ONCE

I’ve heard sometimes
the only way out is through
where there are no safe places
but outside your head and
you wanna be brave
because you wanna be known
because you don’t wanna be scared
that all the faces will never come off

Touch him
Tell him it’s not him
Name him
Silence wakes into a bass drum
slow and smooth and hard
He names you too
He touches you
Transparent sets of hands
maybe that kind
reaches you finally-
dropping out with a voice this time
leave it up to me this time

Let’s be beautiful once

a shared vacancy
is all I can ask for

and even then that’s not enough

Is it

to keep away the sleep

This is the damage you
have to swallow

Weren’t we beautiful once

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Kinda Sounds Like Love

My notions of love-

I thought you had to do

something to get it,

borrow it and

give it back-swallow

it whole until

it finishes

and leaves you.

I named this hunger.

It sounds something kinda

like love;

I can see my reflection

in mirrors and rivers and

moving things–

for the first time.

I had to be my own

first witness

after and even during

the burning of becoming,

the burning of relaxing

my fists to palms,

giving away definitions

of self love.

Look at her

look at me

in the wings

and

on the stage,

giving away

old love notes

and hand grenades.

Something to Be Said

Before I began to heal,

I wasn’t angry–

no, I couldn’t touch that

because that required will

and a kind of passion

to move.

You gotta outsmart

your wounds

and that is where

I began burning.

Trauma doesn’t run

its course and

return you.

You don’t bloom from it.

You bloom in spite of it.

And there is something to be said about a body that keeps moving.

Healing

Before I began to heal,

I wasn’t angry

I couldn’t touch it

because that required will

and a kind of

passion to move.

You gotta outsmart

your wounds

and that’s where I started

burning.

Trauma doesn’t

run its course

and return you.

You don’t bloom from it.

You do inspite of it.

And there is something

to be said about a body

that keeps moving.

Are You Somewhere?

for Isaac

 

I’m sending
a homeless
man with a
shopping cart
poems about emptiness.

“Are you somewhere
warm?”

“On the outside.
I’m crying and you’re
sending me yellow faces.”

I am somewhere at odd hours
Listening to the furnace kick
And a coffee pot
gurgle and hiss.
Warm?
Isn’t that our difference-

I carry hope like a young
heart does heat.
And you dropped
yours in a gutter,  knowing better.

Drops

and it comes back down

to the same thing

every time I remember to look,

habit heavy in my chest,

searching for the left over words

of old familiar songs

but most things feel pretty foreign,

lovers and loves and friends long gone.

 

I’ll circle all around you,

give you what I got, that’s fine

but I let and let it’s suffocating

when I’m quiet all the time.

 

These bones feel like water.

I want that stone anchored in the sea.

I want to scoop it up and touch

its skin, my own burns

too much these days.

 

 

 

(artwork found on Pinterest…)

Let and Let and Let

 

It is just you. And a pulse. And breath.

 

-Jung said to be alone

to find what supports you

when you can no longer

support yourself

can give you an

indestructible foundation.-

 

Love doesn’t exist

when it cannot get in or out-

this much I know.

There are degrees of loss and a kind of

bottoming out

when you give too much

take from yourself too much

let too much

cowering from yet hovering over

your gutted pearl–your silence

a shell in the ocean

you try to fill. Read More

I’m Burning I’m Becoming

Self Exam in the Mirror Down the Hall

All I wanted was the shadow

of your fingers

and cold eyes to kind of soften as

I gather my wounds in this tulip

and with you I would say

here

here

enter and close me up

 

I waited in your room

like this, folding and unfolding

my fingers over my palms as if it were

the tulip opening and closing,

bearing witness to my wounds

you know so much about,

and each time I closed them, I saw

a sort of smooth scar spreading

over old hacksaw stitches.

 

The clock ticking as it

pushed into impossible hours.

You are not coming, love.

And I swear I saw out the window an old comet

disappearing behind the horizon of the place

I fear this kind of shit goes—this intimacy, or the

promise of budding in Spring in this town

that never grows–just mud and dead-ends

and bent telephone poles.

 

This morning I have too much coffee

because my chest hurts.  The bright

rooms feel vacant, even disturbed somehow,

as if they have spent the night with me and woken up

hung over and filmed, my old whore petticoats

dimmed and faded blushes.

 

I look down into my hands and cup

them and close them and imagine little

black tulips hiding their centers,

not from me, but from the world.

From love. Rejection does this.

 

And I keep waking up at odd hours

in a box made out of black flowers that press

panic down into me

–an old panic, the kind that happens

when people leave.

 

And there’s his voice

repeating in my head

speaking in another language
and then nothing,

the silence plucking

sadness from me like grapes.

 

The chest pain I allow;

I switch to black tea

and cigarettes; to looking

into myself in the quiet noon saying

here

here I am

enter and close me.

 

You can’t cut a heart out of someone

if you’re not holding it.