structure fire

if your heart is a votive, mine is a structure fire
how i yearn for that sweet incineration that burns
away all memory, blackening out all the dark hours
of loneliness until they turn to ash and blow away.
when we lose everything we are free, i am told,
but i am unable to cut these tendrils of feelings
attached to the cigarette embers that were there
for me when no one else was, or could be.
help me forget. i have experienced madness, love,
rage, and sorrow, and it is only late afternoon.

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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.

quitting


i rose like dead fire, smoke in your mouth, unfiltered
by any return pleasantries or convictions. we spoke
with shallow breath in the steaming air that wavered
like a lie wrought in paper we could burn to send signal–
let it go, let it go–the way one cannot escape the smell
in your clothes, the bed sheets that i am no longer
familiar with, the way one cannot part with addiction.
you may think this is as easy as mere substitution
but i will not let you return to poison me silently,
my heavy wet lungs and my soft, pink heart.