Legacy of the Dead

It is only because

you are not here

that I continue

to put one knee

in front of the other.

It is only because 

of your rage towards women

that I no longer have a womb.

Everyone knows 

the best mothers are barren

because their blood stains no one.

You taught me how and what to believe

and now I cannot even think of myself

without finding something of you mixed in.

When I am happy

it is only because I have found

something deeply unfamiliar,

something that you

can not claim from beyond the grave.

In my mouth

there is a fist

pushing back the feelings.

These feelings which belong

to no one in particular.

These feelings like stars

which bloom only in darkness.

I do not move across the sky

in an arch of fire

when the night has passed.

For me the night does not pass

it only remembers

and whoever I might have been

prior to birth is daily extinguished

by the voice of my past.

Fragility

I hold your heart

up to the moon

with red palms

and eyes

like two egg yolks.

Everything

in this world is soft,

even the stones

we pass between us.

Our hearts

still hold sadness as a virtue.

When I sink into your depths

I hold my breath

and let you fill me

like a ghost

with your vacuous longing.

We fathom only

those parts that we can fathom.

My love is unwieldy,

it is a meteor

splitting the void of space

into segments of fire and ice.

When our bodies touch

I forget that we have endings.

There is only the knowledge

of our sameness,

of our coupling and uncoupling.

Your absence makes me ache.

You are my limbs,

my core,

my brittle, black roots.

When you go

I am reduced

to a third of a person.

Loneliness

must feel

very much

like being eaten.

My head is full of thieves,

their cravings, their blood-thirst.

Their burnt fingertips

clutch my spine

as though it were a sword.

This is how I became

two people,

a woman to adore

and another woman

bitter as a gourd

and hollow on the inside.

I reach into your mouth,

my serpent-tongue,

the forbidden knowledge

that tells us how to live

in order to really love another.

It feels impossible

to change a belief

into a home.

Sometimes

all we know of home

is the door

which marks

our passage.

In me the demons

still crowd together.

You could say that my corners

are screaming.

You could say that my walls

are wet and guilty.

You could say that

I understand life

only in relation

to suffering

and that when I love

I suffer for the sake

of maintaining

a certain degree of fragility.

Paper

I am paper

in the hands of a child.

You touch me

carelessly.

Your eager fingers

smudge my skin

until all that is left

is a window of a woman,

a tragic sliver of white

in an ever darkening room.

I thin beneath

your constant erasure.

What I was

and what I am

interchangeable

and imperfect.

My needs are

inconsequential,

my nerves naked,

my heart fuzzy and grey.

I am merely a product

for your amusement.

You do not care,

you only do

that which comes easiest

to you.

As I lie here exposed

I wonder if my pain

is in anyway

a reflection of the artist

or if the artist

is simply thoughtless.

You leave uncertain marks.

Marks which tear

at my insides.

Marks which lie

scar-adjacent.

The stars weep

and you laugh

as I,

crowded and remade

a thousand times,

become a void.

You scribble

in my margins,

your shapeless sentiments,

your waxy, wavering lines

untranslatable,

sometimes offensive.

You tear my edges

and crush me

into a ball

with your fist.

I am only a draft.

You will never

carry me to the end.

I will not become

a memory for you.

I am nothing precious.

In me there is only

the notion of a life.

I spent my days and nights

alone,

wondering what you felt.

if you felt

lonely,

if you waited

for me,

as I waited for you.

I spent my days and nights

watching

celestial bodies paint the sky

in a myriad of colors,

imagining

your nakedness

spreading over

my nakedness

and in the heat and height

of arousal,

I cried.

I spent my days and nights

wishing

for your lips to part,

eager to drink

of your sentiments,

hoping

that your words

would clarify my feelings.

I spent my days and nights

desperate

for you to choose,

swallowing

my breath,

my arms reaching

out to you.

I spent my days and nights

suspended,

with my heart

half-way in and half-way out,

ready

to run towards you,

ready

to run away.

I spent my days and nights

crouching

like a child

in the darkness,

pulling petals from flowers

while you stood

hesitant, but accessible

like the wind.

Love and Death

There are as many ways

to love a man

as there are to kill him.

Love and death are closer

than love and hate.

Love is about peeling away

the surface skin.

It’s about marrow and blood.

Love is a relentless series of resurrections,

the surrender of the solitary

for a borderless union.

Between us,

two sovereign states

collapse into one.

No one escapes untouched.

No one escapes without

leaving some trace

of what was

and what could have been.

If in time you find another

has taken my place

know that she has ate of my soul.

Know that she casts the same shadow.

Know that she smells of the very same trees.

Know that she is only the affected version of myself,

the one that wakes and sleeps

and cries too often.

Death might be the means

by which we live our lives,

the adrenaline rush,

the stone in the bottom of the shoe

that reminds us

of the weight of walking.

quick poem on the bus

Love Language

Your heart is a secret,

a whisper in a crowded room,

a breathy lullaby

in a night both deep

and star-infused.

When I asked you

to be my lover

I wanted you to say “Yes!”

but instead you said “I guess…”

I undress you

from the waist up

and climb over

your reclining body

with a trembling smile.

I wonder if I can

seduce you

in the baring of my heart

or if I’ll have to lie.

I want to carry you

like a breath but I am afraid

if I hold you too close

you’ll lose awareness of me.

What’s the difference between

love and ownership,

between the you inside of me

and the you that keeps distance?

If I give you

too much freedom

you will either overtake me

or run away with someone else.

I don’t know if I am

really good enough

to have a man whole.

I could love you an ocean’s worth

but you only measure in percents.

Just once I want you 

to say “You’re Mine.”

even if it’s selfish.

I want you to mean it.

I want my absence to sting.

I want to be the one

you can’t stop talking about.

Love is two people 

split down the middle

like a plum.

A little sour, a little sweet.

You ruin my fantasies

and stir my heart like a fire.

My soul is more blood than air.

I am going to wear my clothes

when we make love

and strip you totally naked

because I want to feel powerful

and mysterious just once,

because if I let myself be

too vulnerable I will

lose myself in us.

Your love presses against me

like a kiss, soft but insistent

If I breathe too deeply

I will drown.

I’ll get desperate.

I’ll become obsessed

and I’ll never know

if a single thing

I feel is reciprocated.

Let me love you.

Let me love you.

Let me love you.

Stay

When our bodies

and borders

start to unfurl

like so many misshapen wings

Stay.

When the dawn

starts to break

and one by one

the last remnants of sleep

fall away

Stay.

When I shout

I love you

for no reason

other than the feeling itself

Stay.

When our bones

find each other on a path

not wholly of our choosing

Stay.

When I chase you

because my heart is too hot

and too heavy to grasp

Stay.

When I am watery

and too scarred/scared

to feel my feelings

Stay.

When the labels peel and chaff

and we forget ourselves

in the act of being together

Stay.