I Could, I Really Could

Not my photo

I could easily love you
If the invention of the plane
Did not reciprocate the invention
Of the phrase ‘plane crash’

I could if I wasn’t
Trouble from the start
An unlit candle
Waiting for the wax to drip
To scorch your hands
When you played with fire

There is a preemptive
Apology slithering between
My teeth waiting for the moment
One begins to love me

The floorboards are swelling
Enough for me to see
This candy house was established
On a foundation of dough
Meant to dry and crumble
All the same

I could easily love you
If I wasn’t the storm before the calm
And I was the smell of soil
Upon its first rain

Staying Alive

I am a a porch
In the effortless morning
And you, as dull as ever,
Are a vine
Afraid and incapable
Of surviving on you own
I tie tongues
To desks and see
Many begging for mercy
As they are often not
Worth my warpath
I am a moment
Of utter silence
Amongst your screams
Which match the rest
Of the world
I am a match
While you are a flame
Something that needs
So much to help it
Sustain its beauty
Even on my worst days
When the sun has fallen
From the sky
I can look to the mirror
And remember that
The sun glows in every
Corner of my being
You are the tears and
Embodiment of awful
I am being alive

I Am A Ten

images

Every time I enter
A room I am met
With stares of how and why
How could one
Dare to love themselves
And breathe fire to the
Lies of society and perpetual
Oppression when there are others
Starving, dying, begging
On the street corners
Nay, I am but a portrait
Of those who have locked
Themselves away and wasted
Days, months, years
To fit an opportune moment
Because there are still girls
Who cover their mouths when
Eating and there are still boys
Who fear to step on the scale
Each and every morning
Because the constellations
Inside their bodies have changed
Into lost and distant stars
In the meantime you became
The road less travelled by
On the scale of life
I became
I am a ten for living

Comfortable Place

I’m in love
With being alive
So deeply
That it eats
Me from the inside out
When I imagine
Myself turning around
To feel a cool breeze
I feel the blending
Of emotions
Caressing my skin
Like the feeling
Of grime when one
Sleeps on the sidewalks
Much like how I place
Flowers on rusted gates
To bring beauty to
The humbled places

Marry Me

I always said I’d marry
Someone smarter than me
So I could absorb the sky
Every moment we shared
Then the tragedy that ensued
Taught me that often
People are afraid of those
On a higher pedestal than they
Instead of teaching me the
Propechies of life
You taught me that
We die to each other every day
In every interactionless moment
The sun wedges mountains between us
We’re like waves on opposite shores
Begging to kiss the sand
No matter how often it
Pushes us away
We take in the lost and lonely
Like pirates drift asea
We pull our lungs from our
Aching chests and sew them
Into the slaughtered bodies
We once saw dying
For the sound of one thriving
Is enough to push a castaway
To it’s rightful place

Solace


I feel like my ribs
Are cracking under
The weight of my
Heavy heart
Every time I turn
Around to see you
Hear you, smell you
Daunting, criminalizing
I imagine it’s the way
One feels when facing
The defendant
Only to hear he is
Also the judge
And the jury is out
Unlike the lump
Lodged in my throat
From when I turned
To what my mother
Warned me of
For solace

When In The City

Attempting to explain
The five hundred manners
In which I find you
So thoroughly beautiful
Is like trying to convince
The sun of its own warmth
No measure in any unit
Will amount to the qualitative
Truth I have come to
Find divine
Though expecting one
To perceive the same
Is like begging the
Sidewalk not to crack
When water floods
The gates and storms
The cemented city where
Golden roads were
Paved sixteen pleasant
Years ago

Phosphorescence

Not my photo

Sitting at the edge
Of the pond is like
Standing at the edge
Of the earth
Leaning forward into
The dark, abyssmal unknown
And stepping back
To the safety and comfort
When wishing you could
Step out of your skin
To drift far, far away
I was once told
To remove my blinders
Much like the most
Successful racing horses
Often have to do
In order to save the orifices
In their careers

Starve

My father used to comb
My hair and braid it with
Thoughts of being beautiful
Intelligent, well versed
Now he rakes his nails
Through the crunched leaves
Of my liver and bones
He lays land mines
In the fountains of my brain
Where positive thoughts
Were once destined to bloom
He waits, waits, waits
For them to detonate
He builds a moat around me
Saying no one can swim
Across it
I am standing at the edge
Of the highest mountain
Wondering what it would be like
To stick my hands into
The chests of strangers and
Sew their hopes and dreams
Back together
To shovel through years
Of wet, brown snow
Infecting my lungs
I think about it now
In short, swallowed memories
Of tear teeming gasps

Giving Up

The clouds follow
The sky’s moods
Through low pressure systems
And earth’s corruptions
If only we could
Say the same of
Distressed humans who fear
The very ground they walk on
And the very families
They are bred from
If I had a chance
To do it over again
I’d clutch the paper
And write with the pen

Wood Shop Harmony

I once begged to be alive
That was before I learned
To rest my head against
The beating window frame
And hear the sound of
The ground vibrating
Beneath the rugged tires
I used to be a rainbow
Until your weather changed
You opened your mouth
And out came the rain
The sky would spill
Heavy thoughts of gloom
When the dryness of missing
Became too fast, too soon
When I feel like sawdust
On the floor of the wood shops
I’ll spend my nights realizing
The people working
Inside my bones
Mending broken hearts
And sealing unlocked fates

Disclaimer: This is not my photo

Every Time

In this sick and twisted world
I seem to have found
An infinite number of deaths
In a two mile span
Though stuck as a doormat
I create you again
In the knots of my stomach
Where I live in and out
Of the past, inexplicably
I ride in and out of the tide
Just waiting to see
What day and time
Everything will turn to a
Faded memory here
Where fated gravestones
Lay in a line of
Black box cars
Because years of love
And trust can be destroyed
In a moment of hatred
Someone once said
Do you miss me across the water
Deep where the carcass lays
Or is it better across the pond
Where sadness is dismay

 

Disclaimer: This photo is not mine

Missing Puzzle Pieces

This year taught me
How to miss something
So much that it destroys you
The more deeply I felt
These thoughts seeping
Through my pores
The deeper I fell
Into the abyss
Where even birds
Cannot fly
I grew up
In my mother’s womb
Where life was difficult
But someone could sustain me
When death knocked on my door
With a pleasant reminder
Of the years past
I had a story to tell
Of how I crawled from below
To believe in something else
For this month was different
Because I learned to miss
Someone without letting it
Break my bonds into
43 million pieces
For the 43 times we met
And the 43 times no one
Said anything

Day Two

If you throw a rock into the sea
Enough times, it will eventually sink
Faster and faster with each load
It bears
The same way each insult
Tumbles together to produce
A ball of misery
Like the way we dream
In things we’ve only ever seen
Eventually you’re going to realize
Some words spoken in any language
Resonate the same with you
And some day you’ll hear English
Thinking you can interject
With the same syllables and letters
But different sounds you never knew

Skin Means More Than Bones

When my daughter asks me
If she’s beautiful
Tears will gloss over my eyes
And I’ll stare into the distance
Where the right words
Are floating by
Because I’ll want to tell her
She doesn’t have to be beautiful
To be worth something
Instead I’ll be playing
Russian roulette with her emotions
As I shake her bony shoulders
Far too thin and remind her
Yes, yes, darling your blessed
Bones are the most beautiful
Things I’ve ever seen
From the time I ran in circles
On the beaches of Capri
To the millions of undeserving women
Locked in jail cells full of
Rotting bodies and minds
Because how many times
Can you answer a quesiton
You used to ask yourself
Every time you looked in the mirror
To make the movie screens and
Blacked out runways
When your heart is dropping
So quickly to the floor
That she can hear the shattering
Like glass on the kitchen tiles
Oh, daughter, darling
I want to tell you that you’ll find
Someone to caress the loneliest thoughts of yours
And run their fingers through
Your worries instead of your hair
But you will always want to do that
For yourself because you were
In fact, birthed by me
Oh, daughter, please never ask
Me to take your body to the casket

A Name Is More Than A Collar Tag

I climbed into the crevices
Of words where I could find
A refuge, so soothing
I never knew of
And even when it rained
From the clouds at the top of A
Into the hole where I resided
A thick bar was there to keep me afloat
And another to shield the waterworks from I
Even when I was drowning
In a sea of never was and never could be
A gentle wind blew from the mountain tops
Of the next A to find me
And perhaps I never knew
Who it was that gave me that
But in the end, it didn’t matter
For it was all I could remember

Tap Here To Crack

Vines are closing in
On my paper heart
Set out to remedy
The abandoned and torn apart
Instead all I can hear
Is the crunching sound
Of bones reduced to rubble
While I said I’d be better
I never truly knew
What that meant when
You look in the mirror
And that person isn’t
Even you

Woman Work

I’ve got the children to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The baby to dry
I got company to feed
The garden to weed
I’ve got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick.

Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow again.

Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
‘Til I can rest again.

Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight.

Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You’re all that I can call my own. 

-Maya Angelou

I Can Hear Your Heart

I don’t want to die
With liquid bursting
From my rib cages
-Palpitating as if
It’s the beat of my heart
But I don’t want my
Clenched fingers to
Turn stark white
From holding on too tight
For far too long
When the firemen leave
My smoking abode
I’d rather they not believe
I’m choking on the ashes
I left in the corner
Of my heart
Because it’s devastating
To see a dying flame
But it’s worse to see
Everything so hot
It blackens to dust
So if I’m afraid of dying
Does that mean I’m afraid
Of what comes next or
What I’d leave behind

Summer’s Dance with Chemistry

Do you ever feel like
The sidewalk is cracking
Slowly, the same way
Your life is falling apart
One tear at a time
And then one blow comes
Knocking down your
Whole house of cards
Before you can acknowledge
The aftermath of leftover
Hope that dies in the dawn
Because one tangling
With death and disturbance
Is enough to send you
Down the crackling spider web
Of drains and never quite landing
Back upon your feet again
Because second best was never
The right intention for you
But the only thing to say is
It’s okay