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lady lazarus Mar 2017
if i hate myself, just look at the skin of my palms
about the matter of my skin, and the translucent hair
if and when my eyes waver, softly, just for a moment

you, you, you don't even

i am all a mess of words and fragrance that doesn't have a label or a real taste. just a sticky, angry smell. i am all the frayed socks, every ragged hole and i keep ******* the circulation from your toes.

it's thursday, the children are doing that whooping and hollering like they never expressed a real pain between then and right now. where's the pain of tomorrow? do you think their baby fat has ever trembled in the face of all the evers and wonders and hows, all the wretched aches of "not yet" and "maybe"?

that seems a simple question, and all the dreadful needs come wheedling out of the woodwork like maggots. i can taste them, their want and flush and wish and scrape and oh for the love of all that is holy, i would like to be the plaque on your left-hand incisor. let me crawl up inside your cavities, taste all your stagnant air and need like maybe i'll save you if i can just fill my lungs up fast enough with you and all your rot.
lady lazarus Apr 2016
this languish is unyielding
ankles and bare shoulders are making me bitter
stop unwrapping my things
don't you dare try to take the tears from my cheeks
you have stepped in at the final moment of purity
and however you might try to
pry the gore from between my legs
you know nothing.

I am being suffocated by privilege
not enough to find me fortune, oh no
only that strangers afford leisure
and i am burning, slowly

brunch is taunting me
afternoons spent quietly,
a night out with close friends,
one, any activity alongside the sun
in the real world, there are days off
and dreamless slumbers
and friends.

all the evidence supports that i am doing everything i possibly can to do the very best anyone could ask of where i am right at this moment,
so how do i feel so behind?
and out of place?
and worthless?

the shade is being drawn back from my eyes now
my happiness was a glitch
to think that i deserved it, an error
my personhood, a mistake

i am so capable, and so angry
lady lazarus Mar 2016
for a beverage i find so conventionally unattractive,
your whole milk movements
make my insides cream in the way that elicits a sleepy,
satisfied smile from your furrow.

see, that's a joke that might make you smile.
enduringly grateful for a companionship
overrun by giggles in such variance.

you see, my darling, you are such a unique
You i am eager to reconsider the habits of my I.

loving you has fallen into my lap much like
a sticky, nap-seeking toddler,
and all i want to do is wipe sweet cranberry juice from your cheeks.

let me work the expectations and necessities
from your bones in the hum of my bedroom.
jersey knit and dust and candles.
you never mind my mess in the same way I cannot
mind the delectable tang of your sweat,
and i know how you like to taste mine.
all the ways one person should love another: simply and humanely
are strung between your fingertips.
let me untie you.
you write me on graph paper,
crooked teeth and vivid nightmares scrawled
between the rigid blue hue.
you write me in cursive, poorly, and i am shivering
imagining the ways your l's loop between the squares.

since our convergence, i drink less.
no inhalants burning my lungs, less meat on my plate.
cosmetics sit and gather dust because
really, who has time for such things and
i just might be bursting with the tender way
your lips brush against my cheeks. such a

i despise to give you any credit, my love,
but assurance in my person only grows
by your guidance, patience and example.
nauseating, perhaps.
but luck has graced me, and i am oh so very sure
i will never forget the shape of my face between your hands
because truly, and quietly, i am learning.
that's all i can ask.

your hands are always on my neck,
cradling my cranium like a moonstone,
instinctively sometimes, like your brain
hasn't quite caught up with the fingers rhythmically
kneading the tender flesh like my muscles are a problem
that your hands already know how to solve.

my head is held surprisingly high next to you,
you unorthodox preponderance,
and for the first time i am deeply touched by how
little a Them can scratch the surface of such a
transcendent and radiant Us.

you are fluent in languages i am sure
i will never wrap my fingers around,
yet every phrase slipping out
between your swollen lips
seems just for me.

we make love like music and i would sing so softly
to the hush and grunt and ache of your body when it meets mine.
your rhythm is so nice beside my melody
and i want to keep hearing all your renditions.

i am only a little bit ashamed of how these words sing for you,
a collection of vowels in a way i find distasteful.
a language that is simple,
begs no extensive vocabulary and simile to express
how tender your eyes are, like my favorite moon,
and that i never get tired of talking to you,
or hydrating you.

i hope you never read this poem, or consider it.
i hope all this brilliance fades upon your departure.
i hope we lose touch.

if not i'll have to face the unbelievably unbearable uncertainty that
your You might be just as good for me as my I you.  

that i might want to be quiet with you,
for long drives and difficult times and
even nights that i don't want to be anyone at all.

that perhaps you hope for the same.

that we just might be the same kind.
this is not a poem
lady lazarus Nov 2015
a letter came for a dead man today

and i was certain, if i looked down, i'd see a ******, mangled mess beneath me where my heart sputtered and dropped right out of my chest cavity
as  i watched, through a stranger's eyes, the pad of my thumb smear the ink of your name

the serrated p's and t's slicing open the makeshift stitches i used in vain to yank close the gaping hole left by your gravestone

five hundred and eleven sunrises I have seen without you

counting each one like I counted the letters you never wrote me

because I wrote you letters, but they never left the sweaty lines of my palms.

& i wrote you sonnets, couplets, painstaking metaphors like how my heart living inside your hands was like a telescope reaching for moons.

but that's the thing. you left mine unwound, dangling towards the ground and all that my lips held never reached your sky.

all ever i wanted was to make my stars and moons live inside your eyelids.

but my wishes were like flowers left next to tombstones, and you never brought me daisies.

five hundred and eleven mornings I’ve awoken
and found my hands disgusted with the way my body moves beneath me

and it wasn’t until you took your last breath that I started being grateful for mine

I hurt, do you see?

i could write you more than one poem about suffering, as routine as a heartbeat

the things i've done, the mistakes and places and the ways i've lost my pride and grace for the sake of sanity

i've spent too many hours weaving windflowers between my fingertips
hoping the stinging vines stealing circulation will bleed safety
hoping if I say your name enough times it’ll lose its incantation

but you were a magician
and I’ve still got too much pride to admit that I thought I could get rich on the lies you pulled from behind my ears

you told me that you loved me
you told me that you understood me
you told me that you needed me
you told me that you wouldn’t leave me

five hundred and eleven days ago I learned that the things you told me were as worthless as the promise you made to keep breathing

and now I’m second-guessing myself on the corner, begging strangers to tell me i’m worth something more than the words you imprinted on my lips

all this time I’ve spent trying to make the pieces of my shattered self fit together in the same way they did before your eyes became the reason that I opened mine

I don’t care what they say
They can’t tell me I’m wise for my age when I let you redefine the truths of my own existence

But I’ve had 511 days to rewrite this one, and I’ve got enough modesty now to tell you the truth.

when you died, you stole all the ways I ever felt validated
you had my secrets in your pockets, my innocence like an offering on your altar
when you took your own life, you did me a favor

A letter came for you today.

i ripped it up.
this piece incorporates many other parts of poems i have written over the past four years, i performed it recently.
lady lazarus Sep 2015
it has taken many swallowed words, wretched nights, boiling blood
too many staggering revelations left behind, the moon at sunrise
clarity needed so fiercely, choked to death in a greedy embrace

wicked, wicked fingers ache for liberty from stagnancy
raucous throats wail for gesture
throbbing spirit ponder change

i am seeking enlightenment,
almost gets caught on an incisor on the way out
shrewd minds hail benefits of repetition
a recommendation worthy of a busted record player

rapid internal revolution is fraught with instability
sanity skulking out the side door while you
try to keep your needle straight (and narrow)

there's a silence at the window, whiffs of modulation & hesitation
contemplate the purr of pavement underfoot
if only deranged carnivores counting your steps  
kept you off the streets

there is humble grace to a hung crown
a fickle tongue swollen with repose
to listless, tranquil limbs

forthcoming, bruised lips
never quite as pleasing
in the mourning solitude
lady lazarus Jun 2014
a trembling reaction
to every way you fought to keep my hands in yours
a fickle name to how your eyelids only leaked promises
and how i only ever met your lips with broken glass
you tried to pry the answers from my cigarette but you forgot that I buried your baby teeth in the backyard last summer
one, two,
count my fingers out the window like your swans almost in flight
every creature passed under your embrace learned how to curve their wings up like forged protection
from your spitfire

our teeth leak venom and motor oil, it tastes like how your fists feel against your children's skin
when you wrap the women in chains made of expensive gifts and shattered promises, sometimes they clean their teeth and fight back.

maybe i won't remember to draw the curtains after you leave

but i'll always leave a key under your pillow.
June 3rd, 2014
lady lazarus Jun 2014
it has been one year, eleven months, and four days since i last saw your face
since i watched your hand raise to your lips like a nun in silent prayer in a farewell
just for me
through the ***** window
as i held the folded up note in my hand like my heart that was drawn with the words i needed to explain to you that I was scared I would forget how to breathe with you gone
that i still needed you
and then you were gone, your body disappeared out sight
it has been one year, eleven months, and four days since you left
and now i have something to say
i was sixteen years old, and my eyes were bright
i was sixteen and the way you dragged your fingertips across my back as you walked by like mice scurrying across the floor made me feel more than i ever thought it was possible to feel
how naive of me
i was sixteen and when your rough lips grazed my ear like an animal stalking its prey my heart exploded for every single possibility that your words held
i was sixteen and every time my father struck me i could feel it reverberating through my bones because my tender mind hadn’t caught up with my aching body yet and i knew  i knew that you were wrong
but when you stroked my hair and kissed my fingertips and your hands grasped my waist like you were holding on for dear life the only truth i could hear above the frantic beating of my heart was that you wanted me
that you validated me
you weaved your hands between my ribs and slipped your fingers around my heart and when you left YOU RIPPED OUT MY HEART AND TOOK IT WITH YOU

i’m not sixteen anymore
and i spent one year, eleven months, and four days trying to make the pieces of my broken self fit together in the same way that they did before your eyes become the reason that i smiled every day
i’ve spent all this time trying to tell myself that it wasn’t my fault, wasn’t my fault, wasn’t my fault WASN’T MY FAULT
it has been one year, eleven months, and four days
I want my heart back
january 2014.
Written as spoken word.
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