not everything broken

the seed has been planted
the willow will wave
the redwood will tower
and the oak will be strong
against your back

this is how you learn
how to lose anger
how to keep sadness spacious
that space within the heart
that knows its own death
yet rejoices

pour yourself like water into clear glasses
let them drink from you
and see their own reflections
and know who they are

the glass is most beautiful
right as it slips from your hand
right before it hits the floor
right when it shatters

not everything broken
begs to be fixed.

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scatter

this is how we change–nautilus chamber, spokes of a wheel
some passion i don’t speak about. i see the growth curl, i see
it siphoning water and glory, i see its breath as it breaks through
the gutter and reaches towards the sky–my waist expands rotted
wood and i feel tendrils of myself steadying, then sinking, then
sinking. peat-moss fingers on me–i kiss them as i would the muzzle
of my lover’s gun and dose myself just to be sure–hazy smoke-filled
thought these days leaves me nostalgic for the past and angry about
what happened then, all those wrongs adding, multiplying, staggering
the numbers–just when i think i will tear you key from key you hit
depressed ivory notes and i can feel the terror in them, the quiet
hatred and the laughing crow and the white egret and the great
blue heron all become one sinuous figure in my mind, a summation
of all the greatest parts of my life–a raindrop staining a window that
you turn from when you hear someone call your name down a hall
in a house that is torn bit by ragged bit from my memory, until all
the edges are worn–i remember who has died and who has remained
and wonder who is the better for it. the sunglint is too much–it blinds
me with its radiant angle, its disastrous glare in the rearview of my
youth, and the sparksun becomes a single point of light–i press it
into your hand, then scatter.

another failure: a fragment

feels like another failure–

a boy who is unable to love runs his fingers through a girl’s hair–
it feels forced and they both know it, the touch that is a little too
deliberate, a little too rushed–bodies that should be opened up like
gifts are instead shook until what’s inside breaks. but he is already
broken. and she is too tired to explain. they lie like empty wrappers
on the floor, already passed over for newer, shinier objects.

to exist in the moment between the opening and closing of an eye–

not even breath will save you now, we drown in azure lightness
with honeycomb hearts that crumple at the slightest touch.
i have been here. i have been here before, at this place where
i am alone with myself and insane. my arms are starlit scars
that open again and again like mouths that will not shut up,
and the flesh of my abdomen swells with infection that i carry
as close to me as a baby, something i refuse to give up, for
without it, there is no meaning left in the lover’s touch so
soft against my face that pulls you in like a black hole–
you look at me and you are already doomed. there are teeth
that grind bone to powder here and lies as big as universes,
memory that has gone to ash but you can still wake and feel
the grit of it on your tongue. i was never more trapped than
when they said i could go. i was never more afraid than when
i had to name myself, explain myself for what i was and what
i had done. for how do you explain nothing, nothing, nothing.

rummaging

the inquiries into the physics of your body
softer than collision, softer than impact,
softer than all things i had grown to know
as being a part of myself, like this living
of everydayness in split light, one brighter
than the other, but i couldn’t quite say
which one was which. you picked through me,
didn’t rummage, and i loved you for that.
carefully you laid out my origins
a barren petri-dish, film cut into squares
a block of nostalgia from which i was formed
so that i missed what i didn’t even know i
was missing. and then it was too late.
as a sapling i dreamed in black and white
and maybe even sometimes an emerald green
so vivid it almost hurt to look at it.
my hands, as it would be, weathered first,
and then my face, which you found lying
on the ground among the oak leaves
and picked up and kissed. we would count
stars in the viridian sky and the light
and darkness soothed my eyes like poultices,
like the bunch of rag and lavender you held
to my gaping heart. you never rummaged,
only held me in your hands with love so
bright beneath the dark that could not,
would not, take me from you.

of light and darkness

where were you when the light finally faded:
i was an afterimage of a firework in the sky
a string of bokeh lights, which are beautiful
because of the very fact that they are out of focus
and i teeter on the edge of a blurred curve,
a blue and white city skyline seen through
a glass of water. these filaments of loneliness
thread through the air where the light never hits,
and when i speak of these things that wake me
too early in the pre-dawn, my words are orbs of
light, fuzzy-edged, describing the intangible,
things that balk at illumination and leave me
flattened to the earth as a shadow that is still
inextricably linked to the light, that cannot exist
without the light. and i would meet you in these
dark places with hands full of ash, just to wake
with you and cup the sunrise over your sleeping
body till you ignite, so that i might exist as
nothing more than an outline on the wall.

death poem, pt. 295

we are too tired for poetry now
bones congealing inside their sacks of flesh
i drink glass after glass of water with a lodestone
at the bottom, just to keep together these days

once a man broke me in order to have me
and i let him
once i loved a girl
but she didn’t let me
once i leave none of this will matter
no blood-
letting

the grasses beside the highway
are sprouting white feathered tips
that i could brush with my fingers
if i just leaned out the car window
a little more

i practice portraiture with the tip of my lit cigarette
but the eyes never stay just right

i don’t have a room, a space of my own
where i can lie naked spread-eagled on the floor
and wait for them to stone me

so you’ll find me down by the river,
wearing my coat with the large deep pockets

i never wanted to be more than anything other than what i wasn’t. is that so much to ask.