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palm readingsi exist in the city limits because i want the wind to make me frail.
fragile like a ghost,
a sorry sin i promise to abstain but inevitably commit.
my bus fare is a kick down memory lane.
i walk instead.
he told me i spun words that dissolved on the tongue
before he even had the chance to taste them.
he called me sugar like a midday ritual,
dressed me in compliments more fit for kings than commoners.
i turned complacent; comforted by new beginnings
and frightened by sudden endings.
my mother never taught me how to avoid heartache.
she only told me that my heart was a gold mine
and i should never let fake jewelry lay over it.
once, out of spite, i showed her my palms and asked what she saw.
she told me that in this world full of practice, there was no time for games.
when i showed him, he said that i am overworked.
now, it is the purgatory between autumn and winter that sinks my guts.
the waiting room lacks couches and candle scents.
the smiles are either plastic or
it was only under the weight of the stars
that vulnerability personified
and he floated into my arms like an honest promise.
we built castles with our mouths,
safe havens with our teeth.
after all this time, i still can't tell
whether he decorated my life
or vandalized it.
and i wonder if i will ever see him again:
painted and proud with those lips like royalty.
Farmington Hills, MII.
i have this tendency to hide behind tall buildings.
skyscrapers are home, but your lap
is the most familiar place i will ever know.
when Thomas Edison invented the light bulb,
he did not account for your smile.
the brilliance of the two can blind,
subsequently terminating his patents
and deeming light fixtures illegal.
every time i'm on the highway past midnight, i'm reminded that
the difference between us is a 300-mile span of lampposts.
i'm sure that Thomas Edison didn't consider this, either.
if he had, he would have used that mind of his to invent teleportation.
he wouldn't want me stranded in a bed too large for a single body,
shivering with thoughts of damp fields and crunchy leaves and interlocking fingers,
mumbling about how quickly we turned upside down.
still, i think of you in the moments before i do something brave
like tell a secret or hold someone's hand during a movie.
you taught me that forgiveness comes in floods.
my eyes are a tsunami-tide away
the art of leavingtimes like this, i am convinced that we were just faking it,
how we traded dreams and comfortable anatomy
for secrets and messy closets.
it is nothing less than an unmistakable truth
that our coils are curled around each other
like infantile fingers:
all passion for passing time, no direction or destination.
we were consumed by our desire for warmth,
by our shared ability to extract smiles and steady breathing.
we taught each other the art of leaving
and because of this,
my name jitters caffeinated on your tongue.
i am combing through my bed sheets
in hopes of finding the salt i shed
to decorate my wounds with stings.
the process of healing is one i am continuously beckoned into perfecting.
i have already tricked myself into believing i do not need you;
i have already forgotten the shape of your face.
bed sheets hold more than bodiesi engraved the curve of my fingernails
into his shoulder blades, his tongue
sweat with lust. we touched,
real this time.
linens are scrapbooks: snapshots
of midnight and kush smoke
and breathing speech.
i cried oceans for lips that flowed like rivers.
i moved mountains for men
who were often obstacles of their own.
uncut grass and dusty mattresses,
warm liquor and bruises.
someone else's shadow is not for hiding behind.
my mother mistook me for chastity,
men mistook me for a chalice;
both drank me dry.
i took for granted the time i had another body
next to mine and now
i realize his absence with startling certainty.
sometimes it's best to abandon shipin the seas of my sailor-boy stories,
limbs of past lovers have been found
floating like forgotten prayers.
i have made far too many unlucky discoveries,
witnessed far too many good people
burn at the stake
to ever go back to child's play.
he is the rope not long enough
to save us from this shipwreck.
i am the anchor stuck in the sand,
cracking deeper with every wave.
the human heart is a muscle
not accounted nearly enough credit
for what it has been through.
so he folds his arms around me
like a flawless sail and tells me
that getting over people is easy,
that i could just forget the ways i
was altered and affected by the
plethora of existences that surrounds me.
with my flipped gut and over-tested nervous system,
i will trust him. i will listen.
this time, i am too far gone to risk it.
neo-Freudian idealsin 1886, Sigmund Freud employed free association;
the idea that a sick patient, terminally crippled with a nameless plague,
could list off the reasons why his bed sheets had holes in them.
paraphrased: the art of free speech.
my mouth is a gun and your name is a shooting range.
damp grass, our backs, semantics.
the psychoanalysts say we establish long-term memory
by stringing it all with prior meaning.
a flurry of sweatshirts and ripped jeans, stroking skin
in sign language only lovers speak.
hands, tongue, everything else.
Freud said that sometimes, a cigar is only a cigar.
i tell him how smoke spilled from your mouth into mine.
stale breath and gentle fingers probing, squeezing,
i trace my steps back to the night we crushed leaves into potpourri.
the scent of cold coffee permeated into the forest,
the tree roots soaking up our caffeine.
i remember you most clearly in the heartbeat between page turns.
you are full and real, the lump in my throat.
you are the holes in
it confused you, the way i carried myself like an anthem.
my honeysuckle hair folded around my face in a frame of
concealment; the way i brushed foreign words across your
tongue like a series of revivals.
we were a resurrection hiding in the shallowest of waters,
so it shouldn't have come as a surprise when we drowned
our worth in glorified tears and cheap vodka.
addiction is a dirty trick: you
with lashing language and all that weed.
me with watching it happen.
it saddened me to mention you, the way our skin absorbed
the hope of every tomorrow in just one night.
how we built castles fit for royalty from each other's morals,
yet abandoned them like stubborn subjects.
we tethered ourselves like two anchors destined for an inevitable shipwreck.
smile, you said.
it's not all bad.
and i can't help but wonder why our interlacement unwinded.
your lingering taste holds me back.
the possibility of meeting again for the first time keeps me going.
burning bodiesand we yearned for something deeper tangled between bed sheets
but our palms were always split open, spilling malice.
our bodies, always in dire separation
even in scalding proximity.
je dis beaucoup des mensonges.
i tell a lot of lies.
we curled ourselves alongside icicles to bury the flames.
my waist still feels like a graveyard.
even after all the times you tasted my bone marrow,
you still have the nerve to say i'm not bitter.
our mansion is burning from the inside out
and we force-feed the desire with
prolonged gestures and held-breaths.
our combined scar tissue lies in a heap on the floor of our shrine
and the skin is nearly poison when we add our cancelled convictions.
i tore myself apart until all my limbs
seeped into the dirt and sprung dandelions.
neither of our backbones found forgiveness.
we are hiding in the crevices of bedrooms
behind locked doors
underneath all the fight we never knew we had.
this is how smiles tear:
my teeth are lodged in your ribc
The Problem With Elia.she could have been a violin;
born a week too late, she had
melancholy in her bones: doctor lizbet
took time out of her schedule to pluck her
newborn strings - calloused sanitation against
mottled pink-and-yellow flesh & thrashing limbs.
in three more years, she will have
nothing in her bones at all: doctor estair
diagnosed her with iatrophobia to fuel her
instinctive chords - ripple-free shells of liquid
lobotomy & a capsule to callous her pink-and-yellow
flesh against the thought of just getting over it all.
ten years after that, her mother will
find her face down and thrashing: her dust
bunny bones will flex as she retches up her memories
for display - lawyers will spend the next few years pawing
through them with clawed hands and heaving breathing until
one day, they find lizbet and estair huddled amid the rubble of her bones.
five ways to kill a mansomewhere before stressing away
my baby fat, i read that five ways
to kill a man included leaving
him somewhere in the clutches
of the twentieth century without
a home to nurse
his tachycardia back
but they never mentioned
that grief doesn't always catalyze
annihilation in the hands
of your own desolate storms.
somewhere before whispering away
my horrible taste in music, i heard
that it's always too soon for the end
to be near because hope
is a once-in-a-lifetime dream
you have on the poker-night of a blue moon,
oscillating between the acrimony
of the high tide and the blues
of the low
but it never said anything
about a sunrise meaning forever;
it never did, it never did.
somewhere before writing away the rawness
of a shallow cut in my bilayers, i memorized
'if' written by the withered hands of
kipling. i memorized the four-stanza'ed
sentence and hoped i'd never have to whisper
it to the broken ears of a departed
but that's where you lost
your headstart to the metro
WhoreI thread a vein out through a scalpel notch;
and use it as a ribbon to present my heart to you.
I cough a little spare blood. I didn't need it.
I lick the copper from my silenced subterfuge mouth
and it reminds me of the prostitution of my soul
as I pour myself over other men's empty hands
in the dying hope that someone might hold on.
I smear my wrist against a digital canvas and cry;
I give it all to you freely, and nothing in return.
You smile. I break. You hear but you don't listen;
you just throw another single penny for my thoughts.
i don't need to sell my soul laughing against frost,
stylish arsonists + I still
escaping from your lips
symptoms of red a materialist
inside of you
unknitting your sweater
& in your dream
you are a wolf eating
a flower in an orange field. the world
is ending. an unnamed girl stains you
as if she were tea
giving up to a
she writes a story: the unrequited
blurry visions of two visionaries
an irrevocable truthi.
snowflake child, you are a fine example
of the incandescence of a human light
even under innumerable umbras
i see you- ruby and blooming
ferociously fighting your way
out of a pile of rubble
my anemone, my halo
that comely wraps around my moon pith
do not fret if i self-stumble, fumble
with my fingers, and mumble to my toes
my center of gravity is oft frail and
meek to begin with
you are lead cause of the diamond flecks
scattering about the carbon of my pupils
you do not leave me
you teach me to be
snake-eyed yet shotgun-hearted-
a sapphire wanderlust livid
for life and star-gazing sights, you map
constellations on my freckles and fright
look now at how i'll find my lighthouse lover
then tend to some kids
and grow out of my gills and into grey hairs
then tend to some kids with their own kids
and reminisce about friends and phenomena
i signed my name on a patch of sky with
all on my own except
that your hand never left mine
that if i were to crumble
like the sandcastle
Like this, you come to
me; moonlight on water,
a desert mirage, only
In dawn, you are
aglow: the sun becomes
a wisp of dream, like
.she calls down angels
just to burn their
to see them rise then
fall, those flailing
she tells them, this
is what it's like
to be human
and they say judgement
will arrive for you, my
girl, you will be
cleansed by burning
and i strike another match
the rainchild, the skin dripped from his fingers & the blood beneath was clearer than the truth, rivulets of rainsong pouring down the storm drain straight to the pacific ocean ; he never needed to cry. "the clouds
shed enough tears for all of us," he told me once and i remember
when i first met him, those arms outstretched & palms like little pools, oases running through lifelines. the fortune teller told him he would only live as long
as the storm
"it's the water in my veins," he said; "it washes away the stardust & we are all drinking our ancestors' ashes, did you know my grandfather tasted," he said, "like raspberry cordial & did you know that freckles
are like nebulae & your cheeks are full of moonlight, did you know that thunder
only claps after the lights go out?"
when i was young i counted miles in the silence before those soundwaves drowned my ears in rumbles. the longer the silence the farther the light & now, my voice is racing to catch up with your radiancy. sometimes we can see but we
flight riskwe unfold wooden fans; a dozen hidden splinters
in the blades, cutting us before we have the chance.
you drew me in like a stringed balloon, your smile
faded into the wind - a daffodil breathing poison.
little black books bearing burns; we scraped
our knees on sandpaper with boredom.
laugh, you said,
and i did.
the clunking of an out-of-tune organ. the ritual
of a thousand horsemen galloping blindly into
a forever that won't last. the tousled manes of those horses,
how they vanish like inevitable sunsets.
there is an ache where your eyes once were.
i brush it out with the fans. not even the wind can
scatter the memories.
Genghis Whenever we were bad my mother used to take us to the mall to see Genghis Kahn. They kept him in a dusty diorama of a Mongolian steppe, all tall grass and yurts. He sat on a throne of bone (well, plastic shaped like bone), scowling in incomprehension at the American kids who flocked around him like startled lemmings. My mother would usually push us toward him, saying things like “Tell him what you did to your father’s stamp collection.” Genghis would give a grunt, spit a wad of phlegm onto the tall grass, and give us a wizened, wrinkled grimace, as if he had to go to the bathroom.
He terrified me.
My brother couldn’t get enough of him.
When my brother got caught in my mother’s evening dress, my mother grabbed us both and dragged us to Genghis. It was a slow day, and we were the only kids crowding him. “Tell him what you did,” my mother hissed a
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Lilyas has dedicated herself to making our community a brighter place with her vibrant artwork and infectious enthusiasm for interacting with others in our community. It has certainly paid off, as many deviants flock to her page on a daily basis to let her know how much of an inspiration she is. We absolutely agree, and couldn't let all that hard work go without recognition, so it's with great pride that we bestow the Deviousness Award for March 2014, to ... Read More