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touka Feb 11
a rose climbs from this second row step
like a wound, always bleeding
touka Dec 2019
she must be in such pain
I always think
I always, always think

but still her ire gets the best of me

her pain is not quiet, not to me;

it's thrashing, kicking
screaming, crying, willing
to wring the garrote
of her small hands
around my neck

it's her quivering lip
spilling forth short "I sorry's" and
calling for my embrace
and then her small frame turning
to drub on the same wounds again,

again, again
again again again again—

the flame's rising
and rising,
and I'm quick to rush in!
but I'm too small,
like spit on the fire

it's too hard,
it's too hard,
it's too hard

and even more I ruin my size

tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow
tomorrow, tomorrow

there is always tomorrow

like I'll wake up
with my wounds gone
touka Dec 2019
and there she is

or devil's backbone,
some sort of specimen
hog-tied to the sediment

combs her hand
with nails bit past the quick
through her hair
til she thinks there's not one incongruent strand

dragging her feet
down the primrose path
off on the hard way into heaven

I know I'm good for something
I just haven't found it yet
touka Dec 2019
my mind keeps getting snagged,

catching on these fictions,

concoctions –

I see her
in the night
tearing into the undressed hind of the ram
like a fresh-gouged slice of honeydew melon

the pulp of his flesh red,
trickling off the slant of her lips

I think I'd offer her the cimeter
and use of the free oven

but I'm not sure it's the meal she's after
touka Nov 2019
He's between my fingers
in all of the colors
that this gentle light portrays

in the slats of the blinds
that through the shades, the sun shines

a wonder
of a whisper
of a water-wilting ray

I do nothing apart from you

I refuse

Father, ensure I refuse

in every grain of dust
illuminated by the day
He resides

His sweet hello
He waits

and when our star reaches its minimum
throw another piece
of your tender heart in
like fodder, to keep it burning

so we may have a second longer, Father
Lord, you alone

are my portion and my cup;

   you make my lot secure

the boundary lines have fallen
for me
in pleasant places;

  surely, I have a delightful inheritance

I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night
my heart instructs me

I keep my eyes


on the Lord

  with him at my right hand

I will not be shaken.

psalm 16:5-8
touka Oct 2019
the cupboards empty

open, close

open, close, open


a half sweep out of Alamance
spool me crooked 'round her waist

close, open

close, open, close,


I can feel her
bristling, bruising under me
I need it, need her,
need her good to extend to me

open, close

I hold her close
too close
too tightly

wringing cloth
of praise

where can I touch
what gap can I bridge

open, close
close, open

so I'll be an off-branch from her
so closely synonymous
to be held in the same breath

let me in
let me melt into her

until there is no part of me left to drive out

the cupboards empty

open, close

open, close, open, close

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