Siren Song

Like a siren song
Whispered on the wind
You’ve been calling out to me
So I’ll let you draw me out
Let you clear away the rubble
Tend the scrapes and scratches 
Wipe the dust from my eyes
Ease the pain of years
Spent in this cramped confinement 
Of the prison I’ve called safety
The kiln fired cast I’ve worn forever
Protection from the world or myself I can’t be sure

Eminor

The flash of an ember
Briefly lighting your face
Seen from the darkness a block away
drawing me in
I can almost imagine
The scent of smoke on your skin
Mixed with bourbon and vanilla 
That I can’t help but drink in

Telephone

Somehow we got our wires crossed
And what I said got lost in what you thought you heard
Because sometimes it’s not anything deeper
Sometimes it’s just the honest answer
Even when it’s not what you wanted
When you’re digging for meaning where it doesn’t exist
Because I said all

But I didn’t say now

Should Statements

I should sleep anyway
It’s safer beneath the uneven stitches of this quilt
Sewn by loving hands before you stole my breath

5.23

I'm white knuckled on the wheel

But there’s an addiction
To this loss of control

That I hate and can’t get enough of
That I wish I could keep at bay

But your pull is unavoidable
A riptide fastened to my soul

Sewn so deeply in my bones
I don’t know where it starts and I end

It’s safer to stay away
But I’ll let you pull me under

To feel that burning in my lungs
And the sweet relief of letting go

Remember


I have to remember how to slow down
To breath full breaths
To let things be as they will be
To sit with myself again
To appreciate the dusty corners of myself
Where I’ve shoved all the parts of me you stole time from
Where I hid the bits of me you didn’t like
Where I placed the treasure I didn’t want you to tarnish

Gone


I’m scared of what will happen
when I can’t feel the aching
bruising of my lips.

When my hips
don’t whisper your name
each step I take.

When I don’t automatically
feel your ghost 
as I close my eyes.

I don’t want to forget
Something this
excruciatingly
exquisite.

I don’t want the
proof that it was all real
to fade into the
nothingness of nights long gone.

Heartstrings

One second
One look
One sharp breath
and I'm hanging by my heartstrings

Big Bang


Circling

Near miss after near miss

Sentience

Brings worlds born anew

HPHM


I want to count the freckles on your shoulders.
Glowing in the morning light.
Get lost in the constellations they make
in this bubble of reckless freedom.

I want to remember the way
you kissed my tattoos.
Reminding me that you accept every fragment
I’ve tried to put back together
with needles and ink.

I want you to look at me again.
Like you’re surprised and amazed to find me lying there.
Hoping you can’t hear my heart
beating a new tattoo on my ribcage.

I want to feel you shiver
From just one small touch of your side.
Fingertips exploring.
Writing secrets only our bodies can read.

I need you to know what it means.
Not past tense.
Never past tense.

Know


I know that your eyes glow in the dawn light
That you can shatter me with a single touch
That you can disarm me with a single glance
That you’re scared too
That your strength comes from your pain

Don't


There was a moment where I breathed “don’t”


And you didn’t.


I don’t think you know how special that is.

Tell


Just sit with me a little longer

Telling stories of our scars

Letting the silences do the talking

Acheron


Dancing at the Devil’s ball
Golden wine dripping from my lips
I wouldn’t trade it for a million eternities
Even though I know it’ll bring my dancing feet to death's door

Keeping time with fallen angels
Skirts sweeping closer to the flames
The more I taste the less I care
What happens with just one more sip

I’m dancing on the knife’s edge
There’s so much beauty in that swelling red
So dark it’s black in the firelight
Casting shadows at my back

Moving down this smoking sizzling path
I can’t help but follow
Drunk on the growing burn
The devil’s hands dancing across my skin

Another sip and I’ll know the end
But the devil won’t allow it
Can’t stand to end this waltz

Between the one drunk on pure feeling
And what waits in between the banks

Duplicity


I’m not supposed to like it.
The way your arms feel.
The way your hands set my skin on fire.
The sizzling in their wake.

I don’t think I’ll be able to look at those hands the same again.
Without feeling them ghost across my skin.
Memorizing every dip and plain.
Saying more than could ever be expressed in words.

Sandman


When I was younger, I had these reoccurring dreams

They always found me in that deepest moment
Just before waking
And held my hand through the day
Keeping me from fully waking to the world

In one I stood in the middle of a circle of people
In a room flooded with blue green murky light

They were all screaming at me
But I couldn’t speak the language

In another, I could only see my left forearm and hand

It was all in black and white
And my arm was the arm of a child
Soft and dimpled at the knuckles
With blood red ladybugs seeping from my skin

My breath sounded ragged in my ears in another
And I felt like I could run forever
Which is nice when there’s someone running after you

I could taste my heart in the back of my throat
Running forever
Because if I stopped

I wouldn’t have the strength to keep you off

Madison Street


I passed my rapist on the street today.
He wears glasses now and he grew a beard.
Not a lumberjack beard. It still grows in patchy.

I don’t know what made me look up as he came close to me.
Maybe some invisible tether still exists between our souls. Sustained by the damage and hurt that still lives there.

Maybe it’s just that he was on a bike and I didn’t want to get run over.

Whatever the reason, our eyes met.
There was a flicker of recognition before he had sped by.
As if I was merely someone he may have once stood in line next to but couldn’t place.

It’s amazing to pass someone who has held your soul in their grasp, has known you inside and out, has forever altered the course of your life and not even acknowledge them.

As if the moments that forever fused you together and shattered your trust, your ability to give freely is no more than a stranger.

I passed my rapist on the street today.
And I don’t know which one of us was more surprised to find the others eyes upon them.

Numb


My senior year of high school,
I let my boyfriend rape me.

We went from fooling around to me pinned to the ground
In the blink of an eye

And I lay there, his weight on my chest,
his “manhood” stretching me and filling me again and again,
my brain trying to catch up to the movements in my body,

I learned that Numb

is a place.

After,
I drove him home
and responded to his “I love you,”
with “I love you too”

Because what else is their to say
when your heart and your brain and your body are on different continents
and your mouth is trying to stay sane?

For the next year
I found solace each night as I retreated to the comfort of living in Numb.

My traitorous body giving the proper cues while my mind screamed in anguish and my soul danced across the frozen wasteland that is Numb

The no’s and stops getting no further than the first spark of a brain synapse because Numb stops everything good in its tracks.

I finally left Numb when his hand met my face.

Slapped back into a reality that I had hidden from for so long
my anger finally managing permeate the permafrost of Numb

it became nothing more than a puddle of tears and the pain of a year and half of avoidance hit me like a freight train.

Rocking my body in a way that made every nerve ending sing.

I’ve never felt such pleasure as I did in that moment of pain.


Precipice


We’ve been standing here for a while.
We’ve been teetering on the edge.
Taunting the wind
One good gust and we’d tumble over the edge in a mess of curls and reaching hands.

How do we outsmart the storm?
Howe do we convince the gales to believe they’re just playful breezes?

There’s nothing below but angry rocks and roiling seas.
Sure pain and angry death is all that waits over the edge.

It calls to the wind,
Begging.

and cajoling,
To make the final move in this long battle of wills.



The rain is coming.



Slickening fingers and piercing flesh with ice

To freeze and burn and numb



If the gusts shove too hard there will be no way to insure our grip.



Standing here,







how long do you think we’ll last?

Unexpected: Excerpts from a brain dump


Unexpected.
I mean, fuck.
I could barely look because I felt like I wouldn’t be able to stop.
Like if I breathed too loudly or looked head on…disappear.
It was all I could do to not hold on and never let go.
I couldn’t stand.
It was intoxicating.
So perfectly you have to stop and close your eyes for a minute to savor the feeling and experience?
Love is easy.
It comes naturally.
It’s the relationship that’s work.
I mean, fuck.
How good it felt to melt.

Smile


You’re one of those people I just want to watch smile forever

April 3rd


Never be the same
You can’t pretend it away
It will not break you

Emergency Contact


The question that stares you in the face bolder than any mime or homeless man begging change on the street.

Not even a full question.

It’s a statement that causes you to pause and take stock of your every relationship.

From age 0 to 26 the answer is given seemingly before you even know it’s been asked but after that, it’s the question you’ll ask yourself late at night acting as an island amidst the surging waves of covers thrown askew by your tides.

The question that you’ll encounter in every waiting room and HR office which will sometimes, sucker punch you in the face harder than Mohammed Ali can sting like a bee.

Emergency contact.

When you’re lying on the floor and the crowd around you doesn’t contain a familiar face, who will be there?

Who will be your tether to the remains of the world falling to pieces around you?

Who cares enough about you to drop everything and come to the rescue of the damsel you swore you’d never become?


False Start


THE BANG OF THE STARTERS GUN RINGS OUT BEHIND ME.

I’M ALREADY MOVING.
BRAIN STRUGGLES TO CATCH UP TO BODY, SCREAMING AT TRAITOROUS MUSCLES TO FREEZE.
STOP MOVING!
THE MORE YOU MOVE THE MORE THEY SEE YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN AND SCREWED EVERYTHING UP.

RESET.
HEAD DOWN, RESET BACK TO WHERE YOU BEGAN MOMENTS, MONTHS, YEARS AGO.
BEFORE MUSCLES BUNCHED AND STRAINED AND PROPELLED YOU FORWARD.
HEAD DOWN AND YOU’LL AVOID THE EYES WATCHING YOUR EVERY MOVE.
MOVEMENTS OF MUSCLES SHAMED INTO SLOW AND STEADY PLODDING BACK TO THE BEGINNING.

CROUCHED AGAIN IN THAT HATED STANCE.
THE ONE THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE GLUED TO A PUDDLE OF TOXIC WASTE.
THE SLUDGE SLOWLY SINKING INTO YOUR PORES TO SWALLOW YOU WHOLE AND KEEP YOU STUCK. FOREVER.

MUSCLES BUNCH
STRAIN
EXPLODE
FREEDOM

BANG.

Questions and Answers


Which procedure?
                      trim bone back
                      Trim as little as possible. Just to where the bone is bleeding
How long will the surgery take in hours?
                      one hour ish
How long will we be in the hospital?
                      outpatient
Recovery time?
                      three weeks ish
Probability of future surgery or success
                      pretty high unless you don’t want anything done

Dear Inner Thighs


Dear Inner Thighs,

Hi!

We’re your eyes.

You know, the ones you use to inspect every millimeter of yourself
in mirrors and windows and even just when were cast down?
You’ve used us to find every stretchmark, cellulite dimple and soft spot.
I know it’s easy for you to train our gaze on yourself but we have a small request.

Can you not?

When you use us to obsess over yourself, you don’t let us see the things we’d rather look at.

We see meals filled with laughter,
a warm spot when your hands or hers are ice cubes,

We see a balancing act that keeps your butt from looking photoshopped onto your body,
a perfect resting place when you’re shaking and she finally takes a breath.

We see more perfection in your inches of skin than Monet’s lily pads.

So…Can you just not?
Not use us to see something that isn’t there?
It’s exhausting and taxing and to be quite honest,
not worth our time.


Love,
Your Eyes

Literacy Narative


I am from “read me grandma!” and grandpa’s deep soothing voice
I am from memorized bedtime stories, poems, and Rindercella
I am from “it’s not crick its creeeeek grandpa!” and “that’s a great p-word!”
I am from “sound it out” and “how do you think it’s spelled?”
I am from tree identification and watching tadpoles grow
From “The Birch Island Gazette” and Molly & The Mice

I am from sweet sticky peach juice running down my chin, and cool wet washcloths on hands before turning pages
I am from icy air conditioning against humidity hot cheeks in a store that smells like paper and yarn
I am from summer reading programs, and hot cement pool decks
I am from post cards and pen pals
From snail mail and thank you notes

I am from daydreams and imagined worlds
From treasure hunts through bookstore basements
I am from long grey pigtail French braids and purple Pilot V-5 notes tucked between pages

I am from badass female protagonists and lady knights
I am from escaping my own life to see the world through someone else’s eyes
I am from Tortall and Terrasen
From Prythian and Ravenclaw tower
I am from heavy eyelids and refusing to look at the clock
I am from “just one more chapter” and “I only have a few pages left”

I am from the steam whistle, always interrupting, and the back of the lecture hall pretending to take notes
I am from notes shoved under doors and pinned to bulletin boards
From “comb E’s”
I am from sick days drawing on blackboards and transparency coloring pages
I am from Leo the Late Bloomer and notecard libraries
I am from practicing my hand writing and the hunt for the perfect pen
I am from advanced readers copies and “signed by the author” bookmarks

I am from embarrassing stories of my own childhood told to me by friends in school to become teachers
I am from framed dust jackets

I am from abysmal math scores and 99th percentile vocabulary
From “the nines trick” and quiet reading during “timed tests”
I am from “my child is not a test score” and vacations in when there was no “school break”
I am from “planner meetings” and assignment notebooks
From story problems and “explain your answers”
I am from “some high school” and “Doctoral or post-graduate degree”
I am from “failing to meet potential” and rejection letters

I am from words flowing in ink across pages just to lessen the pressure in my mind of the why’s and why me’s
I am from “I’m a fuck up” and “you’re such a stupid girl”
I am from dropping out…again
I am from quiet strength and thick walls
From trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and a life changing diagnosis
I am from proving them wrong
I am from “what did you do with my granddaughter?!”