the body, rejected

she sleeps with the moon beneath her pillow but
it never comes out, the daylight comes and guts
what is left of her till she is just a soft frame
of skin, hollowed out and empty, and just the same
as a rotten peach. sliding beneath the door
she inches her way across pavement, the sun a sore
in the sky, and the neighbors will all
wonder if that lump of flesh took her pills
or turned off the heater or emptied the dishwasher
but no one will think of what it takes to fill her
nor will they care. she becomes an amoeba,
single-celled pain, the quiet penumbra
of her heart lost maybe beneath the sea
or shit on by birds as they nest in the trees
and forsaken as she is by her own bones
she will abandon her body’s colorless tones
and ascend through the atmosphere
with no thoughts of yesterday, so far from here.


the caverns of the skull

i am fractured, the tectonic plates of my skull ever-shifting. you
thought it was just a truck passing. no divine daughter sprang from
my head, but there are eruptions here that cannot be contained by
mere bone etched with things unspeakable. my tears are stalagactites
and when you speak they come whistling down. even the inanimate can
be imbued with purpose if you concentrate hard enough, cognition like
some cave you got lost in, the cavern of my thoughts unnavigable.
when i speak my words form the walls of this labyrinth and the same
message is chiseled into the surface again and again. it meant nothing,
it meant nothing
. you will feel the brush of my thick memory against
your leg. and what will do you must stop to rest. and what will you
do when the lamp dies.


you cross your fingers, for luck or for lies, i don’t know,
but crosses make for hypocrites and lord knows i’ve lived inside
this dogwood because no one else would have me. the maples would
not share their sap. the oaks were too mighty and too arrogant.
the birch trees said i was too dark for their pale, flaking skin.
the night before i had told you: if you wanted to know my heart
you must punch a mirror to make a pie chart. you are the key of
the sound of breaking glass. a thousand pieces still trying to
drink in the moon. this tiny sliver all yours. i am old, old growth
though i am held within this small body, made from redwoods
that resonate in the key of G, an open note in a symphony of
atmosphere crafted by sun and rain. and the trees know everything
and nothing of eternity. and though we will sin again and again,
there will be no more crosses for either of us to bear.

the difference between somebody and someone

the waiting room in my dreams and the waiting room right now
taste differently in my mouth, like the difference between
somebody and someone. i am two opposing poles that know no
shadow so don’t tell me what to do. drink the glass of charcoal
like a sacrament and tell them it was just an accident, you didn’t
mean to take 28. or was it 29. or was it only wishful thinking. in
the hospital a boy draws me a love song with the tip of his cigarette
on the walkway in the courtyard. he had to draw it because if he tried
to sing it to me they would CODE 9 him and needle him into silence.
when we get out he will call me for 279 consecutive days to tell me
about the weather. and i will be grateful. somebody will talk to me.
someone will listen.

songs from the stones, part 12

you found me asleep in the flowers.
i lay curled up with puffed lips
cradling a bee hive in my arms
and i wouldn’t let go.
you picked me up and shook out
all the bad,
holding a dreamcatcher
and a quartz crystal
above my head. i went looking
for stones for you,
sifted dirt and sand to find
flecks of jasper and bloodstone.
i found a bit of bone but
quickly covered it over.
i did not want to dream of
the dead tonight.
there are dinosaurs in the oil
and we are aflame with affection.
you hold a kiss in your palm,
but which hand, which hand.
i came upon an ocean
and you called out to me from
the lighthouse but when i reached
the top you were gone.
where i walked along the shoreline
roses bloomed and thrived despite
the salt from the sea.
i swung a knot of weed
over my head and whistled
three times to summon you,
and when i turned you were there,
with amethysts in your hands,
those songs of the earth,
my songs for you.


the bright shine of madness is on the table by the larkspur blue as the pacific, once it’s been cropped and photoshopped. i drew in an image of my hand waving (hello or goodbye? or does it even matter?) and tucked a sprig of the flower in with the picture because you said it reminded you of me, the color of sad. even though after all these years i don’t think that’s a color you can pin down in a photograph. and nature would always have it a shade darker than i could capture, but the sharp glint of mania is quicker than the erasure of a pixilated image, and more deeply hued than the edge of a piece of paper as it burns.