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scars are more than upside down smilesto put the parallel lines decorating my wrists
like outdated wallpaper to use, i would peel
the scar tissue like the rind of a blood orange,
link the massacred pieces of myself into a chain,
and then throw it 300 miles right to the foot of your bed.
if there was a way to shift cities and collide hemispheres
until the stretch of miles between our aching bodies tightened,
i would do whatever it takes to bring you closer to me.
i would show up on your doorstep like an unexpected hurricane
and you would draw me in like a high tide. your porch light would
flicker like a fake smile and we would twist ourselves into foreign
tongues in each other’s mouths.
sometimes, our teeth rot in mason jars that used
to house fireflies in a time before we began this
downward spiral of inevitable events, and
you collected a basket full of skinned knees and
repeated apologies when you extinguished all of
my house fires with your bare hands.
my worn heart cannot fill the holes in yours.
the living roomyour voice echoes through the cracks in the walls.
you whisper secrets into the cove of my ear, i hear you curse God.
why does the greater lion always have the tamer mane?
how do i chip away the paint from my wrists to open up my scars again?
peel away my skin like a velvet curtain.
my living room heart sports dust on all its furniture.
take a seat on my will power, wipe your feet on my good intentions.
would you like a warm cup of boiled tears?
i am here to please you.
please continue to mutter those secrets under your breath,
my scars are far past healing.
the pots & pans in the kitchen cupboards are rather rusty.
i won't bother to replace them this time - i've learned my lesson.
the lion's paw leaves prints on my shagged carpet.
(you and i both are too distant from courage)
is it too late to change the locks so the lion can't invite himself in?
don't get me wrong, i appreciate a visitor every now and then,
but the lion has made my living room heart a den for his waiting.
he sits in
there are 2 things that not even the most
forceful of rains can cleanse me of:
sometimes, i feel like a caged lion.
only with a lot more impatience
and a lot less resilience.
i have yet to discover what it means to be content.
i am either too stagnant or too fluid.
no middle ground.
i have mastered the art of leaving.
it's the idea of moving on that still haunts me.
i fear that the light in my eyes is so dim that it will burn out
before even i have a chance to see the world with it.
i am not as clever as i pretend to be.
someone needs to teach me that
i don't need reassurance; i need self-assurance.
that someone should be me.
my greatest fears are loneliness and cancer.
the second because all my beauty is in my hair.
the first doesn't need an explanation.
i am still discovering what it means to be a woman.
everything is confusing me.
i am secretly afraid of massages.
feels like i'm being stabbed.
we all know how that is.
starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.
regrets will no longer break your morals like glass figurines,
you will not ask God to pardon your sins.
you will forgive yourself.
i hope, for your sake, that your butterfly-flutter eyes
will only be dampened with tears worthy of shedding.
your glory will shine out of those 2 crystal windows
and you will finally know what freedom feels like.
one day, in the midst of a dreary december, i wish for your wings to open wide
and carry you to heights far past any you have ever experienced.
your lungs will become blooming forests
with snippets of poetry carved into the tree trunks.
you will no longer be broken, but instead, crack into miniscule pieces
of yourself until all of the grace & goodness
buried deep within the crevices of your flesh
is soaked up by the atmosphere.
i am awaiting the day that i can finally lay next to someone i call lover
and point up at the stars to show him
fragments of you scatte
ashthe first time i looked into your eyes
was one year after meeting you.
my toes barely dipped into the pond
of blue before i realized there wasn't
much to swim to.
i fooled myself long ago into thinking that
if i was ever brave enough, i could plunge
into your endless depths and bathe in purity.
soak up your little-boy grins and weave laughter
with you, creating the most infinite soundtrack.
but when our irises finally connected,
i felt the make-believe ropes i had looped
through your fingers snap like convictions
too heavy to maintain.
it was the first time in a while
that i had a name for the reason
i was broken.
i shook in a rhythm so violent
our bones couldn't dance to it.
instead, they cracked in half
and crumbled to ash; remains
of what we never were.
surgeonsthe stun of your lips against every inch of my being
broke the static of sound after sundown into silence,
so maybe it is counterintuitive to interlock ourselves
into the curve of lust's bottom lip, but it would be
nothing less than sin to stop our skins from sliding
into each other at least once.
your tongue was a tidal wave between my teeth
& we licked each other's pasts so clean that our
now-stunned reflections melted like church candles:
a mess with purpose.
i talked to God on a chipped-paint swing set
and begged Him to tell me
how this could ever be wrong:
the way you molded your hands around my waist
like a cast-iron of deities, how your eyelashes brushed
against mine until our tears cleansed our convictions.
you split my spine with the edges of your palms,
but you couldn't promise a seamless recovery.
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.
the untold story of a vietnam veteran once the bullets started firing, the average
life expectancy of an American soldier in
the midst of the vietnam war was 32 seconds.
the soil will be decorated with blood of
bodies decorated with badges of honor
-ing the fallen is easier implied than done
when it comes to bone-picking.
thoughts tingle through fingertips.
point. shoot. miss.
point. shoot. hit.
go. go. go.
entrenched are civilians, this is a war for politics.
poles, the only incentive.
licking the underside of bayonets clean.
thousands of Viet Cong's bones are canes
for the American soldiers who dislocated
hips along with convictions.
their uncle says he will help find them again.
GI bills are about as good as civil protests.
he told her how much he would miss her softness;
could nearly bridge the gap between them, but now
it doesn't seem enough.
it has been 11 months and 17 days since
his fingers stroked the spot between her
shoulder blades and neck.
he regrets not whisperin
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
bad days.on my bad days,
i open notebooks like bibles and hold pens like lifelines.
i keep opening the book of my memories
just to see if it still leaves a bruise.
i am covered in the bruises of your hand
your ghost is in my bed. i can't sleep there,
again i find myself miles from home
wishing on stars i can't see
and spitting memories into the ocean like watermelon seeds.
i sit on my longboard like driftwood and send my shivers into texts
like letters i never should have mailed.
on my bad days,
i wear cuts like ropeburn,
like i just don't know when to let go.
i get lost inside the sadness and hold tea thats long since gone cold
as hours escape like small birds set free.
i forget to open the blinds
and paint my fingernails black
and stare at the too-big numbers aligned on the scale i can't stop stepping on.
slingshot words.there are a million worlds living in your head
begging to be wrapped around your tongue and released like a slingshot
into the heart of some stranger you may never meet.
daliin that second,
(when the sun beat so hard i could hear
every waving particle, see the color before it was
swallowed; i closed my eyes and felt the concrete
blaring, the refracting windows aching, and each
bird crackling in the parched trees, feathers rustling
and beaks clacking, blackness bleached orange and
my hands sought in the silence of my pockets,
imprisoned and pallid like a dog yapping in that hot car)
on clarity, seeing yourself as you arewe're all hypocrites here.
and we're all artists.
we paint ourselves
onto someone else like
it isn't painful for them,
like it isn't killing them
in the process. we give them
ownership of our failures,
we lay our flaws under their
tongues so when they speak,
more often than not, we hear
some distorted version of
ourselves. we expect them
to love the way we love. we expect
them to fight the way we fight. but yeah, we're
all fucking artists, right?
and we're all individuals, of course.
we're all on our brave, one-man
trip to enlightenment,
we're proud of the way
our word has been shaved
down to feelings, and moments,
mood swings, and oxy
off the bathroom sink.
well i can't be the only fucking
one who's tired of being an artist.
i can't be the only one tired
of seeing my skin stretched out over
everyone i know. i am tired of watching
my reflection shimmer and fade in their
smiles, in their wrath. i am tired of becoming
silver in one moment only to tarnish in the
next. i am tired of asking
everyone is first draftreally. we are a walking plethora of pen lines
tied together with only the weakest of wire,
only barely shaded in with dusty pencil
crayons. pastels for the skin and watercolours for
the eyes, with eraser smudge birthmarks and
ink spills all over. our fragile frame is made of
popsicle sticks and candy wrappers, hardly
the heart; sketched hummingbirds and white
crayon scars and illegible thoughts all at once,
held together by a few cold stitches and
smashed safety pins.
each one of us is a wrong answer quickly jotted
down in someone’s notebook, the page ripped out
and flown three thousand six hundred twenty-one
001 i am a whirlwind of
an aching heart
a regret that could
pressure.she was cracked in places only she could feel, and where the blood could only be tasted, and not seen.
her lips, fingertips and inside her chest. she learned that there are certain body parts prone to being cut or bruised, and her white laced knees could attest to that. but there comes a time when cutting your leg on the coffee table or pinching your stomach with your belt buckle, isn't an accident anymore. its something more, and you know it is. but you can go so long without ever admitting it to yourself, and even longer for anyone else.
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
iii. - 2012how do birds die? she
in yesterday’s t-shirt, with
my glass of cold tea
i just put the phone down
and we're sitting around
waiting for the takeout.
was a lightning flash and my hair
reeks of singed
cigarettes, old linseed.
she fills the room
with her sonorous
immaculate self, and i
the hissing on the shore
washing out and in
water stainsmy father's silhouette painted on
the canvas of waves
assures me that
water stains are not permanent.
darkened fabric means nothing more than
the fruit of possibility spoiling on countertops.
i ask grown men for more answers
than there are chandeliers
in my parents' abandoned mansion.
the creases of my grandmother's forehead
skitter over concern and
land on laugh lines.
i've always been a clever joker,
spreading lips like a contagion.
they could never catch me;
my intoxicating serpent
slithering through sidewalk cracks
breaking backs as children do.
my limbs may have expanded,
but i am just a hot air balloon.
if there is anything
pavements & dark rooms have taught me,
it is that
broken means i'll be okay again.
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
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