a voice cutter.
the thrill of a thunderstorm’s tongue.
a gathering of ghosts.
the length of time the dead linger.
my mother’s, my father’s.
a howling holiness.
the way the stars surrender.
the madness of the moon.
an abundance of abandon.
the yes of your yearning.
a hoard of holidays.
a bruised book.
a singing spine.
the revolution in the rain.
veins that hum like haunted highways.
when the missing grew up, got so big,
bloomed like a bruise beneath your skin,
your bed grew arms and refused to let you go
and you swore you’d break the phone
if it kept on ringing, bust the doorbell
up real good, and your parents worried
even though you told them you were fine
and the cats began to chew on your hair
until the postman began to wonder who died
as he glanced through the closed blinds
at the spiderwebs of strands blanketing the floor,
every wall in your house became a wailing wall
All poems are love poems the way all stars are small skies.
Mouths find other mouths the way animal legs find metal traps.
Sometimes it takes a lifetime to remove muscle and bone from thrashing teeth.
Everybody is a monster but only one person is called Frankenstein.
The moon is almost always forgotten, that is why it hurts to look at.
I’m sorry for making your body into a burial bed, for seducing sorrow to your jugular vein.
I want to name this something other than Forgive Me but loneliness loves all languages.
There is a violin within my chest. You swore you heard music once.
I was so busy searching for knives, I didn’t realize you were holding a bow.
Drown tells me
she often disguises herself
How many times
I have fallen on top
of that dancing dagger
I keep looking for God everywhere
but it seems like he existed only
in those summers where the days dragged their feet
and dying dogs no longer had to hunt for home
and your mother’s voice against the wall of your back
cut clear to the throat of your heart. Summers where
your lover’s hair was tangled in twilight and their skin was
stained with the sweetest salt and your tongue never tasted
anything as luscious as their longing. Your lips were always
bruised with berries as your fingers seduced them into coming
undone. The juice dancing down your chin doused you in delirium.
When your knees kissed the grass in prayer, you felt like a burning tree
whose brilliant branches made the sky pulse like a funeral pyre.
the body and body is a myth.
my spine is no longer a staircase
and his back is no longer a boat.
the last time my teeth danced
was the last time i went blueberry picking.
even the tongue knows what is missing
when the heart still hungers for honey.
The year I fell in love
was the year when
the green green grass
made my eyes sore
from staring at all
those brilliant blades.
The sky never beamed
so bright and the sun doused
my skin in light so gorgeous
even strangers began to notice.
Mornings stretched themselves out
the way highways do on long road-trips.
I never wanted them to end, so in my mind,
they never did. Evenings were embraced
for how terrifyingly beautiful the twilight was.
I would walk past buildings and parked cars
with dusk draped across my shoulders.
My neck has never been kissed so deep.
I gave away smiles like loose change-
the teller at the bank,
the hospital receptionist,
the co-worker who kept her cancer a secret.
My heart was a collection plate, a magpie’s nest.
I began to gather stories of what made other people happy
so that when I met those people again, I could trigger smiles
faster than the speed of light. Because my body was learning
how to bury darkness, I wanted to help others do the same.
Seeing streetlights made me smile.
Receiving the rain made me revel.
Thanking the thunder made me tremble.
Everything was as wondrous as the ocean
yet nothing was as lonely as the sunrise.
When I witnessed water, I saw Delicious, never Drown. Joy streamed from my limbs.
I thought everybody could tell that my heart
was glowing, that my fingers were fireflies,
that my teeth were dancing. I wrote poems
all night long, until the tips of my fingers
thrummed with song. Everything that I touched
became whole so I built my parents a house.
I knew that there was some music somewhere,
so I rested my ear against your navel and used
my tongue to tap for honey.
Sometimes I think
the school bus is a hearse
and everybody riding in it
is a member of my funeral procession.
I don’t tell my mom
that school makes me
want to die. At 3:30pm,
I eat the snacks that she
makes for me and walk
to the train tracks to not think.
I don’t want mom to know
that I don’t have any friends
because then she will cry and cry
and my dad will call me a pussy
and mom will cry even more.
I don’t tell my mom
that seeing her cry
makes me want to die.
I don’t like talking
about my dad but
he makes me want to die too.
There’s a girl at school
who makes me smile
when I think about her.
Her name is Kimberly.
I wonder if her parents
would let her go to the funeral
of someone they didn’t know.
The carts of the train
whiz by my head and
each wheel whispers
at me to wait. I can see
the bluest parts of the sky
when I am lying down
in the grass and the dirt
and the pebbles and the trash.
The sun slides down my face
before the shadows do.
I walk home without waiting
to hear my mom call out to me
about dinner being ready.
I sit down and eat everything
because I know that will make
my mom happy. If I eat my vegetables,
she says, I will grow up into a strong man.
He needs to be a strong boy now, my dad adds.
I leave the table after washing my plate
and brush my teeth before getting into bed.
The mournful moon makes me cry.
The train screams.
The wailing wheels tell me
to come back.
Mom is bawling in the shower
when I walk downstairs.