day 12

two ears
both black
sometimes hang down
never up

tail like a spring
twisted on itself

goggles for eyes
never blink
too close

if you close your eyes
you hear the sounds
of monsters, wicked
forest creatures
in his breath

stand far away
to see the rolls of flesh
like the counter of a bakery
flush full of goods
in the morning rush

day 11

my eyes are closed
stiff like
a body on television

I should rise up
stumble towards the
cracked inside of myself
those pieces in the distance

have only been buried
just so
I can still see them

day 10

I eat every word until

I

L U V

U

floats to the top
he doesn’t notice
instead, he reads
the part of the paper
I hate

where dollar signs float
old white men frown
talking of percentages
losses, gains

the white crackle of paper
keeps the silence

I leave my bowl on
the table, he
doesn’t look up

day 9

They say put down
as though she’s a stone that
sinks rather than skips or jumps
when she breathes it’s a bell, a toll
a furnace with no light, only smoke
we do it at home, where her tail wags
her eyes brighten as we all gather around
she can’t understand why we’re not happy, why
our eyes blur and our stomachs burn, why our
hands tremble when we pet her wiry fur, careful
of the lumps that have
grown to consume her

after, we carry her to
the car, to the place
where her body will
become ash rather
than flesh, all wondering
at how heavy such
a small thing can be

Day 8

I found an old bottle once
brown and distressed
all silver broken like a mirror
spent too long in acid

inside was a drawing
in charcoal not ink
of a mermaid with melting legs
her breasts covered with sails

I sat on the beach
writing on the back
of that drawing

writing of how her
eyes glowed, her
hair flowed, her
wrists crossed just so

back in the bottle it went
while I waited on the sand
nothing came back
though I thought
I heard an echo
of dolphins laughing

Day 7

We bought a child once
a girl with hair the color of ash
she spoke no English
she spoke nothing at all

Her mother, she sold out
of an old truck
near the turnpike where
officers waited to catch
speeding sedans

She made the most delicious food
tamales, hot and fresh
wrapped liked Christmas presents

The girl hid behind her long skirt
pausing to peek at us when we spoke
our language like the babbling of
birds

The mother said here, you take her
I cannot afford
this life

We tried for a few weeks
the little girl did not like our food
our soft bed
our stairs that creaked

She sat at the window
waiting for her mother

We dropped her off
near the church with
the highest cross
pinning a note to her chest
asking another to take her
wondering, how many hands
she’d passed through

morning poem

It’s not the waking
that bothers me
though the tips of my toes ache
that crack in my skull
throbs, remembering perhaps
glass and steel
pumping water over my skin fire

no, it’s not the waking
that bothers me
it’s the waiting
while I look down
at phantom limbs
my mouth blowing and blowing
waiting for the nurse to show
aglow in white
resplendent in her crown
of gauze

we feeling better today?
is perhaps the worst
sentence in the history
of the world
where there is no we
only me and the parts
I have lost

Day 5: Dickinson

breaking
is not furtive
it is a quick pause
in entropy

slow slow the
cracks appear
organized decay
working against
that battered defense
of the cobweb wrapped
wound

no skin splits
no mouth opens
to spirit a quiet
word

break, falling
open eggshells
slipping, holding
together what is
left

 

words from

Crumbling is not an instant’s Act (1010)
BY EMILY DICKINSON

Day 4: What I See

just after dawn I wake
when you still sleep
your mouth open, those
not so soft snores
like the horn of some
ancient hunting deity

I wonder at how the light
catches those freckles
on your cheeks your nose
those small dots you told me
were stars on our first date

they say in Alaska women wander
in the dark, their stars extinguish
one by one by one

I would ask that you stay
here with me
instead of wandering

I like waking up
next to the galaxy of you

Day 3: No entry

theme; fourteener

 

I have changed my name to that of the flower which smells of
ghosts and old cobwebbed ceilings in creak laden houses
from my arms veins sprout like vines searching for sunlight where there
is none, my windows are drawn closed, the shutters shuddering
against winds and rain that pound my house down, searching for that
one crack, that one breach, that one hidden pinhole allowing
entry