.
these congeries of grandeur
do her not rise but sink the
valley of mawkish men
trembling poignant and bare
sprouting liturgies from their
beaks, bespeaking the apex
pregnant in exploits

where the sun resurrects daily.
Swells Jul 2018
dissonant from the ground that ached
of frostbite,
fractured and mistress of

the Sargasso

she birthed the thin ghost of dawn
in legato
drawing the trembling line of

her lips.

fervent, the bulbous-born sky
washed her
in fat drunken clouds of

gray ships

climaxed in the aqueduct of
erratic dusk
and emerged as deity of

bagatelle and dust.
Swells Jul 2018
the bones were hard to give up,
they pushed out like daisies
caressed under the hounding
heart of a copper sun.
unbridled and undried they bore
zealous arrogance of themselves,
petals dripping ****** convictions
and vibrating like awful angels.

under cruel devices they tried to
soften my bones and mold thick skull
constructed of lackluster candles
on their last flame.
days passed like doctors and white nurses
examining old wires that pray tell
the routines, the stools, the teeth.
i am their Jesus, their Lazarus.

my hearse, my sheep keeper,
my pretty things,
i become the acrobat at the
finale, the last supper,
supplementing at the **** of my
recovery. i lay my skin down for all
of you to see:  here is my breast!
my toad belly!  my glass feet!
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