I’m not sure who I am anymore

Hands are shaking

are those mine?

I’m not sure who’s hands these are since that summer

I’m not sure who’s hands these are since that summer

It is so strange so strange so strange

I am so sorry so sorry so sorry.

It is all my fault that the floor stretching out beneath

doesn’t seem to be there for me to step anymore

that the air around me seems to be thicker

time seems to go quicker

my fingers find their way into my mouth

my teeth find the snap and the resistance of my nails

that I have used to join my two joints of wood

to the nub

till they are bleeding

till I have nothing left but oxidized iron

until the cartilage or keratin

or whatever the organic parts

of not-me are made out of are scattered

in a circle closing

till my mind winds up

and down and up and down

like the music box ballerina posed

sugar plum fairy

statuesque in her pirouette

waltz of the flowers

the click of the gears and the sizes

of the perfect metal

of the stiffened amino acid proteins

of my skin with the exclusion of when you find the perfect

color of the perfect permanent marker-

a careless brush of the thumb

unknowingly ending in a sick

purplish pinkish blush smeared across vintage ceramic face

had the purple taken her bright teeth

had the pink taken away the reach of her joy to her eyes

had I taken away even her size?

because of an accidental assumption

I had been the one that knocked her broken and loose

I am sorry I am sorry I am sorry

Under-Discovered

Other people always bothered me anyways.

When I spoke wrong, which was often-

They would stare or take pictures of themselves

Because if I couldn’t speak like they could

They weren’t interested.

I found a solid gold iron pyrite in the ground

While I was taking a walk in the park.

When I extracted it;

I sat down and examined it

The glittering fool’s gold casted

Splatter across my face

Gilded with dirt.

I run the bath hot.

And when a spider drops in,

uninvited,

and I feel as if he were already on my skin

Swimming eight legs and hair and eight eyes

Swimming two legs and hair and two eyes

Two feet and one face curl in disgust

There’s nothing wrong with choosing space.

Gripping the fools gold tightly

Value is what you make of the glitter

Understudied invertebrate

Under-discovered treasure

Like a cloud in front of the moon or

Is it the moon behind the clouds

Is it the traffic killing you

Or you, being a part of the line

stretched across the stop-

light

like

A

Ladder.

The Non-Believer

This morning

I awoke to my mother

leaning over

me

and shaking

me

we are going to church

she informed

me

A hot

white

brick of hatred

was thrown

through my window

at that moment

and lodged

itself inside

me


I growled like

a wild dog

but with one gunshot

of a glance

I shut up

but continued

to rot

I put on ugly clothes

-my rebellion

we sat in church

the red cloth

pews

hiding the red

scratches

the marks that were

burned into

me

perverse thoughts

ran through

my head

my anger

flared like an ugly rash

we all bowed

our heads

and looked prayerful

while i refused (-my rebellion)

I wouldn’t pray

anyway

so why pretend

But I filed in line

anyway

and ate the

spirit of god

the hypocrisy boiled and

churned

in my stomach

A Meal for Oneself

White plate on roommate’s placemat

“Vintage” brown table and creaky radiator in the corner

The neighbors above us are fighting.

Feet pound pounding on the cap of our ceiling.

Canned tomatoes – out of basil

Fresh or otherwise-

Three shards of dried bay leaf set to simmer

Translucent onions stained glass by the olive oil

That block of parmesan

              C’mon -put your elbow into it

Great shocks of white square salt

And stings of red and black pepper

The palate,

              -does it sing?

Consumption

1

I didn’t speak all these years

Because I felt like even

My voice took up too much space

My Body of sound

Withering away

on the softly moving wind

2

I prepare my tongue for speech

only

when that soft breeze carries away

those

Supermarket bags

And I become beautiful enough for you

To learn to love me.

3

My teeth seemed to have fused shut

We have our tea

So i can wash down that concrete glue

That chokes me

And I’m scaring myself

We sit across the table from each other

With you,

trying desperately to communicate

with me.

You go over your same routes

With Sometimes different words but

They all are possessed by that feeling

I’m lonely lonely lonely lonely

half-wits; that we both are

And when I open my mouth

To

tell you

Why i have been running all these years

They start to fill with tears

And suddenly I have Put my heart in a pail.

In order to live forever;

my warmth must be contained

Even as cold as i am

4

Your lips are drawn into frowns.

Mother, you always told me

That my father doesn’t love you

Because you don’t do what he wants you to

And you never saw what was wrong

With that

You never left or fought back

Stop telling me you love me

And reverse all those times

Where disappointment

Was no stranger in the room

5

It is only human to wish to hide

Cover up our beauty with our dark vice

Flora and Sin;

Fauna and Trust Issues

What a drag it is to think and divulge

Disassembling for easier travel

Consumption;

my fatal wasting disease

Getting a Midnight Snack

The sounds press into my ears like feet into sand

The wailing shudder of the trees

The moan of the protesting stairs

I creep up.

Step

By

Step

My feet licking the ground

Quietly. Carefully

Eyes straining-

Stomach complaining-

The clutter of the unkempt kitchen is my companion on this secret journey

The eternity of ledges go on for miles

My legs move swiftly racing the second hand

careful not to wake the slumbering inhabitants of the house.

Photo credit: Clare McCullough

“A Time and a Place

My brother told me he

Only wears white

because

It reflects

The sun

Like snow.

I told him that

Reflection isn’t the same as

Protection.

But what do I know?

When I lean forward

My heart just falls out

Landing onto the rain-wet

cobblestone.

Tree

When the conditions are right

Love grows like trees do

building itself out of light

And air

And water

Its hands plunging into the dark soil

When it is still only an acorn

In its rayless hole

With no mind to guide it upwards

it reaches for the sun

Then, particles of light

Fall onto the green

Shaky leaves

which

exhale oxygen

But

People forget to tell you that,

As the love grows

it changes

From that smooth sapling

Into a wide,

tree

With roots that seem to reach

The center of the earth

The bark thickens

And the tree’s growth

creates the stretch marks

Criss-crossing its surface

Your tree is no longer smooth

No longer young

But the scars

In the scars you can

See all that eaten light