the SS Forgo

we are touched with fire

you have cut the clock into seconds when you think you are okay
when you have torn the captain’s badge from your shirt
and now no one can hold you accountable
no one will know

we sing songs of madness and desire

in a cage hanging off the side of a hospital,
a girl will sit and write in her notebook [having been allowed a pen]
and will write HELP over and over again
until she runs out of paper and must write between the scars

we purge ourselves of fear

how many times must you cut yourself
until all the bad is gone
until all the guilt is gone
until you yourself are gone

the ship is sinking. but you are convinced no one will know.
you throw out the logs, smash the compass, wipe your finger
prints from the wheel, from the walls, from this position
you never wanted–you only wanted to see the sea, you only
wanted to be enveloped by white-tipped waves that tasted
so familiar to you, that tasted of your own tears. you thought
you had left that girl in the hospital behind. but now she
watches you with eyes from the curl of the last wave as the mast
breaks and the people scream and you begin to wash the deck
with a bucket of your own blood.

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sea glass 2

i wandered the shore-
line of your mouth
with my hands full of sea glass,
lipped bottles that had touched other lips,
pieces of wrist-wrung melted sand
that had been held in other palms.
the sand had scrubbed me raw
till i turned cloudy and smooth, but
fingerprints are more than just ridges left
on my skin, and somewhere in the folds
are dreams mistaken for memories.
i dream my memories but never remember my dreams.
i feel you as a single grain of sand in my mouth,
but my words are not pearls,
and nobody truly wants bottles
that have already been broken.

still, all water leads to the sea

flooding up to my forehead
where my third eye cries
the deluge of desire
the silt of stillness
in a place where the sun
hazes over and hides
pain pills, pain pulls
i am a swamp that swallows
memory that means nothing–
no, something–
no, everything.
give me meaning that matters
the gift of guilt
do you construe my confusion
as anything other than
what is already inside me?