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 Jan 2018 erin
i don't want each month to
become a benchmark
i can already feel
myself like a steel stiletto
scrawling each day off

anxiously waiting for time
to heal when it's only been
the tick of a metronome to
Scriabin's best

holding the slick undone
slivers of myself together
as wet kindling, an offering
that I hardly know how to give.
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

 May 2017 erin
 May 2017 erin
he started sayin' somethin
about girls and cars and
that's when I tuned out
'cause i'd already considered

not the showin up at his house
part, but the other girls who might
have kissed him in my absence

albeit something I've never understood
i'm not too good at cover-ups and my
libido only stretches for one person
at a time but
i couldn't blame him for things
he did when I wasn't his and he wasn't mine

who knows what happened in that time
but I can't care
and if other women
are on my skin then
at least i am on
(c) Brooke Otto 2017

that last line kinda struck me.
 Jan 2017 erin
 Jan 2017 erin
He stands like William Stanley Moore
a mugshot of an old gangster I saw once
in sepia, stony, strangely clarified, endowed
immortalized in caramel marble
glassy eyes and all--

he plowed ahead that night
fingers twitching, only to turn
around outside of the light
once we'd gone through
the doors and I'd fled down
the stairs in his wake
to clip his heels

I've been chasing his shadow
tying my lead to his bow
far away from my own
dock, a sailboat piping
behind a cottonclad warship

I am small and timid
soft and malleable, unwild
unwoven, strips of silk in the foyer
running through his fingers
sheets sliding down his back
I cannot give what other girls
have given, the way they
dive and plead and swarm
I can only coat, can only
rinse, only lather, I can only
run over--

I am standing at his bookshelf
running a finger over the spines
gingerly closing the cabinet or
slipping into his bed, tucked
away like a porcelain doll
I try
i try
i try
(c) Brooke Otto 2016

white knuckles.
 Sep 2016 erin
i once wrote about
men in California
weathered men, crust of the
earth, salt-soaked docks off the shore
with leather sewn into their backs and
hip bones made of steel and exhaust pipes
that smell of chicory, sweat and cayenne
who dip women by their neck, never sleep
never eat, only feast and when the wind
blows they
(c) brooke Otto 2016
 Sep 2016 erin
what i never had the chance to (let you learn)
was that I dance with the shades up wearing
nothing but the sun, telephone wires casting
cuts across my lips, small ******* that don't
swing heavy but fit in palms,

how much
have you changed since you were casually knocking,
since before you might have thought I was
untamed but a conquest you had already mapped--
realized I was a bit more to hold, (you did)

But that I so often go back to those two nights
telling myself I should have whispered your
name, to gauge a reaction, to hear your last
name tagged onto breathy mewls--I shouldn't
be this way, knowing i forge relations through
fingertips, I dunno why kissing is such a problem.

Probably because they write you into a chapter
that goes on for hundreds of pages afterwards, after the
supposed ending, even after I tell you that I'm done,
what is it like to be you? To be them?
to be able to move on so quickly,
and replace others with others with others
(c) Brooke Otto 2016

written June 16th, unfinished and still painful.
 Jul 2016 erin
Pablo Neruda
Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water,
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind.  The wind.
I alone can contend against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here.  Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Curl round me as though you were frightened.
Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your ******* smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
Until I even believe that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
 Feb 2016 erin
Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
 Jan 2016 erin
 Jan 2016 erin
you call me - "baby, babe"
and it doesn't feel like it should
 Sep 2015 erin
EP Mason
Waxing, waning
bodies convulsing
humming and breathing
tracing, feeling

Tell me I'm beautiful
one more time
my face in your hands
let me breathe in the moonlight

Lay me beside you
tell me what's not true
lie to me
lie to me
love me like I love you

I can taste the guilt
that's hanging from your lips
I know the night-time love
in the morning won't exist
I know it's just frustration
I know that I'm not his
I was waxing in the moment
now I'm waning
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