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Nov 2021 · 1.5k
Vulcan
touka Nov 2021
a lone something in the sky
flies near, just by mischance
dazed by the smog,
bowing
and diving
downward
into the parting, cracking,
quaking
bellowing of tar
from the firy, sputtering lungs of these alps
eons worth of cries released in mere mouth-ajar gasps
of the earth diverging and converging
into the debt of always running clean,
running me
always downward,
as in the deep
deep
tessellations of rock
I become.

too still for my own good,
I guess –
another voice on the ash-flow tuffs of
breath to fill the mosaic
of sinewy
stripe-patterned goodbye and bygone
plating into the deep,
deep,
deeper caverns of the unseen sea
slipping off the mantle, an accident with intention,
as an echo caving downward into  

nothing,

nothing,

more

nothing

polluting the depths from the palisades,
scripture rupturing lowshore into
surrounding tissues like
igneous stone
dreams of clinks ringing,
of noise
a voice
on the ash-flow tuffs
in the always running-clean water
the purity of which I intercept,
the clear-ness of it;
a sinners window.

through what's left,
I see the clam
another mouth for and of the sea
unseen,
the pearl
as unsoiled as ever
Nov 2021 · 912
חמימות
touka Nov 2021
I step outside

just in time, Father

for the leaf to fall from the tree

and the air is much too nipping, and biting,
and apple-pie
for me to hide from it

please, tell me a story,
all about it
about how the world ends and Your foot goes a

"stomp!"

over on the olive mount

and no more doors ever close like
sesame
sesame
sesame
ses—

I go along with things
just as if they are meant to be

and when autumn's chill catches
I hope to have You sewn onto my sleeve

not that I'd ask You to shrink for me
though I know that You would dare to do so,
and have
and prob'ly will again

and I can walk the earth like You
with intention in my feet and it will be so

meant
to
be

when the sun is just an augur
I hope to be sewn onto Your sleeve

and I can drop and fall like an autumn leaf,
and spring up again in the next wind You breathe

You bend down to hear
a calm in the torrential,
praying me a good prayer
unproved to me yet, but I know it

it's inclemence and drafty doors
and hot cinnamon in apple-pie
touka Oct 2021
we were too late to you

I imagine my bones breaking -
as if I could feel it

the same note I keep chasing,

the same tone
intonating touch

we were too late to you

it roped you in,
tired you quick
slick and quiet
going slack
into that subterfuge
of thick, dark ooze
sleazing up past your feet
to your knees
that sick, black mire
so much like ink

climbing up through your pores,
into your mouth, your nostrils,
in-between your teeth
with a gurgle and a sputtering

obscuring all of you, anything that I could see

the swathe
the death of your good

where no-one can sort you from the muck -
where no-one should

no-one human

we were too late to you

I imagine my bones breaking
as if I could feel it

from my one day in the centrifuge,
the same note I keep waking to,

the same tone, too -
insensate;
it is rushing like so much blood

only so much I can lose

no-more-touch

I hate the taste,

like pennies and dimes

and

I was too late

God,

good God,

I was too late

wonder is reserved
for nights far beyond the snatching of time
separate from even a catch, a breath, a whiff of it
the death of your good
no peripheral view
the clock so like the centrifuge

none such, because tonight
my head is bobbing on the reservoir -
the waters,
long removed from me

a breath in, just until its dousing me

I breathe unlike you
I breathe, unlike you

it roped you in
tired you quick

as such, too easy
to be too late

Good, good God

far too late

I rush back and forth where it's wet,
in the muck, in the rain -
find good, pretty things in the mud

like flowers in sediment,
stones I'll never wash

imagine my bones breaking
imagine me under the cloche

I would never clean you up -
what a charade,
because I was too late

you decided to give in and now look at what you've started -
here in the halves, and halves, and halves of you

where nothing's left

stunted sot
in deep misuse

in force, and sense, and centrifugal view
you lowered your head for that breath-stealing noose

imagine if I never knew!

God,

imagine if I knew before the bruise

before the bells sounded
under my dress
inside my head

imagine me under the cloche
the bells spurring, jarring off notes

the same I keep chasing,

the same tones -
intonating touch

the same God-awful rush

we were too late
30 years too late

climbing up through your pores,
into your mouth, your nostrils
in-between your teeth

the teeth I think of,
smiling

but you can't see, and won't say anything
long gone in the ink

the letters that cocoon drips off,
squelches,
scrawls to me

in the rain and mud and sloshing sluck
going slack into it

and I, in the cleaner waters,
in the cloche

but imagine what you could do to a pretty white dress, looking like that

pretty and white,
like white doves' feathers

so I'll clean up the same way I used to
cover every bit of flesh

and somewhere inside of the sludge
you could call it your brand-new skin
take-it-or-leave-it

but you say nothing

and I have no doves' feathers
only pennies and dimes
and a couple of dirt-caked treasures

and the ever-present, subtle sense of motion
that I will never lose
from my one day in the centrifuge

the same God-awful rush of notes, and

going slack
into that subterfuge

I decide,
our eyes will close before that part -
always

and the child in me whines

we were too late to you
Oct 2021 · 75
november 4th
touka Oct 2021
that's just how it works

It hurts, and you get away with it
and my heart will keep breaking for you
in the night
in the morning
over and over again

and I'll smell a phantom smell of the balm of your breath
on my very own
my tragedy, I suppose

and I'll miss it

I will miss the evil that I laid down to sleep with,
the impenitent sinner that I
never went too long without locking hands with;
the behemothing horror in the strength of his

not the blameless kind of might,
not for honor, not for virtue;
the kind of strength you can only misuse

and even so, I'll thread through those buried-in-weight benches,
through cold jurers, kooks, and voles

let my little voice sound from the stand in the tribunal -
- and I'm not sure what will happen, but
when it does, I'm sure you'll know

that's just how it works

It hurts, and you get away with it

and they seem to want to watch me
while I watch you do it all

all of the things you'll say - no words to me,
just a momentary gaze my way

so the imagination can run wild
and take a good clawed hold of me for the next month and a mile

and my heart will keep breaking, and
because I'll want to get closer,
I'll dovetail my hands

and I'll bleed all my noise
right there on the stand
and it will show in my voice
that I'm blind to the dance
a mote in the sun; a thing in the sand

I still hope that they'll see you

as clawed as you are,
the odd provocant you are,
stimulated by commotion

but the resistless tendency
is as good as a gun

the pause

the balm of your breath
the ghost of a second where I cry,
cornered,
and you lunge

so I'll see a phantom smile
in the way you snarl at me

and my heart will keep breaking for you
in the night
in the morning
over and over again

that's just how it works
and you get away with it

don't you?

will you get away with it, again?

threading,
like through the seats
of that little white chapel

those buried-in-weight benches
of cold jurers,
kooks,
and voles

I'm not sure what will happen, but
when it does, I'm sure you'll know
Oct 2021 · 57
hook
touka Oct 2021
little footsteps, falling fast
my heart grieves in turn, God

my nerves are shot

threading
through the seats
of that little white chapel

sewing
sinew and bone;
thread alone, thread alone

so he sticks a hand
into the border fires
wets the fray of running wires

with his tongue

swinging, spirit
spirit of inquiry –
then onto his knees
in that little white chapel

stopped as a pendulum

swung onto the asphault
arrested, there, in time

God,

have mercy

grace even a hair—

where is my son?
he asks

dead in the back
of a Mayberry ambulance
stopped as a pendulum
where did you wander to,
where did you come from

God

there,

staring

cries him a tear of Pentecost

where his breath tarries
til' he wakes with a start

where is my son?
think love comes with little cost

little footsteps, falling fast
sleeping like a dead leaf

I make sure he's still breathing

a breath in, a breath out

that licks the flame, makes it weak
so I sleep with eyes as wide as saucers
in fear the candle might be brief
come in, my little selfishness—

don't take him away from me‎‎      ‎
so further go these little foxes
little footsteps, falling fast
to tear and spoil up the vine

a breath in, a breath out

smoking this wet cigarette
threading
through the seats
of that little white chapel

a breath in, a breath
Oct 2021 · 54
925
touka Oct 2021
925
her sweater was white.

white.

I go in, I come out

I go in, I come out, I go in —

white,

white,

white,

white,

red,

red,

red,

red,

black,

black,
­
black,

black

my hands smell like
solvents and

her sweater

was white

I go out to smoke
go into the egress
between these two shops
make my way into that little artery

the vein that splits open for air,
like mine for love
onto the path that opens like a mouth
just to consume

because people walk all around
sprawling about,
in and out of stores
carrying their crumbs and things
and it could be like
I'm on the promontory that overlooks it all, on the infinity of the outside edge, the border of glass, and they are so small,
such that they're like ants,
only I'm the ant

and they are not small at all

and her sweater

was
white

so why is it red?

was it always red?

I go out, I come in
I come out, and go in
take the whole cigarette in one long, torn up draw
and the next time I see her, her sweater is black

was it always black?

so I do it again

I wait

eye the clock

a group of five twelve times, thats a minute, but five times twelve times for sixty times to be nine and every hand just moves along, and

I take another smoke break
and my veins are curling in on themselves because
I go in

and her sweater

is red

and I can't stand it because the faucet in the bathroom is burning hot
no matter how far I tilt it to blue
but the metal is so cold against my palm

and the broom makes this terrible sound on the floor, like it's groaning to stop
and every time I look away and look back again, her sweater is

white,

white,

white,

white,

red,

red,

red,

red,

black,

black,
­
black,

black

and it's not the flickering light above me
that ticks on and on like the clock because
we're some one hundred paces apart
and whether she's in the sun of the storefront
or under the cold fluorescent bulbs
the color of her sweater doesn't swap, I realise, unless I blink

so I don't blink when she catches my gaze
and I don't blink when I wrap up my shift alone
and I don't blink when she's saying "good evening,"

and I don't blink the whole way home
Oct 2021 · 43
wrinkle *tw
touka Oct 2021
I know I'll die in the interstice
in the space between your teeth

in that long, life-snuffing gap
between your breath and your next words

in that painful preterition

if this is where your scruple stops you
then omission is your sword

nothing more than a maneuver
to leave yourself a remnant
at each margin of the bed you ***** me in
Sep 2021 · 368
de vivre
touka Sep 2021
his thrill against the widow's cord;

snakes his fingers in the web

eight aching, crawling branches

where his hands have met her legs

six sick fingers on the mend

I let the wind come

and do nothing about it

I let the wind come,

and do nothing about it
Sep 2021 · 203
isaac
touka Sep 2021
He was asking for an accident

And he had asked for it so long

It was quiet conspicuity
It was a whisper of a song
And whether mid-day,
night, or morning

I could have sworn that it had gone

"Let me in, let me in"

I could have sworn that it had gone

"Let it out, let it out"

I could have sworn that it had gone

"Pick it up, put it down,"

It was frightened ambiguity
Dandelioning along
It was frozen in the postal-state
It was a letter never drawn

Tremors halving contiguity
Whatever I'd like, whatever I'd like

Tomorrow towards the turnpike's tongue

It was quiet, but I knew it wasn't right
I can hear a laugh along the highway line
I could hear the winding in the tunnel all this time
I could hear the murmur, but I still called it a whine
Jul 2021 · 62
atlanta
touka Jul 2021
forks scrape against plates
along lips, along tongues

those moving things
that seem to go and never stop

strike right through the quiet
the mind is futile to create

quick, cold prongs
into that special-occasion steak

words come out,
lips curve upward,

and the laughing pressure's on

it's automatic

"ha, ha,"

a grind of the knife,
stroke of the napkin

applied knowledge
purely reactive

sort of movement,
sort of laughing
Jul 2021 · 72
jackstraw
touka Jul 2021
shut your mouth

out from the rostrum
in my head

raking ***** claws down
the big open wound
that the mind has become

no more
makeshift threshing floor

the stopgap
you have made man's errand

the erring, wandering star
swollen bigger than its dark, devolving home

subterfuging
refuge
for me

a notch in the gold
a gap in the fire
a pause in the plaudit

liar
liar
liar
liar

you won't make a meal of me

I know your name

it's

liar
liar
liar
liar
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Jul 2021 · 68
apollo
touka Jul 2021
a balloon –
no, two
no, three–
they span the width of the sky

the sky that I can see

all these strangers yet to pass
and everything is ticker tape
ticker tape
paper waste

trampled
supine in the street

so, feet
on feet
on feet
on feet

go by my head
grab the quickest tether

remember, remember

I heard your name —
I'm sure I did

and then the wind came
and then the sun was gone
and now it's up again and

everything is ticker tape
ticker tape
ticker tape
touka Apr 2021
who do you think I am?

I have only been sincere

who do you think I am?

dragging your feet in the sand
cramming fingers in both ears

to stop that noise, that mess of cymbals
but you know where that noise is coming from

I want to see your hands
I want to see you sweat
force them
to be still

I wonder who you think I am
I have only been in love
some poor spectator, through this dark glass

I want to see your eyes
I want to see you take it in

off your tongue
onto my lips

I am so loud
cry and beg and cry some more
you withdraw
compos mentis of enlightened quiet
like
slamming anvil of beyond-earth silence

I only offered myself
bits and pieces, thoughts and thoughts
a nail, a hair, a leg torn off

thrown into the hole we bought

but what sepulcher returns in good
and who do you think I am,
and what have we done to be in love,
and where will I go when we use it up?

from behind the dotted line
that I envisioned

the upswing of human fear
and tending to be naked in it

to climb over the dotted line

to sink in and in

speaking as a child
understanding as a child
thinking as a child
waiting to be pulled to the air

if it will never feel quite right to want
I'll wait until I am wanted

and if the moment never comes, I
Mar 2021 · 191
roche limit
touka Mar 2021
I go limp in his arms
just to see if he can catch me

"don't forget about the stars, don't forget about the stars"

they are beautiful, and all over
but the darkness between them is such a scary thing
I saw a poem on here by a Richard Frank called "Growing Up"
Mar 2021 · 731
fragment
touka Mar 2021
a turn of phrase

I wait and wait
and wait and wait

"an apology you have to request is..."

he doesn't finish his sentence

I wait and wait
and wait and wait
its a lovely quiet
when he decides it is time for it
then he speaks with my mothers tongue
the blood is fresh, the wounds are young
again
Jan 2021 · 90
sesame
touka Jan 2021
a dime,
a piece from my mouth

ask him to sit
he stands
I sweat

buck, gut, gralloch
send him off his balance
send him off with a ballad
a song of hands disappearing
up to the wrist, inside him

become a thick-skinned
being
or
shed it completely

fold me in two

I swallow, I spit
I learn to drink and laugh again

he
sticks a hand into the border fires
stokes that fray of running wires with his tongue and I warn him "it'll burn you up,"

sweet love of my life

living like
the moon pulls not just the tide,
but all manner of things

I pick every seed off the bun–get em all off,
every one

sesame
sesame
sesame

his shoulders slump,
eyes roll
nostrils flare
its barbed wire
another bucket
another drum on my already pounding heart I can't take it I can't take it I can't—

sesame
sesame
sesame

I'll forget
what I've been, I'll forget what—
I don't remember, but
I only want to stretch toward the sun
it feels like a take-all-of-your-clothes-off-and-let-your-teeth-chatter
kind of night
like

when the scarecrow's caught,
he goes a little faster

rolls those wild rows of corn with a little laughter
sort of night

take out your pen and
write something a little brighter
but scarecrows are still
and the artist in you is even quieter

and you're naked in your bedsheets
and you're naked with your clothes on
and you're naked when the birds sing
and you're naked when the light's off
Dec 2020 · 73
sunspot
touka Dec 2020
snow of smoldering flax

tow of peach fuzz down the small of his back

I wonder
Oct 2020 · 74
mulberry
touka Oct 2020
I want so much,
I could do so much,
but I just keep tearing myself apart

slam my head on the plate
rest my neck in the national razor
wait for the hand to strike,
gavel to give way

hoist myself
onto the rain-wet
splintering edged wood
of the lucarne
let the air break my fall,
close my eyes until I'm gone


but I am still here


going on


and on


and on


Good, gracious God
shut my mouth and send me off to something better
ever just get sick of being yourself because you're incompetent????? just me??? thanks
x
also i hadnt thought about it until today, but just in case anyone thinks im a murderer after the last poem i posted just know that i am not. but also, you're next
Sep 2020 · 88
locus
touka Sep 2020
I saw them overhead
each one, rushing in
like the sea meets the sand

oh, God
I saw them overhead


I took her by the hand

then by the hair

then by the leg

I had a reason

and whingers cry on television

found her dead in pieces

but I had a reason
Aug 2020 · 90
metanoia
touka Aug 2020
such high miles from his son
with that head of sawed off strawberry blonde

still, you'll dance in empty places
that sarabande til you sweat

nothing between you and the better air
but those feet will have to move
Psalm 40:2
"And he heard my prayers, and brought me out of the pit of misery and the mire of dregs. And he set my feet upon a rock, and directed my steps."
Jul 2020 · 115
mountain dew
touka Jul 2020
what if a bomb drops
comes whistling
waging, burning, busting

and everything gets blown away

before you can peek your head
through that chipped white door –
turn that dumb, stuck ****
come home to me
and call me your wife?

I don't think about it

*****'s got the window open
letting her arm get soaked
with each bomb, fat raindrop
expecting to hit Sandy Ridge Road
but rolls down the skin
of her idle hand instead

her eyes are stuck outside
looking at anything but him,

the cigarette occupying his lips
the screaming, mountain-dew-yellow of his shirt

wondering where she and he and they and them
and whoever will go after this

I don't think about it

me after you, you after I
anything in-between
if we come falling
like big bombs of raindrops

scatter into feathers
like those sparrows sold two farthings

God says He sees
tell me not to worry

tell me not to think about it
it doesn't really matter
you know what's real
burning on your fingers
you know how to feel

I've been slipping lately
oh, I've been slipping lately
Jul 2020 · 287
midna
touka Jul 2020
knew fullness and warmth
like midnight comes, remember
spring's first bloom wanders
May 2020 · 109
contra
touka May 2020
I'll find a way to praise you
whether they cut out my tongue
or I bite it off
Apr 2020 · 206
hesychasm
touka Apr 2020
under a wolf's moon
all the debt that you incur
under a wolf's moon
where the air eats at his fur

his expiry
like lily and ragweed

how much more effective death seems,
in the dark

where there goes a howling
comes more, goes two, goes three -

and even sleep is a poor divider;
a straw between the fire and he

I watch,
and my heart goes, so unfettered
so that even homer nods
clinging to red-letters
with my last little finger
'til he's gone
and isn't it a very strange pour
that the water crawls upward,
back
to lick the lip of the cap,
once more
Feb 2020 · 263
todestrieb
touka Feb 2020
a rose climbs from this second row step
like a wound, always bleeding
Dec 2019 · 160
paroxysm
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'm 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 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
Dec 2019 · 427
mother
touka Dec 2019
and there she is

widows-thrill
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
Dec 2019 · 384
tongue
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
Nov 2019 · 175
aeternum
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

always

on the Lord

  with him at my right hand

I will not be shaken.

psalm 16:5-8
Oct 2019 · 109
mullock
touka Oct 2019
if there is a will
there is a was -

and if there is one of those,
there is a still,

and so they'll go wherever they will, now won't they?

but
here on Buridan's bridge
I've been standing so long
I've grown into it

like a lone flake of verdigris

here on Buridan's bridge
I've been standing so long

the moths have been eating my clothes

and even though I can crane my head and see the sky—which is endless and going to swallow me up if I'm here even a second longer—and I can let my head fall and see my feet—planted on the bridge above the sea that is the sky's tongue ready to lap me—east is west and down is up and

I don't know much of anything I used to
Oct 2019 · 516
haematemesis
touka Oct 2019
the cupboards empty

open, close

open, close, open

close

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

close, open

close, open, close,

open

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

open
Oct 2019 · 540
archipelago
touka Oct 2019
when you are waiting
as passive as the glass you drink from
calcined, corralled
into your adequate shape

stand,
skin of your temples limned
by fluorescent,
until your legs ache
and while you are waiting
biding your time until they lift their heads

every disparate form you've taken

sends off their own light
a wild sunbeam toward each coast
broad, bolder-*****
your spine the rock entrenched here, there, wherever

those loafers become one with the floor
melt into it, you
the offshoot of spit
from a rallying cry;
the last good drop of Pentecost
pooling into the terrazzo
Aug 2019 · 430
chrism
touka Aug 2019
beg
beneath the shoulder blades

if this touch is nothing more than
lonely synapse
and dopamine

rushing to embrace kin

or run your hand through her hair
as if your fingertips are magnets,
and all her thoughts follow along

if such a small thing

in the midst of celestial bodies
each on their slow decline
interfering, colliding in shadow

would turn us all into a lie

it is a good one

and I will tell it
Aug 2019 · 422
bower
touka Aug 2019
it was brief —

but as I walked, the path opened
like a mouth
as if smiling

and a bowerbird,
with its nested mess of sticks and feathers
and berries and bottle caps,

crouching under the teeth of the forest,
was waiting for me

and though I do like the dream of love,
I always wake
Aug 2019 · 211
glass
touka Aug 2019
a feeling I can't name

as he exits, excellently;
as the ball rolls
and the moon hugs the tide

hand
hesitantly on the helve

the wonderment,
the idiot

who he's exchanged a few words with

from behind the dotted line
that I envision

the upswing of human fear
and tending to be naked in it

if one thing
if it was all my heart had really thought for,
aside from to be useful, in my adult years

do I get, also, for it to end well?

the way envisioned
to climb over the dotted line

the wonderment
at him
the idiot sits
twiddles her thumbs

sinks in and in

I must be a child
waiting to be pulled to the air

if it will never feel quite right to want
I'll wait until I am wanted

and if the moment never comes,
Aug 2019 · 202
trigger
touka Aug 2019
of all the men she's ever held
and will hold

and I sit in the barrel of her 45

she's all heart and stomach
I'm instinct and claw

hot filament
a wire, a spark

a breathing space where she can't breathe
touka Aug 2019
and with each step she takes, she shrinks

frighten her
feel her
from the edge of the web

from the trees spitting sap
into the hardest to wash places
of your psalm scribing nails

fall into the murmur
if it is the heart
"I am, I am, I am," as Plath put it
beep, beep, beep, goes the machine
like "you are, you are, you are"


you are

Jul 2019 · 505
pareidolia
touka Jul 2019
here and there

a crackle from the fire

an interruption in July's air

a forcible boom

where I wince until it lessens


but I smile, teeth persimmon orange

like those smoldering flecks of wildflower

that then fail their color, dwindle to the dirt


I picture my ivories falling out of my mouth in the same way

grey and withered


I rise, combust and fall

with these wild roman candles


like cassiopeia


I gaze in her general direction


dragged into the night by the hem of her peplum


I don't care to make out her shape

nor the throne she's tied to

by rope or by chain


her parable pressed into the scaffolding of the sky


a warning; an imposition
like sky-lit lithium
and its retinal imprint


I smile, teeth persimmon orange

turn my face

perception fails in such ways;
in these bold, bright, burning crossettes




I see figures






an arm extends
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̴̡̢̢̧̨̧̧̨̢̡̢̢̧̡̛̛̣͖̤͓̫̝͖͇͇͓̜̗̟͖͕̹̘͚̗̥̩͙̤̰̠̤̝̰̹̭̗̹͔͍̖̭͔̖̬̥̼̫̯̯̞̠̮̫̮̣͍͕̤͇̜̥̗̗̲̯̫̱͚͙̟̗̹̙̻̘̹̭̮̟̝̲͉̙͔̰͚̠͕̫̭͙̺̘̮͉̮͙̪͍̳͍͕̮̲̮͕̣̩̺̬̜̩̼̫̤̥͙̜͇͚̭̼̗̳̦̘͇̹̟͇̬͔̞̱̺̣̤͚̜̹̼̠̩̫̟̪̲̟̭̫͓̭̗̱̲̻̖̪̻͎̘̟̞̣̬̗̔̽̅͋̉̈́̈́̈̓̓̆̅͊͒̉̇͊͌̉͂̑̏̂̂͋̉͊̽͑͂͗̇̂́͋̎̉̈̅̊̀͑̈́̑̀͐̉̓̆̿̅̅̌̉̏̋̍̓̀͛̅̎̄̓̀̇̀̿̎̏̓͆̂̐͊͆̑͐͑̍̈̈́̒̌̀̀̕͘̕̚̕̚͜͜͜͜͜͜͝͝͠͝͝͝͝͝͝ͅͅͅa̵̧̨̧̛̛̞̘̼̗͎̱̪̯̺̳̰̝̤̼͕͎͎̻̭͔̜̮̫̜̞̭̤̖͔̰̝̳̼̪̭̘̠͉̮͇̹͔̻͈̺̹̠̰̭̳̻͈̭̱̺̣̤̘̥̘̦͈̤̫̘̺̟̮̬̼̫̯͍̞͛͂́́͒͋͊̃͆̈́̔̀̑̆́͒̒̐̉̿͋́̂̓͂̐̆̈́̈́̃̀̒̆͂͒̿̿̋́̽̍̓̑̿̈́͒̽̀̽̇̾̇̽̃̇͑̋́̈̋̇̉̽͋̐͛̿̄̈́̽̈̋͆̓̈́̏̓͛̂̉͐̾̃͑̆̄̽̏̑̂́̐͑̒͊̀̈́̾̐̉̊̀̔̍̎̀͆̃͂͑̏̓̓͆̏̇͑͆̋͛͆̀̌̇̐̓͐̎͗̌̊̔̏̒͗̂̓̀̂͘̕̕̕̚̕͘̚͘̕͘̚̕͘͜͜͜͠͝͝͝͠͠ͅ ̸̢̡̢̧̧̧̧̨̨͙̰̙̙̪̗̻͎͇̱̱̩̩̜̞̣̩̠̪̝͖͓̥̠̭̪̖͙̱̘̞̦̟͚̤̝̖͖̺̜̥͚̲̤̫̖͖͚̤̻̳̭͔̗̩̟̬̲͚͔̦̘̪̩͓͖̠͍̩͖̜͈͇͓͉̲̟̮̝̭͍̼̩̙̘̗̩̙̠̞̗̻̲̬̹̯̩̲̹̘̩͉̗̲̰̦̼̙͓̭̘̼̺͈̤̝̃̽̈̑́̈́̆́̀̇̃̒͊̋͌̑͛̊͒̔̉͜͜͜͜͝͝͠͝͝͠ẃ̶̨̧̨̨̧̢̛̘̮̣̪̥̤̪͓̙̼̹̝͙̣̞̙͖͖̳͚̦̘͚̟͙͚̙̜͍͇̦̘̬̭̩̼̯̲̙̜̰̦͍͕̱̜̖̬͙̰̜̦̗͙̫͖̣͙͔̘̞̝͓͎̞͉̭͍̮̫̜̻͙̱̟̝̞͙͈͔͓͓̬̻̓̀̔̒̃̇̄̏̂̃̒̐̀̈́̽̅̾̈́̾̽͆̔́̉̓̋̈̇̾͊̐̊̑͗̾̌͛͊̎̓̎͋͌́̓͛̂̐̇͋̂͌̿́́̊̈́̌̔̐͊̏̽̈́̆̓̓̏́̃̏̾̇̅̈́͌̂̆̒͒̈́̇̆̍̒̔̊͐̓̒́̔̏͑͒̈͂́̈́̊̆̊̉͆͊̌̅͌̂̃͗͊̈́̓̈̀̔̍͌̍̈͒̔̍̽͐͛͒̈́͛̋͗̔͑̐̎͑̏͌̕͘̚̕̚͘̚̚͘̚͜͝͝͝͝͠͝͝͠͠͝͠ͅͅͅͅa̷̢͕̰͖̖̩̺̫̭̣̹̩̤͆̀̒̃̂̑̈́̃̄͘̚͝͝ͅr̶̢̧̡̢̡̡̛̛̘͕͖̯̫͎͙̯̻̜̙̫̲̙̙̣̳̱̮̬͈͓̮̳͕͖̭̙̟̫͓̝͚̫̥͕̩̤̤̬̝̱͈͙̱̻̲̤̗̺͕̼͍̟̠͚̖̦̝̠̼̗͉̹̪̺̹̬̗̗̩̲̥̥̤̞̪̹̳̥͙̩̖̹͖͇̮̝̞̮̤̳̰͓̻͓̻̳͔͖̖͍̻̤͇͕͇̅̿̏̓̽̂́̀̀̊̓͑̅̽́̿͂̒̆̇̄̈̽̀͆͗͋̔̽̇̈́̾̽̈́̿͂͑̔̓͑͆͌̾́̿͐̂̋̑̇̌͌̒̍̈̾̒̂̃͐̃̿̏̀̍̌͐͑͑̅͛́̅͊̔̾̏̈́͆̎̃̀̑́͐̉̀̾͂̏̈́̈́̏̔̔̓̓͆͘̚͘̕͘̕̕͜͜͝͠͠͝͝͝͝ͅͅͅm̵̡̛̼̫̖͍͓̱̬̰̣̺͔̠̣̤̱̞̲̌͂̆͊̃̀̏̊́̍͂͗̆̎̀̿̓̋́̃̌̐̆̑̈́̇̃̋̊̐̈́̊̔̊̈́̀̀͑͗̍͑̐̓͗̔̊̾̒̏͛̿͗́͛̄̎̅̐͛́̎̂̔̽̂̎́̐͐̾̓̏́̉̽̈̄͐̋̈́͗̿̎̉̽͑̌̓̈̒̑̿̅̓̓̎́̒̄͌̒̌̃͒̾̀̒̽̋̄̽̔͒͑̒̍̌͆͒͑͐̍̆̈́͑͗̃̔̐̊͑͆̀̀͂̆̃͌̿̐̉̀̾̃͆̓̈́͊͗̀͛̈̀̾̐̈̊͗̌̈́̎͌̀̚͘̚̚̚̚̚̕̕̕̕̚͘͜͝͠͠͝͠͝͝͝͝͝ͅ ̷̡̛̛̼̲̺̭͖̹̭̗͔̼̼̺̠̱̳̗͚͉͌̿͐̓̃̄̾̌͌̑̎͊̈̂̋̒̀̽͌͛̔́͐̀̐̃͛̾̈́͛̔̋̀̈́͒͆̎͌̌̂̔̄̈̈́͆̎͗͌̏̋̀̂͒̉͊̐̄̽̈́̏̆̆̐̄́̄͒̒̍̂̆͑͛̎̒́̐̿̋̍̅͂̓̅̀̿͋̃̉͊̿̚͘͘̕̕̕̕̚͘͘͜͝͝͝͝͝͝͠ͅͅş̴̢̛̛̛̛̛̞̱̗̳̭̯̬̻̟̬̻̰̙̮̬͇͚̬͙͍̦̟̮̺̹̤̬͔͕͎̦̥̝͉̳̅̎̒̉̅̋̓͑̂̉̅̋̔̑̔͗̿͗̎̈́̅̉͑̿̏̈́̌̐̍̆̀̄̈́̒̽͊́̋͑͒͌̀͗͒̊͐̒̐́́̄̐́͂́́̀̆͋̈́̄̓̒̌͊̀̊̿̌̌̓̀̐̀̈́͗̅̆̊̅͆̊̒̈́̉̀̃̿̓͌̃́̊͊͌̇̄̊̀̏̾̆̔͛͗̽̃͐̀͐̀̈́̅́̐̄̌̈́́̏̃͒̀̔̿̈̓̋́̉̾̊̿̎͒̀̌̈̇̿̋͂́́͒̓̊̓̌͛̆̏͌̄̓̿͑̃̉́͂͂̏̆̅̇́͑̓̉̚̚̚̚͘͘̚̕̕̕̕͜͜͝͠͝͝͠͠͝͝͝͝͠͝͝ͅp̸̧̢̧̧̧̨̧̧̧̡̡̧̡̧̢̨̡̛̛̛̛̫͓̟͙̯͔̣̘̯̯̮̯̜̼̝̙̪̮̤̙̙̫͇̟͈̙͉̪͚̖̰̞̜̟̥͓̻͉̱̼̺̖̱̝͚̼̬̥͉̮̱̟͎̼̠̮͎͙̹̙͔͇̝̲͕̥̫̙͙̩͉̫̫̺̤͖̞͙͉̫͉̰̫͔͖̳̠̙̻͈̟̰͉̪͎̤̭̲͓̲̲̥͓̣̲̞̭͉͓̠̼̰͈̤̙͖̣̳͔̦͓̯͉͇̱͉͚̹͚̥̰̪̘̈́̄̈͂̓͋͌̌̑̔̊̾̈́̃̍͌̌̆̊̀̽́̒͛̇̀̋̀̑̀̂͆͋͐͛̈́͛̈̾͊͛̔̃̽̑͛́̇̎̇̀̔̎́̿͑̉̾̋͗͗̊͆̆̈́̋͑̑̾̎̈́͒̏̍͆̉̆̉̀͆̉̄̏͑̈́̽̋͌͛͑͑̆̿̇̈́̌̈́̿̍̾̉͊͛̄̈̈́̇̽̇̄͊͆͆͗̌̒̾̈̂͊͑̀̌̓̚̕͘͘̕͘͘͜͜͜͜͜͠͠͠͝͠͝͝͝͝͝ͅͅͅǫ̴̧̨̛̛̛̫͔̠̺̯̥͈͎͈̞̙͎͓͎̠̺̻̻̣͈͖̲̲̱̞̬̜̲̯͎̖͈͖̗̲̖̯̩̟̯̠͔̪̒͂͌́̀̾̌͑̒̃͂̔̓̆͗̔̎̀̔́͊̿͒͆̀͛͋͒͑͛͌̑̂̉̑̉͊̎̓́͋̾̋̆̈́̓̀͒́̊͂̈́͐̈́̆̆͂̈̎͋̍͌̆̉̆̎͋̋̋̓̎̌̆̇̋̕͘̕̕͜͝͠͝͝͝t̶̨̡̡̡̨̢̧̡̢̢̨̛̛̛̛̗̣̘͉͇̠̲̳̺̹̩̱̺̫͉̫̱̣̻̹̻̼͔̜̼̟̖̟̠͍̲͉͎͚͚͇̮̰̱͚͇͓̞̻̭̱͖̫͕͚̱͕͎̰̫̼̣͕͔̩̙̰̻̙̲͙̠͖͈̲̜̞̫̮̙̤̫̱͇̬̞̩̼͇͉͉͎͔̙̪̩̫̞̬̪̱̠̯̩̮̗͎̬͉̺̰̯̣̯͚̗͕̐̆̀̋̇̀̆̅̋̅͌̈͐̀͂́̇̒͆̏́̑̂̉͐̎́̾́̓͋̑̑̆͐͐̽̾̄̆̓̿̊̒̉̌̔̓̂͆̓̈́̔͆͗̏́̊͛̒̍̄̀̃̎̅̋͂̍̀̉͒̀̾̈́͐̾͆̑̎̈̎̾̄͗̃̅͋͌͂̌͊͛̉͐͆̀̇̉̉̽̅̏̏̔̀̋̔̐̉͑̂̀̂͑̈́́͛̓͐͋̐̿̽̇̌͂̒̐͆̂̽͊̽̎͑͆̈́̽͌̎͗̇̓͆̔̋͗̓̅̀̏́̌̀̔͗̿̀̓́̑̍̈́̒̃̋͑̎̀̎̊̓̾̕̚̚̕͘̕̚̕̚̚͜͜͜͝͝͝͝͝͠͠͠͠͝͝͝͠͠͝͠ͅ ̷̧̡̨̢̧̛̛̹̜̼̪͎͇͕̖͉̪̺̩̠̠̼̫͚͎̳͓̟͈̙̳͖̼̟̰͚̰̬͇̮̹͑̈́͗̓͛̊̓̽̐͊̄͐̔̉̀̓͋͛͋́͊̒͊́̽̌̅̈̉̽̏͒̄̑́̒̔̅́̓͌̌͋̀̽͆̓͂̋͒͒̇̒̽̊̈́̓̓̓̑̋̄̔̌͛̾̀̎͑̓̿̃̾͆̀̎̔̊̆͑͂̔͌̌́̓͂̊̐̓̃͆̋̏̃̆̈́͂͛͐̀͆̂́̋̔̉̐̈̐͐͂̈́̈͗̽͆͐̿͗̎͛̈́̎̽̋̅͘͘̕̕̕͜͝͠͝͠͠͝͠͝͝͠͝ͅį̶̧̧̢̢̡̨̨̢̢̡̧̨̛̝̣͈͓̮͍͍̦̲͇̯͚̞̤͓̜̲̱̯̙̞̰̺̳̠̲̭̙̗̩͔͈̠̖͙̱̙̙͖̻̗̳̳̜̙͍̯̩̥̼͕͇͉̣̩̦̩͍̪̤̜̩̩̠̲̤͇͉͔̜̮̜͍͕͔͙͔͓̣̬͉̻̠͙̤͍̖̤̲̫̗̲͙̆̋͐̊̈́̋̾̂͆̾̈́̐̀͑͌̊̍̀͋̿͆̇̆̓͗͂̇͛̽̉̊̃̂͋͑̐̆͛͆̓̈́́̋̂̀͆̂̋̿̈̂̎̀̒̈́̾̇̓̊̑̂̿͌̾̎̇͗̎̆͂͗̃̓͆̊̀̂͗̽͐̏͂͋̔̈̏͑̄̆̉̿̊͛̋́̏́͊̃̐̑͌̍̋͊̍͂̈́̔́̉̆͗͒̈͛̓̅͌̊͑̽̿̊̆̆̅̊́͋̾̌͒̔̔́͐̾͒̆͐̎̎̈́͐̈́̔̿̕͘̚̕͘̚̚̕̚̚̕̕͘͘͜͜͠͝͝͝͝͝͠͠͝͝͝͝ͅͅͅn̵̨̢̨̧̡̢̛̦̥͙̰̲̬͓̥͓͙͓͕͉̫͍̖̹̗̠͈̙̱̳͉̰̲̹̘͙͕̣̮̣͓̰̘̫̝͇̤͚͎͕͉̫͔͇̹̫͙̜̰̮̗̙̺͇̪̲̬̺̪̦̤͈̪̞̙̬̮̝̭̠̹̳̟̯̣̠̻̹̫̳̺͇̱̲̠̳̰̳͊̓͐͌̓̈̾̽̍̅͗͐̋̌͊̒̓͗̂̎̊̓͛́̓̈͑̂̾̈́̋̑̓͒́̚͘͝͝͠͝͝ͅͅ ̶̨̨̨̡̡̨̧̛͈̱͓͇̳̱̘̥͕͈̘͓͇͈͔̭̱̝̪̱̬͈̼̰̗͚̯̫̘̘̫͙͎̮͕̩̯̩̟̭̟̮̯̭̜͈̳̯̝͚̫̫̮̯̠͈̣͇̗̰̩̘̩͙̺̜͕̖̼̺̥͍͎̬̳̝̥̼͙͉̎́́͐̎̑͐̍̇̄́̑͛͂͂̈̎̌͆̋̒̈́̇͋̃̌̊́̅̇̅͋̃̊̒̐̒͒̌̽̈́͌̈́̐̓̍͊̐͛̌̈́̀́̔̈́̾̿̀̓̊̉̽̏̈́͘̕̕͘͘͘͘͜͜͠ͅͅͅţ̶̨̧̡̡̡̡̢̧̢̥͈̼͎͕̞͎̞͖̘͓͎̠̣͍̟̝̠͈̥̰̗͍͚͇̭̦̭̞̯̜̳̼̖͚̦̩̜̠͍̳͙̳͈͖͖͇̞̳̰̦̣̺̺͔̖̠͓͙̩͚̟̠̗̟̬̙̺̲͎͚̮͕̜̤̥̫͙̣͔͇̣͙̪͈͚͔̥̮̗͕͖͙̝͙͎̱̙̣̆̌́̃̾̈́̈̊̓͗̍̽̉̃̿̾̊͊͒́̉̈̔̐̀̋̅̾́̑̍̾̑̄͋̑̈́͋̅̀̒͂͗̄̆̒̈́͑̐̅̒̐͆̀̉̓̄̈̔̐̂̑̂̃̆̑̾̌̆̈́̈́̆̎̿́̈͆͌̆̍͐̑̈́͒̇̈́͒̓̒̑̿̅̈́̓̐̓̎̄̒̀͆͂͌̆͐̉̋͋̎̄̈́̂͒̀̑͌̅̈́̽͒̊̋̌̈́̇̽̉͊̓̽͘̚͘̕͘̕͜͜͝͠͝͠͠͝͝͠͠ͅḩ̶̢̢̧̨̡̢̧̡̨̛̛̛̛̛̱̪͓͙̤͓͉͎̠͇͙̱̣̝͙̳̫̖͕̜̯̝̖͔̼͔̘͈̗̘͎̗͇̳̮̲̹͎̗͇͍͎̮̣̣͍̱̰͖̱͙̞̻͖̭̥̙͕̬͎̮̼̗̣̠͉̱͔̟̠͉͕͔̬̮͕̝̦̘̤̩͔̱̲̫̹̯̘͈̥̳͉̼͉̖͓̳̱̬̗͚̦͖̞̦̘͓̗̫̲̫͉̹͎̳̫͉̙̥̰̰͔͕͎̙͉̙̦̖̊̀̂̾̆̃́͊̐͆͊͆͋̈́̌͒͂̒̈́̈́͑͂̓̀͒̎̅̒̊̅̉̽̈́́̐̅̒̓͆̌́̇̃̉̀̏̐̓̊͂͒́̈́́͛͛̍͌̆̂̀̃̒̌̒̐͌̄̄̀̾̒̍̌̋̑̀̈́̌̓̽̌̾̏̑̊̀̽̍̔̿̏͋͛̈́̋͛̂͒̈̏͐̿́͐̍̍̄̓̆͋̐̔̇̈̓̊͆͐̎̌͊̋̆̒̾̉̕̕̕͘̕̕͘͘͜͜͜͠͝͝͠͠͠͝͝͝͝ͅͅͅe̵̛̛̛̛̤̒́̋̽̂̊̽̃͆̉̀̇̂͂͑͊̈̀́͐͋̉̽͆͋͐̌̂͛͑̈́̑̒̔̈́̈́̆̇͆͆̓̈́̆̆̒̎͗̈́̓̈̔̋̅̀̌̄̓̎̈́̎̈̒̄͛̋̑̽̍̽̈́̋̄͌͐̎͌́̃͑̿̾͒̃̒͊̓̑̔̑̀̐̀̏̈̏̅̄͐̀̓̓̂̓̆͑̃̏͛̇̔̀̊̃͐͂́̀̕͘̚̕͘̕̕̚͝͝͝͝͝ ̶̧̧̢̛̛̥̠̳̫̝̳̭̞̟͎̯̥̠̹͕͕͇̮̻͓̙̻̼̤̙̳̤̩͑͌̿̂̉̑̋̎̎͑̓́͂̏̀̾̊̊͌̔̂́́̏̋̆͋̄̊̀̒̏̄̉̈́͑̄̃́̌̊̌͆̉͑̊́̐̑̃͋̈́̊͆͂̇̓̋͂͋͂͘͘͘̕͝͠͝͠͠ͅś̷̨̡̢̡̧̨̛̛̛̛͍̺̲̖̮̗͕͕̫̻͎̩͖͖̣͔̪͕̘̮͚͕͈͓̩̝̦̩̱̗̭͇͎͇̻̗̙̳͖͚͈̯̮̱͙̺̮͍͎̹̙̼̠̞̞̦͛͑͐͂̀̓̀̒͑̅́̔́̍̾̀́̓̽̃̌͊̽̋̔͂̋́̿́͑̀́̍̍̔͆̌̅̇̇̀̊́͆̿̽̉̇̌̂̑̀̉͊̅̋̃̽̌͗͐̆͒̀̈́̊̾̀̐̍̈̓͐̾͊͌̐͘̕͘̕͘̚̕̕͜͠͝͠͝͝͠͠͠͝͠ư̶̡̢̧̢̧̢̨̧̨̡̢̢̢̧̡̢̢̡̢̛̛̻̞̝̬͙͚̟̤͇̗̰̤͕͔̹̩̯̞͙̰͚̹̯̠̪̺̖̟̹͓̘̞̣͖͇̮̘̱̳̹̗̮̗͇̼̪̖͉̱̙̺͕̟̥̮̟̳͖̫̯̟͙̟̮͉̲̳̹̖̲͉̙̼̤͍͖͙͉̼͉̟̰̖̩̺̼̱͔͔̼̯͉̩̝̳̦͔̰̹̖̝̫̠̲̹̥͖̰̦͔̤̦̪̠̱̖̲͍̞̲͎̠̣͔͙̘̰͈̣̼͉̻͓̼̪̲̜͉͂̒̓̓̓̃͒͊̎̈́̅̂̽́̈́͂͋̂̐͂̀͐̓̀͊́̄̓̇̾̆͌̀̐͆̈́̏̀̓̓̎͛̿́͌͌̔͘͘͜͜ͅͅn̷̡̧̛̛̮̮̯̯̤͕͎̯̳͔̟̗͎̪̦̟̩̫̫͔̺̠͓̱̣̹̮̔͑̈̏̈́͋͛̍͗̈́͑͗͆̆͐͛̑̆̓̃̆͊̔̍̃̽̀̅̆̈́̀̉̍̅́̈́̈́̓̈́̈̌́̓͗̍̐́͆̑̑̉͐̆̈̍̅̐͋̈͘̕̚̚̕͜͜͠͝͝͠͝͠͝͠
̵̢̢̨̨̧̢̧̨̡̨̧̨̡̡̡̢̢̧̢̡̛̛͙̙͔̬̘̳̜͔̻̮̪̣͓͙̗̦̙̠̮͇͕̖̫̗͔͇̬̪̹̩̪̖̘̘̣̺̼͙̩̤͇̳̲̖̯̩̻͎̭̭̰̪͍̺̳͖̫̫̥̼͓̲̘͕̺̳̩̠̬̥̲̫̘̟̗͙̱̟̤̘̦̹̦͎̞̭͕̥̮̤͇͖͙̬̻̞͚͔͙̘̳̺̭͕̳̗̮̩̫̰̻̭̱͓̤̪̭̺̲̠̦͎̣̬̗̲̹͓̭͕́͑͒͂̽̌̀́̏̂̌͊̈́̀́̋̈́͌̅̆̏̌̀̅͗͊̓̋̌̐̊͊̈́͋̌̐͒̿͐̃̍͌͒̅̿̑̾͛͐̐̀̈́́̽̈́̆̂͌̽̉̈̀̆͆͐͂̑͆̾̅́͂̆̓̈̏̊̒̓̎͑́̀̽̆̽̎͆̒̃̈́̆̄̈́̊̀̓̎͐̆̔̈̓̊̂̓̍̑͒̐̐̐̒͘̕̚̕̕̚̕̕͜͜͜͜͠͝͠͝͠͝͝͝͝͝͝͠
̶̡̡̡̢̢̡̡̡̧̨̡̨̧̡̧̨̢̢̡̨̨̛̛̱̬͉̝̠͕̻͎̰͔͔͉̳̫̝̮̼̞̩͔̯̱̩̥͙͎̱͎̠̼͈̝͚̦̱̞͉̣͎͚̞̞̱̹̜̭̪̪̫̟̺̥̭̞̲̠̦͚̪̠̖͔̱̼͙̙̬̩̮͈̮̞̯̤̱̣͕̠͕̣̝͙̼̺̲̮̬̼̯̥̪͕̞̪̼̙̯͓̠͓̥̫̮̤͎̭̟̭̼̳̘͓̯̦͈̱͕͖̭̠͔͉̫̫̦̻͙̩̲̰̜͇͈̱̭̘̝͚̭̩̝̫̪̝̣͙͙͉͉̯̩̖͍̘͓̎̑̐̑̎̋͋̂̔̄̅́̊̏̈́͗̐͐͗̐͐̓̃̌̑́͜͜͜͝͠͝ͅͅͅͅͅͅͅį̵̧̡̧̧̨̢̡͈̻͈͙͔̭͎͇̥̱̪̭͖͇̦̣͔͖̘̼̭̙͓̭̫͚̩͔̰̘̭̫͓͍̼͈̬̦̗̺̤̜͔̹̤͓̘̹̥̩̦̦͇̻̩̿̍̈́̅͑̏͌̄͛͋̽͛͐̎̉͗͗̋̾͒̒͌͐̚͘͠͠͝͠t̶̨̨̢̧̩̦̰̖͇̞̲̫̺͔̝͉̜͇̼̲͎̪̫͕͙͙̺̫̼̥̠̦͙̦͍̣̖̤̰̞͔̣͎̫͖̥̎̈́́̌͛̀͗̈́͊͆̒̄̂͑͐̽͛̉͆̃̀̊̒́̈̈́̀͌̏̾̽̀͛͑̏̄͐̂̓̈́̓̽́̀͊͗̉̾̀͊̈́͂́̃̿̂͂̿̒̆̽͒͗̊̀̓͛͐̌̕͘̚̕̚͜͜͝͠͝͝͠͠͝ͅ ̴̢̨̨̛̛̫͇̱͙͍͍͓͎͔̣̤̤̖̗͓̭͈̺̦̻̱̻̅͌͂͆̈̊̉̆̅́̿̃̒̂̈́̌̅̈́͛̍̒͑͆̉͗͂̋͂́̈́͆͌̿̿̓̊̈́̊̈̑̎͐̑̽͐̏̑̈́͆̋̇̓̄́̈̐́̀̎͌̋̐̅̃̄̎̇͂̑̓̍̄̚̕͘̚̕̚͝͝͠͝͠͝͝ͅș̶̢̡̨̻̹̱͈̮̬͉̣͕̼̤͓̺͎̒̆̑̎̈͛̇͒̎͛͊̏́̉͋̀̓̒̓̅͜͝e̵̢̨̡̧̡̢̧̡̡̨̧̡̝̰͓͖͚̮̱̬͈̟̻̭͎͚̜͈̣̫̤͙̣͓͍̩̼̻̭̖̜̺̭̱̺̮͈͓̬̺̰̺̳̞̪͍̠̘̺̞͓̙̖͉̩̫̗̮̘͙̱̺̥̞͖̖̟̱̯̳͎̮͍̩͎̭͇̰̪̺̤͍̭͔̬̻͚̹̪̟̺͓̱͙̹̫͖̙͙̙̰̺̠̪͍̬͈̖̻͎͙̤̻̳̻̱̥͈̤̩̮̞͎̲͖͈͕͙̥͔͖͈̖͖̦̪̼̟̙̻̻̫̙̝̬̯̻̭̘̜̻̤̭͔͍̗͈̝̜̻͈̻͖͙̗̣͉̣͖͖̖̬͈͓̖͚̣̬̓̓̐̀̑̍̉̒͋̓̓̅̆̈́͐́̈́̓͛̈́́̐́͂̑͗̒͌̄͆͋̀̀͛̐̌͗̓̐̐̿̍̈́̆͋͛̈͋͐͒̈́͒͑̅͊̂͋͌̂͑̇̈́̽̀̓̊́̓̂̕̕̚̚̚̚̚͜͜͜͝͠͠͠͝͝͠͠͝͝͝ͅͅͅͅţ̷͉̙̬͕̗͍̤̯͉̈́̊̍̏̒̅͂̔̆̿̎͆̎̇͋͘͘͠͠ś̸̡̧̧̛̛̛̙̜̺̜̣̪̜̬̲͇͉̪̰̘͍̖̣̩̤̯͇̜͙̳̲̳̯̬̫̹̝̫͇̙̟̙͈͕̣̱̯̮̲͈̹̩͔̲͕̫̤̦͙̮̺̗̠̜̦̭̺̩̭̲͉̜͙̙̬̭̦̬̥͔̗̩͕̟̩͊͌͑̄͐̔̈̂̑̇̑͋̓̀͌̾̔̀͑͆̄̍͊͑͐̒̽̒͋̀̉̽͊̉̆̾̊͋̾̈̒̏̀̎̌̒̆̄̔̇̂͒̿̏̈̎̃̅͆̍̃͂̊̎́̍̾̍̓̐͛̋̓̒̅̊̃͐͒̈́̇̅̈́̓̃̑̀͊̉̋̇̽̒́̓̆̀̔͐̕͘̚̕̕͘̕͜͜͝͠͝͠͝͠
May 2019 · 249
right eye of memphis
touka May 2019
on the chance
I took my thumb and gouged
whichever eye was open
far enough to see death

undone
like the wide right eye of memphis,
weeping gasoline on the gashed grounds below

obitus, obitus

uncorked, I'll spill over
do they or do they not deserve it
for leaving me ajar?

they'll lie
and they'll take it to the grave
and their headstones will call me out by name

obscure, obfuscate

that last rattle of life from their lungs
push up from under their daisies
determine me buried

obitus, obitus

the overture,
the onus

just for chance
I'll open it once more
for the dance halogen gives behind me
for the bark of tread on ballast

one eye, one good one
to discern the cause of death
May 2019 · 156
nothing
touka May 2019
my lips aren't locked so tight,
I think

and then there my tongue halts

thumbs pressed into porcelain
I only hope to leave an impression;

chock a stick in one cog
of his endlessly certain thought

he will not be wrong -
even when he has been caught

if God himself sent a whisper on my behalf
a whit of my whimpering in the night
those running thoughts might yet drown it out

a quirk of the working mind

time seems of the essence
I have to consider that he'll forget

I dig my nails in
feel them ripping from the bed

I only hope to leave a dent

but it was an imperceptible sin
a shared blemish on agnate skin

though mine grows inward
and outward and on -
like wild root,
shooting off in all sorts of directions

for him, a second obliterates
but I sleep and wake to it

my lips are loosening,
I think

only to take in breath

a forced inhale
the air of his absence
of cognizance

seems emptier
a notch in the shutters
a gap in the curtain
I peek in and see nothing

distinctly, I feel it isn't me who is looking
Mar 2019 · 514
spinn‍ing plates ‍
touka Mar 2019
‍  
thoughts pour
spill from their borders
swarm their predestined portion

"and I make them wait."

memory crawls my throat
makes itself known on my tongue
climbs into the labyrinth of my ears
bursts through the drum

and it is gone
   ‍      ‍  
 ‍
I am not a child

all the cars slow
to a rolling stop

where I lay,
fine-combing the dirt with my lashes

I've done it again

erected the edifice of my life
on the air from her lips

and when her gusts are wild,
I wish I was never born

but I am not a child

wheels appulse on the tar
inches from my tender head

I don't want to go home

I don't
Feb 2019 · 1.0k
penrose
touka Feb 2019
a stones throw from freedom

so, I toss
aimless

wear down the wick,
burn into the small hours

til' the sun basks

suppose I dream in absolutes

from the ceiling, a billion petals;
rose consorting with the floor

come to smother me

the sweet balm,
that last-ditch adamance
the last scent on my breath

do I wake in a sweat
with reason to?

waking being my first misstep
walking penrose stairs

I feel it

suppose I pose more premonition
knowing what I might

a hairs breadth

so
aimless

I dream that I touch it
Dec 2018 · 353
kinder climes
touka Dec 2018
‍  ‍    ‍    ‍    ‍    ‍
the sea-tide sprays

like his thoughts

the wood splinters

gives way to gavel



the city emerges;

a beacon before me

strip malls and shops

adorned with their little bells;

bedizened with lights

every corner, every crease

here, in winter
I see



the ice melts

with his mind, in its time

his blood runs thick

as the skin it sits under



this heat will scorn whatever callous I sport,

so

the sun will burn whatever grudge off of me,

so


if you come home...
Dec 2018 · 520
whitefly
touka Dec 2018
I keep seeing the snow
on its sideways swing
pelting, impervious, against the ground

to escape human conclusion,
conviction

without fail
it's all the same to me
I pluck the fourth leaf, before it can wither

to be a willing participant to love
I don't know

I watch it thicken from the window
a wayward swarm of whiteflies
that building, bloodless blanket outside
I don't know
it never sticks
stranded,
luckless
in the stomach of the solstice
likened to things
that have been likened to other things
Nov 2018 · 396
Algernon
touka Nov 2018
the first time I saw Algernon
I was sure, God existed,
but He'd looked away for a second too long
and Algernon was bred, born in that shadow
of the Lord's lashes

the first time I saw Algernon,
the world felt wider
and it all lead to his hands
every road outstretched to meet his feet

Algernon made my life feel precarious,
like it'd topple
delicate as a tightrope of cornsilk
and he tugged on it as so

the first time I saw Algernon,
his eyes bore into me
chipped away at me
like patient cleave to reluctant marble

if a feeling could be a man,
summarily, he was a wrenching kind of curiosity
just like when I'd have that dangerous appetite
to flip to the final page of the book I'd only just begun,
far too ahead of myself
just to see
pore over those unexpected words
though I knew it would only be trouble

the trouble with trouble
is that I am, in some sick way,
eager to see it

the trouble with Algernon was
he kept wise
and kept me none the wiser

he looked on me as a child would a bird with a broken wing
morbidly
I cannot help you, but for the sake
of my yet untainted conscience,
I will convince myself I can
and let you die somewhere I can see
like the final page

and the cats tongue I ended up on
the band around my finger
the bite that never lost its teeth

the first time I saw Algernon,
it was a repetition of motion
some calculated corrosion

like gnashing fang
and shadow
and outstretching road
and patient cleave

and he was much,
too much

like me
Nov 2018 · 604
hexis
touka Nov 2018
I̫ ̰̻̥̯̰̖̰w̖̤̗̞a̮͚͚̜̹͓n̪͙ͅt̤̭ ̳͍̝͍̰m͓̠y̗ ̯̭̝͎̱̲d͎̼̙̺a̭͈ṳ̺g̦͕͙̠h̲̫̯̩̱t̗͉͚͚̲e̺͔̤̮r̪̲̟̱̭ ͔ba͎c̯k͉̗͖
̭̠̣͍
̜I̗̜ ̰̼̳̥̻̙̹w̳͕̞͚̭̠a̟̠͍̲̦̜̝n̯͖̹̙̦̝̝t͚̙̙ ̦͎͈h͈e̜͚r̯̰͇̦̝,̠̖̞
̪̖̼͈s̫̜he͖ ̣̹w̥a̘̱̯̯s̗ͅ ̤̯͇̖ṣ̩we̱̭̦̭̜̩ͅe̟̩̳͙̝ͅt̪ ̖͇̱̳̪a̲͕̝͈n̠̺̲̬ͅd͚͕̫̪̘̳͇
̞͎͓̣͚̝͚ ̮̜̖ ̩̦̹̞̫̼͈ ̻̠̮̠ ̜̠̼̹͍͍͕k̰͖i̜n͇d̖̦
̥̟̼͇̮ḁ͖̤͓͇͖ͅn̳͉̱̹͕̰̗d̪̻̮̰
͇̜͚̜̮͓̥ ̜͈̭̘͔ ̞n͉͙o͕͔̦͈t̙̯̻̭̱̝ ͖͓̙l̮̳̣͙̞̙i͉͖̱͍͚̥̠ke̖ ̗̩͎̤̪y͖͇̼̯ou̗̬
͖̙̱͓̯̰I̹̺̗̻̼̲̫ ͕͕w̰̳̥̜a͚̯n̩t ̩̺̥͖̤̘h͖͉͖e̖̳͈͙͕̬r̝͓͖ ͇̻̱̖̝b̩a͔̻͇ck̺


I'll send a missive
a parcel, haplessly packaged
by these bumbling, cloddy digits

fill it with frailties
objet d'art of mine
my careful reminiscence

de anima
I will slice
like slivers of gold

pour in my intellect
places, names, things, phrases
I was sure I would forget

I'll synopsize my soul

throw it in a box,
carted off and off

until I'm set on the doorstep
an ogle and a gaze-in
at my what and whatnot

no return address
Oct 2018 · 1.4k
quantum entanglement
touka Oct 2018
tonight,
my shadow settles
in a different corner of the world

and his obscures me
content to hang on my frame
shielding any light from my eyes

faith's grievance -
the gravest sin I'd commit
salt to skin

faith's only albatross -
the bits of faith I'd toss
like Ms. Greenwood's dress
into the darkest parts of New York

like I think of my name
winking into the fixed abyss
indifferent to its prior disguise
when it does not leave the lungs enough

and on the height of my fuss,
inspiration flees
like a sour gust through the city at night
- a hint of death
a tinge of it on my hands

the void I fault for its expanse
promises to snarl his shadow from my shoulder
invites me into its limbo
desperately whines my title

it calls with little confidence,
but I linger to step in
flecks of gray interrupting the black
wafting,
purposeless black

will I?
will I live, wander the world's breadth
with the impetus of two dead legs

or will I become a cry of breath?

I flirt with two dooms,
swinging like a two-phase-moon;
stay, go, stay, go
weighing the whimper of my soul
against brain's drive to die alone
hope - he bends like a lion
like one does to drink
looks into the mirror of my face
he urges; he is thirsty
does so silently
well, I am the stream

who else will drink of me?

as if I am as still and quiet as some water
and I cannot beg access to his lips
for I've none of my own to part
Oct 2018 · 330
writer's block
touka Oct 2018
mist stretches along the tops of trees, bosoming coldly over the brush
like the bodies of lost souls

like the words that hang from the page
withering, wilting ghosts
that threaten to slither from their place
wobbling wraiths I'd traced;
my heart's yearn to spit its hopeless thought -
reduced to something like child scribbles,
like nonsense I'd etched with my non-dominant hand
with blithering, faltering pen

I swing like the moon between two phases
sure, unsure
how long will I sit here?
a few lunations scramble past my head
words on words on words
blend together in sequences of lines
that I no longer recognize
as anything close to cognizant

I read the lines again
dismantle, disassemble them
eyeful work;
like science sates its spirit
by prodding at the seams of the earth
no fear that it may unfix
the stars that string like stanchions in the sky
heaven's performance toppling

my words collapse before me
nothing more than a brief hiccup
before their quiet, noon oblivion
miscalculated blots that do nothing but spoil the purity of the page
I crinkle it, toss it behind me
grab a new sliver of square
uncrinkled, uninked
I stare into the ceaseless white
brinking, unblinking alabaster
immaculate - the center of nonexistence
so foreigning; a burgeoning sense of casuality within me

I remind myself that it is a piece of paper

but do I dare soil it?
ebony tweens from the pen as I press
callous deflowering;
assaulting the page with senseless drivel I will realise
five to ten seconds after I write it that I hate
what
Oct 2018 · 227
festinger's
touka Oct 2018
is it the hour of my knife?
am I fortunate, yet
for it to steady its hand,
hone its blade on my rib?
the worthy one,
from Adam's own cage

let me be ground back to dust
and tossed
like the two lovers from Eden,
blind in the draff of fresh sin

ah, I sweat
with this life on the wind
thrown out like the refuse
will I let live?
let my anger run loose?
uncurl the collar of death,
let it wild from its noose?

tomorrows worries suffice;
I am reckless, let me abound, and then
let the end strike me twice over! but, again,
life beckons me in --
as the light rages
against its own dimming,
I sweat

if to die is to live,
if it is...
my mothers testament;
the panegyric on death
×
don't leave, yet
Oct 2018 · 571
facultative love
touka Oct 2018
"it's between the world, or me."

I drop the gun at my feet,
drop to my knees

and the sun swallows the earth up.
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