22 August 2016

Amazon Wish List

I want to be with someone
who slow dances with me,
who calls me beautiful,
who gently touches my hair.
I want to be with someone
who sees my body as strong,
whose eyes linger longer
over my smile,
whose lips share compliments
and occasional constructive criticisms.
I want to be with someone
publicly and privately,
in small dreams.
I want to be held in a spell
like a long drag off a cigarette.
I want someone's hand
on the small of my back
as he allows me to lead,
and when I get lipstick
on his collar
I want him
to know
that he is mine.

21 August 2016

Radio Edit (Part 1)

"So," she started with a small sigh. "What happened between you and Steph?" This was the first time she said her name without rolling her eyes afterward, so I could tell she cared.

"Well, she was the type of woman who preferred P.I.L. to Sex Pistols, Big Audio Dynamite to The Clash. So, she had big problems."

"Oh, wow. I had no clue, Tony. I'm so sorry," she choked, holding back tears. "I really had no idea. You think you know someone..."

"Yeah," I said. "And to think we made out... And I introduced her to all of my friends..."

I let the tears flow from me. Holding them back would be inauthentic. I used my shirt to wipe my cheeks.

"Come here," she cooed, and she held me close to her, her heartbeat like a song by O.M.D.

05 August 2016

Imaginary Boys

I wrap my arms around
imaginary boys because
ghosts don't hurt me.
Pretending never hurt me.
The signs were aflame,
scorching reality.
My loving imagined
the harshest:
Oh, he's frightened.
Oh, he has innocent secrets.
In reality, he took secrets
from the innocent,
shaped them into proud armor,
and I threw up,
coughed up bile
until I imagined
myself a child,
fingers shining and bubbling
from a hot stove.
Pretending never hurt me.
The elegance of lost frames,
lost information,
that's what hurts me:
the missing threads,
and I am no tapestry maker.
He had kissed my forehead
as if I were a child
and it should have been
a warning.
All of this, I confide in you,
and you make it
about yourself.
Your anger, the stove I touch.
This is why I must stick to
imaginary boys,
with smiles and warm arms,
warm in my dreams,
warm from the fire
of my nightmares.

03 August 2016

A Keeping

And he held her because she asked him to, and he told her she was a beautiful and wanted woman, because he knew it had been years since those things were true.

On the other side of the shadowed room, a small music box sat alone. He gingerly opened it to hear the promise he tried to make.

Once the melody clicked incomplete, he didn't bother turning the box over. He didn't wind the key, as if it were too much trouble, as if it were too slow a release for a pleasure that should be instant. He closed the box shut a little too forcefully, a little too quickly.

He turned to the woman, now a frightened girl, and tried to promise her a future of music and beauty, but she knew the melody was over.

31 July 2016

With Age

Yellow dreams,
shapes of curtains
holding small arguments.
Cradle large, sad eyes.
Cradle large, sad mouth.
Whisper public knowledge,
and scream every secret,
a tickle in the throat,
a daring charge,
static in the heart.
If this is the death knell,
if this is the bed my
fullness will know,
then I am ready.
Cradle complex shoulders,
with the weight of broken things,
lies yellow around the edges with age.

22 July 2016

Watch and Wait

I have cereal, but no milk--
a heart, but no brain.
I have empty boxes
and a lonely mattress
on the floor.

When the watchmaker asked me
how long I wanted to wait,
I responded, out of breath,
I would wait forever,"

but these calloused hands
make no bread.
These fingers press buttons
and document "self-
care, self-

I have cereal, but no milk--
nothing left over
for my cat to quietly drink,
to quietly meditate over.

He is content watching a bird
through a closed window,
never knowing how to hunt,
only how to watch and wait

and wait.

01 July 2016

Old Stories

Invade my shores
and then leave
once there's nothing left
but scraps for buzzards.
Centuries pass and you
put frozen peas
on my swollen heart
and trace in all capital letters
the name I take from you.
At least, that's how you say
it ends--with some sort
of corruption, some imperialism,
some ice cream
by the lake,
a smaller shore
than you're used to.

30 June 2016

Radio Silence

You deserve better.
That's what they always say,
your friends
and those other friends
on the other side of the bridge
(the part that's not on fire).
I always wanted those
Technicolor dreams,
those sharp clich├ęs
that click off the tongue
in quick succession,
like little bullets.
I fucking hate what they say.
I hate it because
they don't actually know.
I want them to actually know.
Are you better for me?
Do you know who is?
Will I meet him at Acme
next to the asparagus?
Will we get high together
at a tiny party?
Will he tease me for how I hold
my cigarette
(a little too close to others)?
Will he help me color my hair
to match my frustration,
all Technicolor and everyday?
I don't want to hurt
but I hurt everyday.
I want a love that pauses
between breaths
to admire a fragile moment.
Because I am fragile.
Because I deserve to be seen.
I deserve better.

19 June 2016

Steal Everything

I can be found
where the burglar
and copy cat break bread.
I can be found
once the plates are thrown,
where flinching
is a personality trait
and not a reaction.
Each measure of
is not enough,
and houses are not homes
when you don't feel safe.
"But if you value safety
so much
you will close everyone off,"
he said.
"No one believes you."
The sun warms the kitchen--
the knives, all glittering
in the sink.
Compassion is competitive
and everyone just talks 
about themselves.
The burglar and the copy cat
steal everything I love.
Steal everything
until I am a shell 
and not a muse.

02 June 2016

Running Late

Tiny red spiders
explore freckled
ground like any other,
and I shake like the earth.
Upon closer inspection,
I discover dozens.
They get tangled up
in peachfuzz
and roses
and bite when
the wind of my breath
throws them off.
I feel guilty, so I stop.
I no longer
recognize my skin
so I let them have it.
They can have it,
running late,
running nowhere.