The Way I Wish It Went.

He holds the cards in his hands. Jokers and Queens.
On his knees in some strange place, where the moss
covers over the cracks. And any thoughts that might run to her
are slammed to the ground with a desperate violence. 
At home she dreams of the skin at the nape of his neck.
How he curled around her like a fine husk. 
And there is a list of things that ring out like the bell
of his name, of what she gets sick on.
Where he is now, the history of love goes back to antiquity.
A circus of women with their frills and flashing eyes.    
And he buries his hands in any heat he can find, 
dreams of Great Fires, of how easily things burn. 
Wakes and reminds himself of how little use there is 
in remembering a life already gone.

sometimes it's never over.

Listen. Can you heart it? The hum of his mouth far away. 
How distance sounds like static, feels like the thickest silence.
Now the alarm wakes you like a siren, a warning
that this is another day, another stretch of dull hours
of your body begging your hands to belong to someone else.
So you dress like a priestess, like a queen who needs no king.
Your knees bow your forehead to the floor. These are prayers,
this is forgiveness, this is a sadness that needs no feeding.
And then one day you manage to shake the ghost from your own body.
Wake with your insides free of tangles, from a sleep that feels
like recovery, from a dream that was not about him.
But this is not lightness. There is no relief. Only the weight of
realisation, of how much you do not want to forget.

for today.

Maybe Very Happy, Jack Gilbert.


After she died he was seized
by a great curiosity about what
it was like for her. Not that he
doubted how much she loved him.
But he knew there must have been
some things she had not liked.
So he went to her closest friend
and asked what she complained of.
"It's all right," he had to keep
saying, "I really won't mind." 
Until the friend finally gave in. 
"She said sometimes you made a noise
drinking your tea if it was very hot."


Going Going Gone.

I know that by now, my skin should know the sting of leaving.
How sudden the weight of my lungs can drop me to the ground,
how quickly a scar tears anew.
But anything I have survived fades away in this. 
What he gave me is gone with him.
I thought that I was old enough now,
to know the markings of a history already written. 
To recognise that a poor weave
needs only the smallest tug to come undone.
But age has not hardened me. Time changes nothing.

I don't believe that love has a current
however far it pulls me, however near I am. 
And you overcome what you will.
I don't believe in hauntings,
even as my hands struggle with his phantom weight.
There is no want, you see, no power,
no empty ache that can change this.
I loved him; he left.
What mystery is there in that?


Silent Night.

Tomorrow it's back to university, again. My final semester. I'm terrified. Two crappy theory-ridden courses, the continuation of a group research project, and the research internship I stupidly thought that I could handle.

Right now I am listening to the Metallic Falcons and feeling sad and strange, and all I want is this dress, a bottle of wine, and for a sweet, pretty boy to give me a "let's start something" smile.


whether you save me
whether you savage me
want my last look to be the moon in your eyes
want my heart to break, if it must break, in your jaws
want you to lick my blood off your paws
it is for me the eventual truth
it is that look of the lioness to her man across the Nile
and you can't get here fast enough
I will swim to you

(Songs: Ohia)


this does not feel quite right

(it has been so long --)


What you have taught me is, I want our bodies
to be a warning. My scars a lover's braille.
My palms read, and either loved or abandoned for the future seen--
even the way my heart beats could hint at which way to turn.
It was that you turned away after so long. 
It was that your leaving was like the moment of stroke.
Think of me now, in rehabilitation. What was familar is foreign.
My body ends where it ends.
I clasp my hands together; I hold nothing.
And I pray to say your name again,
with neither longing nor regret,
but simply recognition--
like coming across a patch of earth
where lightning once struck.


this. this forever.

Pussycat Interstellar Naked Hotrod Mofo Ladybug Lustblaster!
Derrick Brown

pussycat interstellar naked etc etc.

how silly i get.
how lost and silly i get
unravelling my fingers
to where your arms connect.

i come to your body as a tourist.
endless rolls of black and wine film in my fingertips
documenting the places that change your breathing
when touched with the patience of glaciers retreating drip by drip.
it reverses your breath back into the places
that trigger subtle curls in your purple painted toes.

the breaths are not worth hundreds of sparrows
they are worth all the gray air sparrows die and wander in

there are things about you i collect and sell to no one.
i journal them in a book you gave me with the inscription,

'don't leave your ribcage in the icicle air. something will break.'

i wrote about the courage my hand would need
aiming down the worn comfort of your hair,
hang-gliding across the summer slits of your winter dress,
searching the perfection in your rock-and-roll breasts,
stealing the heat off the drug of your stomach.

let me die a White Fang death
trembling on the snow and linen of your shoulder blades.

i want to buy you a black car
in 66 shades of black
to match the wandering walls of your heart
filled with the mysteries of space and murder in space.

let me spend my days on the shores of abalone cove island
collecting bottles that wash ashore
and burning the messages inside
to fill them with new messages like
"send more coconuts" or
"send more coconuts and wild boar repellant. i'm re-reading lord of the flies." or
"wow, I'm actually on an island. please send my five favorite albums.
i've already built a Victrola out of sand and eel poo-poo.
It's the MacGuyver in me. this volleyball won't shut up."

i will float the armada of messages towards the atlantic
and wonder if a pale girl in new york spends time at the shore.

i will wonder if she can see the stars i carved our initials into
when I got sick and weightless.

lay in bryant park and look hard into the air.
your last initial isn't up there
for it is worthless to me
since i had dreamed of changing it.

this is the love of mercenaries.
i'd kill an army of sleeping cubans for the rum desires
in the clutch of your tongue.

touche to your lips!
touche to your way!
touche to your ass!

you are an electric chair disguised as a la-z-boy recliner
and i find comfort in you.

my clear bones take shape in the mouth of glassblower with asthma
for there is no perfection in me
but maybe clarity.

crush me with the satisfaction of your black misted, unclocked breath.
i always come back to the secrets and wonder of your breath.
It is something for sparrows to wander in.

it's not that i wait for you
it's that
my arms are doors i cannot close.