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v Jan 2019
I used to love
between the promise
        of forever
licking fingers -
(road) salt fingers.

Midnight fighting fingers
    between mine -

I miss my cocoon.
“don’t worry honey” hammock.
rouge meadow princess.
half full
holy hammock

v Jan 2019
My love,
this is no promise of forever.

This is only hope
and trial.
policed from earned trust
and bitter tongues,
and concrete
eskimo kisses.

Here lays I,
so I lie quietly,
No need for whiskey on a cold night,
no holy
honeysuckle hammock.
No snow princess.

I promise my paper,
I promise her forever.
And for you,
I promise now.
A partner in killing rose buds,
wilting petals that sing:
“No, look at me
harbor me.”
clear as day,
with no envy.
v Jan 2019
Maybe missing you
is all I’m good for - maybe
I was made for you.

Maybe I live in
visions of past lives - maybe
I was made for you.

Maybe in five years
my body calls you - maybe
I was made for you.

Maybe, you are whole
honeysuckle love - maybe
I am made for you.
v Jan 2019
Black girl can’t twerk.
Black girl can’t handle hair grease.
Black girl is half white girl
Grey girl
White ******* 8 mile
Black girl in cop cars
Not black enough
Basking under the “Yes, there are black people in Portland” sign.

Black girl’s dad left
so white girl sits at Mormon thanksgiving.

Black girl says “wus good” to
wake up
and work with
within “welcome
to Starbucks
what can we get started for you today?”

White boy says “you a real *****”
Black girl turns around and says
“I already know.”
You’ve told me my whole life,
You’ve never let me forget it.  

Black girl
ties my hair scarf at night.
White girl does not fear the rain in the morning.

Other white girl tells me she’s
“only ******* black girls after me.”
  I. white girl answer back
“umm that makes me uncomfortable.”

Grey girl has the Beatles tattooed on her left arm,
Stevie wonder
in progress
on her right.

Black girl was not adopted
from white Momma,
grew from her womb,
still carried out misunderstanding.

Black girl wonders why white girl stays silent so often.
Black girl is screaming at herself in the mirror
too scared to scream for Jason Washington
too scared to scream for Trayvon
too scared to scream for anything.

We forgot “why are you always stopping me”
but remember “I can’t breathe”.
Only black boys last words are worth remembering.
Black girl
hides behind
white girl’s voice in retail and traffic stops
and phone calls.

Grey girl,
Waiting for the phone call.
Dad’s in jail brother is dead phone call
How dare you let them take credit for you phone call.

When I moved away I was a success story.
I was black magic
Detroit dame not dangerous
city girl
in the good way.
With the good hair.
the way in which black girl
works three times as hard
but I,
white girl,
still presents her work.
v Jan 2019
A second hit,
I’m clean
I’ll say I’m clean.
v Jan 2019
This morning I watched a girl’s heart
sink a few inches.
Through the bottom of her stomach,
past the only thing I’m keeping her around for -
It clawed through the crooks in her ankles,
and spilled out onto the sidewalk,
into pools of red,
before sinking into the earth.

My love for you,
engulfing her
suffocating her breath,
smothering out moans of my name.
Suffocating her until “oh gods” turned to

My name,
on her lips,
“while I dream about your lips,
on my hips”
like in the poems i wrote you when i was sixteen.

You killed her with memories of your tongue

Spitting “I’m so sorry” at me
for the hundredth time.

She died in the echoes of my shouting,
asking you if
“lonely” was worth it.
Was it a good enough excuse?

I’d  take you back in a heartbeat.
And now i’m left with a stack of apology letters
headed for the shredder.

I’m sorry for not calling you back.
I was just writing to ask what gave me away;
Was it my inability to look you in the eye,
or did you hear me whisper her name?

You’re one of the sweetest girls I’ve ever met.
Our time just wasn’t right.

Thank you for coming to see me that night,
after your late shift,
during dinner with your mom,
I owe you one.
You came clear across town to watch me cry,
all because she sent me a letter.

God Em,
I wish I could mop your heart back up.
Suction it right back through the arches of your feet,
Guide it through your stomach,
weave through your rib cage,
and land right her within you chest -
where it belongs.

is a good excuse.
v Jan 2019
I’d trade a drunken uncle for five years of warmth
For a family rooted in chaos.
Your father recovered
But mine never will  (if I can still call him mine)

Envy is a deadly sin
a gateway drug
An invisible mistress

You have hand painted thighs from a boy who rearranged no
We both know him,
though you have been closer.
But i'm still a fresh canvas,
Maybe a bit tattered, slightly greyed
But clean of self inflicted hatred.

I've never had to invent my own pain.
I know pre-portioned hatred
Another ******
Food lines
Bottled baths
Gunshot lullabies
Shoestring laced telephone wires.

I wonder how it feels to stand on the edge with everything to live for.
“We” don't do that
(even though I've only been halfway accepted as “we”)
I have someone to take care of.

I wonder if sleeping pills would help me too.
Packaged from white rooms with white lab coats and white skin.

I wish I could hide too
I hate that you don't have to
I hate that you'd abandon everything I’ve always wanted.
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