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Sweetchild


They call me dear though I am dear

to no one, so I give them Sweetchild

in my voice though she died at

fourteen I can still move through her

mouth like cheesecloth, glistening

and fine. She must stay inside

somewhere, nestled in my throat

with her sisters. I hope they braid

each other’s hair. I hope they

never think of me.


Originally published by: Oddville Press Fall 2018

This room made lovely by shadow


This room with bulbs that move above like passing streetlights, dark, but speckled in the city, home is drunk and watching you drive.

In this room, submerged in water is my body made of glass, near invisible, but you can see the scar like pursed lips from a sharp corner, it is found through touch.

In this room the sun cannot heal me. It is mild like a tepid-tonged ocean. Fathomless to meaningless as a bird call recedes in three parts sectioned like an echo.

In this room you can sit in a nest made of ice and blue glass. It glitters in the structured sunlight and melts to hold you tight ‘till the shards ease in to your thighs.

In this room I am sleeping. The ceiling fan clicks and the air conditioning clicks and the window blinds click against a window, all like thin things breaking.

In this room I haven’t bothered.

This room with two pleated cities making music with the seashore sound of passing cars.

In this room I have written your name repeatedly until it became one shape like a lose shadow of ash and then I switched to a different color.

This room, made lovely by shadows, is empty as intended.

In this room, with the drill pulse familiar, we are pinned in motion by strobing lights, can you see me laughing in green?

This room where we will never touch  for the glass again between us, there is a flower held here in the sheer surface, pink without motion, to remind you.

In this room without memory we have a moment so I can apologize.

Originally published by: Mannequin Haus Summer 2018

Retained

He lives in her mirror, per their agreement, and watches her. She is not performative, neither of them wanted that, but she is beautiful and thus easy to watch. He watches her braid her hair, her round chin angled down, and looks to see if she is frowning slightly, if she is tired. He watches her floss, infrequently, and watches her examine her blemishes from a short distance away. He enjoys this because, when she is near him, her breath dews the mirror. When she is gone for long hours of the day, he does not need to watch anything, but when she is home, in a T-shirt maybe, listening to music, often, perhaps sweeping in a way that is almost a slow dance and humming to herself, it is important that she is watched. She forgets sometimes, and then remembers, and she will smile at him because, she knows, he is there. He watches her remember, and he watches her forget. Every moment retained.

Originally published by: Mannequin Haus Summer 2018

Things that I have sacrificed to give you body

Money: a sum of no interest.

A collection of iridescent birds who sing like rusted swing sets.

A parking lot on Sunday where church bells pool like a slow-moving mist.

An apartment with six potted plants, blue-grey walls, this place that grew to smell of garlic, leeks, wine.

Sunlight and sex, both so blinding that I leave myself.

Men who felt ready to love me, in parts.

A bruise, plum-shape and color.

A slew of road-side peach stands dappled in both real and fronted love of country.

The phantom of you in a hall mirror with a face that I could shape with needs my own.  

Originally published by: Mannequin Haus Summer 2018

One day, her hands became birds

and he could not forgive her.

They ate sunflower seeds, and

dipped themselves in fountains.

Her hands slept in trees,

folding gently on themselves.

He missed the way they’d

weighed his chest like stones,

keeping him still as he dreamed.

He hated holding them now,

in his hands, their little hearts

beating.

Originally published by: North of Oxford Spring 2018

Please

Their time at sea became its’ own

reality. The salt and musk that sunk

into their hair, their clothes, the way

their bodies learned to lean, bracing

in their sleep. Their mother who

carved her wrists into flowers, and

the way her body twitched as she

was eaten by silver fish beneath

her like a bed of ribbons. The girl

with tiny fists clenched like heads

of garlic, who worked her mouth

and did not speak to anyone except

the word “please.”

Originally published by: Cease, Cows Fall 2017

The room feels awkward

without inhabitants,

the cabinets unsure

how tall they should be,

if their drawers should open

easily, or not. The mirrors

don’t know how often

they should smile

Originally published by: Southern Poetry Review Summer 2017

Film

I wear my anger for you

when it suits me,

when it is seasonally appropriate,

sometimes, when it rains.

I take no souvenirs.

I leave bobby pins in your bed,

hungover footsteps,

trailing down your stairs.

 

In the kitchen, without my love

you make coffee. You make

silent pillars of steam

to ease our morning.

 

I braid my hair to wait,

To practice living.

Originally published by: Songs of Eretz Poetry Review Summer 2017

Left, and the sound of birds

He has never had
any of the women he filled.
Where they go
they go completely.

-

The wooden blinds
the silent room 
light taken by a cloud.

Originally published by: Ink in Thirds Summer 2016


Tiny mother

Her hair is knotted like
low Texas trees
bristled and burred.

She watches
her beautiful, empty child
with automatic legs
spilling and wheeling

the way rain makes a view new.

Originally published by: Ink in Thirds Summer 2016


Wild god

On bad nights, he approaches her like you would a wild dog. He lays
hands on her, mapping out her waist, her thighs, her neck until she is
home in her body.

Still, there is something about the thrill of it. Her opening up, empty
beneath him. He can fall into her without purchase, finding new places,
pinching holes in her. He becomes creator...the Wild God. he wakes up
with someone folded, with a new light before he realizes.

Originally published by: Ink in Thirds Summer 2016


Red velvet

The morning air is gentle
ceding her space
as her heels sink
into the wet grass.
She slips small holes
into its skin, still waking.
She smiles at the feeling,
as it gives.

Originally published by: Oddville Press Summer 2016


When a night is named

This is how I will keep you,
wrapped in Christmas lights.
Above me, you shiver like kite skin.
My young body is vanity
I thought I could be a home for anyone

But you, like light, are swelling
in a place I can't touch,
you are rolling like the shadow
of a cloud.

We are both, so completely
lost to me.

Originally published by: JONAH Magazine Summer 2016


Speartooth

I know your skin,
the bitten place behind
your knee. I know
from being peeled,
from being cleaned
in your small room,
molding like pleated skirts,
a place I can fall to
when I need to be anyone.

Originally published by: JONAH Magazine Summer 2016


Taillights are temples in the ground

The plastic bag fills with rain
        like a body.
        the plastic bag like the latex glove.

The rain is too gentle for her.
        The wheel pulls.

On the side of the road,
        a red bumper smiles
        cut from a jack-o'-lantern.

The semis send up waves
        like whales.
        Whale whale whale
        whale.

Originally published by: LAROLA Summer 2016


Comedown

The air is stillborn
After the storm, it sticks
to skin. As I walk
the shadows of birds cross
between my feet like
sharks through milk.

Originally published by: LAROLA Summer 2016


Fingers through the trees

When seized, do not speak.
The sun strips you to what she knows,
and she knows heat.

Originally published by: LAROLA Summer 2016


You breathe out

Your body teaches you death today,
slowly, there is no enchantment
in your limbs, only pull.
And outside,
the heat you've lived with
your whole life, the kind
that's thick, still
like an ocean, kicks
at your windows.

Originally published by: LAROLA Summer 2016


White Fence Gang - Intrubide

If I can be here, I can be nowhere.
We play with our new toys, and I
love these girls, but I know
this is the same game as wives
who create a baby to feel full.
We can spit fire like fire was made for us,
we can move so smooth it is cruel
to watch our legs closing like
Chinese fans, but in the end,
there are only two gods. You see,
I had a revelation. Last night, in bed
he was power and I was love, and he
was hungry for me.

Originally published by: The Blue Hour Spring 2015


I rise with my red hair

I have become woman
with many names. Many
of those gifts. From you,
I am victim, I am survivor
I am rise. The number of times
I have been angry,
could be counted in two cupped palms
The number of times I have bitten,
tremble.

Originally published by: The Blue Hour Spring 2015


The wooden floor

From the right angle, you can see
her footprints on the mopped floor
like language, or the shadow of eggs.

You think about tracing her steps,
her slow, small dance, but
the thought turns.

It is not your time,
your faith.

Originally published by: The Blue Hour Spring 2015


Hamsa

The towel is wet and warm.
I place it on my face and feel
my skin shift like old wood.
Like a prayer, I name
all the things I did not ask for.

Originally published by: The Missing Slate Spring 2015