Water

There are no returns

We spend hours shaping

ourselves only to fit

somewhere else

I asked my ancestors

to send me a feather

if I should leave you

I stepped on an ant hill

in the cemetery 

and had to shake my shoes

next to a blue feather

But blue is the color of harmony

so I decided to stay,

every day harder than the last,

I grow crass and bitter

as bark on the silver maple

near the porch

where we used to laugh

You laughed today,

but it was with her

I don’t laugh anymore

you never let me with another man

so I tell you I hate

the way she makes you wheeze

I am never in on the joke

I am often the punchline-

an outward gesture of devotion,

tardy efforts to patch leaks

in a sinking ship-

I crossed state lines

and landmines

to be with you

but there were always others

I never jumped ship 

I always thought you would wake at the wheel

before letting me drown

Now I only trust water

08-15-22

Messes

Did I love you

Or did I love my reflection

Fragmented/Split

I learned how to say sorry this year

I hear children are usually taught it

But I was never a child

And I never had parents

Sometimes I stay in bed

And wish for something unfamiliar

I plant flowers now

When I water them,

I remember to take a drink 

You should see the house

Linda the neighbor said it’s lovely

Linda is lovely

Still, dirt stays in my fingernails

So when I hold myself, I feel grounded

I leave messes

Because I don’t want to be clean

I don’t want anything to end

I did love you

04-10-21

Ammunition

Decades of hiding in mirrors,

diving into deep ends

and drowning in drink one,

two, six, eight

I don’t know who I am

Do you hear me?

I never had the chance

When there is never silence

you create it

You swallow your tears and your dreams

and let everyone speak for you

You spend every waking hour trying to piece together

why you are now made of ammunition

explosive and cold

All you want is to be held

but you rip into your own flesh

until you’re unrecognizable

and you force them to tell you

what you already know

Then you lie down

and hope you never find the strength

to stand up

02-07-21

Weightless

Barelegged and braless,

stargazing at the wall,

waiting for

a burning ball of gas

to sweep me into a vacuum

where the air is so thin

that my brain can’t

find it

 

“How does that make you feel”

they would ask

and I’d say “weightless”

 

for now, though, it’s all heavy

and my eyes are falling in

so I can’t see the starlight

 

only a wall

 

9-04-19

 

 

 

 

Speak Up

how do I talk to a river

when I am an ocean,

pushing and pulling,

swelling but never

reaching the mouth

 

you are constant and strong

most days I am quiet and calm,

but some days I rip through

my own flesh to break free of the tide

 

how could you ever understand

the storm that bites my heels

or why I never left it at the riverbanks

where I sought any semblance

of love or strength or presence

to stifle my little voice

 

I thought I was preserving it

but I think I may have lost it

somewhere in a prayer

 

so how do I talk to a river

now that I am faithless

 

7-25-19

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