August 1, 2010

july 2010

back in the city i didn't look anyone in the eye.
i sat shedding (just in case)
and picked my hands clean (just in case).
from the corner came
"you're so hot"

"excuse me?"

"you're so pretty."
"thank you"
"you must get that a lot. do you get that a lot?"
"usually from strangers."
"only from people you don't know? what a shame."

"have a nice day, beautiful."

but just the other night-
bowlegged we crouched
around the kitchen table
juggling wine bottles and coffee mugs.
something told me i should hold here,
i said out loud
i don't want to sit still.
my ribcage is a dancehall filled with the sloping
slender necks of girls
who let themselves be kissed in the dark.

July 7, 2010


it wasn't a hurricane
just you
on my bed with your shoes on
(like me)
fighting screams i never could have taught you

i didn't want to hold your arms back
so i held mine high and told you
tried to show you the
impossibility of ever knowing
where we
when we
could tell we were enough

i don't want wet noses or sloping
summer teeth but
we are both apple core-
both bottoms up defeat
already expecting the
nausea of staying still

December 19, 2009

quelquefois je suis ma mére
je sais que cela dans le froid
dans sa maison.
je porte ses mitaines
j'essaie de deviner avec quelle main elle fumait

October 5, 2009


we are fire, lungs autumnal with
stinging eyes into the dawn.
we have no legs to rest beneath us,
but turbines cutting against the ground.
now we’re spitting in the stairwells,
surrounded by another’s sound,
burning between the bricks and tree trunks
learning how to stick around.
and with our fingers thin as wire,
we’re strapping on our shoes of pin.
our necks bent towards the graces,
asking how to keep our stretch of skin.

July 27, 2009

{johnny halfway january.09}

i can’t talk sometimes without her tumbling out it doesn’t happen on purpose. i used to remember her when she was sleeping right next to me so i could open my eyes and immediately know relief. i let her trace “hero” all over my body but. i was always so scared to touch her. i thought maybe she would feel someone else in me or maybe she could feel that i would never lie to her i was eighteen but still too superstitious to say her name out loud. things got uncomfortable before i was ready but i felt it and i felt her stop… i felt her stop something from across the divide. i tried to squeeze back into the skeleton i wrapped her around with numb fingers when we were still strung out on each other but backed down, i tried with everything i had but i kept listening waiting to be let in, i lost my balance when she exhaled.

i spent weeks next to windows telling myself i should have seen this coming when i let her apocalypse-dream beside me, telling myself i meant every sound except for the words. i locked myself in clean rooms and i unclenched one glazed eye in the springtime to find that everything was angular and disjointed and nothing was flattering. i went home and my sentences got shorter for the first time. Folded around muscle and bone i convinced myself that this, what i encapsulated between two callused palms, was all i could ever really know for sure.

i saw her after a spring and summer of isolation, internal remediation, i fell right back into step. out of nowhere she existed before me, i turned the corner and she was spot-lit with the long list she taught my piano when she used my lungs--
and when i listened to you, anonymous in the crowd, i heard my words knife out your mouth and i felt safe because at some point, you were here and i felt safe because you knew what hurt is i want to tell you everything like you’ve been wearing me backwards this whole time, we’re all made to switch places just let me see that i’ve had some impact and i imagine that you’re listening to all this, letting me pour my words over and letting them roll down your back and maybe, maybe stick all-morning-after like to your hair your clothes just let me see i’ve left a mark--

deep breath.

some nights after she showed up with a bottle of wine and promised adventure but we just ended up following empty September streets and when there was nothing else to say i said too much. i let her justify everything because even though i prayed for her to blister with lack of me, i didn’t know how to stop waiting to hear the right thing, it wasn’t smart i don’t like to talk about it but. my skin still remembers everything, i still have scars from when she pulled me too tight and all i could breath was her so i grew gills and i still have marks from when she pushed me too far and i stayed up all night shivering skylines but.

here between these two callused palms i’ve created my own constant in the incredible tension of breath when i’ve run out of things to do to myself and i’ve run out of things to look at. i would have wrecked myself eventually. it wasn't just luck that it was for her. but then again, there’s no clean way to sound the hollow.

One fist clenched and both lungs blackened i met Johnny Halfway in a moment of truth, of forties, of fabrication. She dampened my teeth but dreamt of soil as i aligned my spine against her foundation. She mismatched our elements beneath taught skin and slow knuckles.
Johnny Halfway, last i checked, kept her mattress on aching floorboards, teetering below the Holy Father and a bent bottle cap collection. Behind her back i drew myself into her freckles, behind her back i scathed my bones.

Johnny Halfway held her fingers under the table and counted to 3 before i knew it.

Johnny Halfway was never up to any good.

March 9, 2009

{daybreak march.09}

{framed july.08}

photograph 8'' x 10''

that winter i fell into girls like relief & nicotine. i turned myself inside out looking for more to give while i pinned victory vertebre to sunken walls above blue ribbons and souvenirs. i knew all my sounds but forgot my cues & exits in the rush.
strung out between iron and ice i spun the bottle, fingers crossed for spring.

March 4, 2009

{chrysanthemum october.08}

the first words you learned barely
dribbled from your tongue
now you’re pushing off against the
setting of the sun
i won’t let you loose after all the
banners i have hung
hold on chrysanthemum

i pressed your freckles in my palms as you
cascaded across the tides, and i,
I undid the masts that
tore you all too wide and i,
i painted your lips
with the winter’s hum,
i'll follow you,

January 2, 2009

{r.c june.08}

ink, watercolour 11'' x 15''

December 30, 2008

{hansel & gretel july.08}

ink, 14'' x 17''