suburban girls

a man who used to know me said that
i am not worldly, as i once claimed.
even if i add up all the empty moments,
it still leaves a taste, a richness in my mouth
like the cake i will not eat because i am
terrified of gaining weight, so i stuff down
cigarettes to stave off my hunger, but
the hunger goes deeper and deeper still.
i didn’t fall from heaven. i grew from the
earth beneath the pavement, in cracks
and voids, pushing through, just to see
a bit of sunlight. my hands often have
scrapes and cuts on them and i don’t
remember where they came from–
it is with this same kind of carelessness
that i leave the front door unlocked, but
am not nervous about anyone entering.
and should i be. what will come, will
come, through windows and broken
screens that flap in the breeze in the
hall of my heart. i would devote myself
to the sky but i’m not sure if it would
matter. i am not your angel, and i proved
it to you by leaving, as i have left every-
one before, before they could leave me.
i do these things out of a fear i can’t
pinpoint, out of a vulnerability that i
must cover with earth before anyone
sees what may fruit. these pills are
supposed to balance my brain, but i
am already upside-down and gone
before you even knew i was there.

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songs from suburbia, part 42

she slathers herself with more coconut oil and leans back
in her chair, her words falling out of her head onto the grass
to wriggle like larvae, something half-formed–there is an orange
prescription bottle permanently glued to her left hand, it makes
refills easier, she just goes to the pharmacy counter and holds
out her palm. she can shake them gently to soothe herself when
she wakes in the night with breath shortened, not like bars of
music but a hollow percussive rattle. the coconut oil drips
down her legs, pooling at her feet, congealing like the blood
in her veins. these days in suburbia might drive her mad with
their hedge trimmers, lawn mowers, grass edgers–but here,
in the sunlight, she smells wonderful and soaks in the sun like
a mermaid on the rocks. the neighborhood boys go past on their
bikes and wonder why the air smells like burnt macaroons.

songs from suburbia, part 7

in the lilac morning you rise with your tree stump heart
and go get out the plank of wood to make crop circles on
the front lawn before the neighbors wake up. these days
you only get your kicks from watching the dribbling acid
rain eat away at the marble cherubs and lions, and wonder
why there are no lions eating cherubs. you would swear on
a bible that you owned no tarot cards, but unfortunately
there is a television remote permanently glued to your
right hand. you imagine heaven must be a place of infinite
carbohydrates, an endless supply of processed meats, gap
underwear, kids conveniently cut in half so you can have
your point five, beds draped in the interior leather of
foreign cars. knowing that dinner always tastes better
on its way back up, you put your head in the crock pot
and set it to steam.