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Day 15 - SiltThere is a downward pull that begins slowly –
Forty years of fine red silt cease flowing through your veins
And settle like sedimentary rock.
Things, and you, begin to taste of copper.
Lavender mists condense as you walk out to fetch the paper
The kettle is whistling or the coffee roiling when you return to the kitchen.
Your lover is waiting, his beard and hair greying slightly:
Sometimes he still kisses you like he did when you were twenty three.
You start to spend your evenings in the ochre light
Of sloppily-painted sunsets which begin around the time the theme for Final Jeopardy fades out.
Coffee cups are washed, sinks drained.
Everything smells of earth and book pages with a hint of Pine-Sol.
The window is filled with the amber radiance of marigolds –he likes to garden,
While you are more careless, killing houseplants by neglect.
You promise to stop disassociating yourself, and to write less in the second person.
You get drunk less often and even jog once in a while.
Day 4 - QuietAutumn began and ended quickly
So now the sun sets early and I spend my evenings in the dark.
Today’s thoughts are quiet ones -
Where we love is where we live and die.
Day 3- North StarIt was dark when I left work today,
And I shivered as the wind slid around my bare legs.
(shouldn’t have worn a dress today, says the voice in my head.)
I try my best to ignore it. I always do.
I swear familiarly, angrily, when traffic is backed up at the bridge again –
This traffic congested tangled metal thing spanning the river
Like some kind of urban jungle gym.
But still it is the northern star of my commute and points the long way home.
I’m perched on a stool in his mother’s kitchen
With a mug of orange tea in my hands and a bowl of chicken soup with dumplings in front of me.
On the way home, my debit card is declined.
I try not to panic.
Day 2 - DetritusI squint my eyes as you kiss my freckled face
my sunstreaked hair out behind me like a banner
As I emerge from the lake with foam and seaweed clinging to my calves.
I make a face. You laugh.
Longing is a savory dish we must sit down to dine,
even as we cling together
in a tired knot with mouths that taste of lemonade and alcohol.
I whisper in your ear “I don’t want you to go.”
The night before we left a storm broke
with rain and thunder, and lightning webbed across the sky like lace.
I came to where you slept,
weaving myself into your arms.
This is the detritus of summer:
pearlescent driftwood grasped in hands worn down by sand.
Filling up our pockets with stones, memories.
A wall of tiny meaningful things we build to keep out the coming of the night.
There are no secrets here but many mysteries
And subtle, half-veiled truths waiting to be made known
Day 1- Cold HandsEveryone said a storm was coming but I did not prepare.
Perhaps I was too flippant or afraid to acknowledge?
Probably the latter –
Avoidance is my middle name.
The storm’s precursor:
Grey skies, and rain hissing its way up my windshield as the wipers, groaning,
Flung it away.
A low front settled into my chest midafternoon at the thought of leaving.
Now, I sit on the couch by the window, watching the rain fall
As the cold gradually seeps from my limbs and my fingers thaw slowly.
But isn’t a blanket a small comfort compared to you,
Immediate and present, mouth tasting of
Sour apple and blood?
Cemetery LaneDriving down Cemetery Lane
Steering wheel gripped tightly, top and bottom, taking sharp
As the radio host mourns the fate of Montana's coal industry.
We'd go behind the school with the Grecian columns
In a parking lot pooled with yellow streetlights, exploring
The darkness my mouth left on your neck.
Driving and breaking too fast
With the memory of the way each bend winds around itself
Like solemn ribbons around the tombstones.
Lying on a bed far from home
Pizza box kicked on the floor and the television flickering with the sound off.
I cannot forget the way your skin brushed mine.
MineThe past four years, I have been a nomad,
A snail, whose house is wherever her back is.
An hourglass constantly turned over and over, measuring
Time until I leave, time until I return.
I'm packing a bag with my toothbrush, my phone, and my fiancé's shirt to keep me warm
i won't be gone long, i only need a few days' worth of clothing.
Life doled out in miniscule increments like the vitamins I portion into plastic baggies
And forget to take when I am gone.
I've tired of living out of packed suitcases and half empty closets,
With a roof provided, but my heart somewhere else.
Filling out paperwork, what is my address?
When is the night where I can go to sleep and feel your arms around me,
Waking up to tangled limbs, tousled hair and no bed else to sleep in?
Tell me when I can put my bags away, throw out my arms and say
This is mine.
BrillianceI wasn't sure if I was falling asleep or drowning. Pastor Abilay had just reached the third point of this three-point outline and I was fading quickly. "The devil's 15 minutes," my father often called it. He would sit rigidly at the head of the dining room table after every Saturday dinner and warn us that just as the pastor reaches the place where Scripture is applied to our lives, we start to drift off due to the devil's influence. I always did, and it terrified me.
Pastor Abilay's sermons were an odd blend of clinical Calvinistic theology combined with the self-assured charisma of a leader whose word was law. His sermons always made me feel as if I were boxed in by walls of water and left me with a dead weight in my stomach. Just as I thought I couldn't take any more, he concluded the sermon and we moved on to the final singing. The presenter came to the front of the stage, hummed a few bars of the next Psalm, and we all began to sing. The song rolled in a rich four-part harmony tha
Come HomeCome Home
The leaves were just starting to fall as Alexander Bartel wheeled his bike out of the garage and left for work. They had been yellow and orange for a few weeks, but red veins had gradually taken over until today, when, at the hands of an incoming cold front, they began to fall like rain. The wind had awoken him early and when he woke up, so did his wife, who glared at him in the dim morning light and rolled back over. Breakfast had been instant oatmeal and instant coffee and half a glass of pulp-free orange juice. Grace liked pulp and he didn't, so they bought two separate half gallons every week. She was just waking up when he left for work but he made it out the door without her noticing.
On the whole, Grace was not very supportive. She acted as if she didn't believe him when he said he was going to work and had taken another job on the side for extra money. He always said he would help her achieve success as a writer but now she had taken the new job and rarely went to her
the truth about growing up
1. It's easier when you don't think.
1. It starts early,
on a cloudy day when you recall
the 'childhood memories' of
two summers ago,
that's when you start your backslide into
2. On the bright side
you won't notice this until you're
good and ripe in age,
so maybe it doesn't matter
3. That tightness in your chest?
The feeling that you're not ready
to take on the rest of your life; it
4. It stews in the pit of your stomach
makes you doubt,
but there will be days when you look back
on the mountains you climbed -
the raging rivers you crossed -
and you'll have a sneaking suspicion you were
more prepared than you thought.
5. There's nothing like your own bed.
6. Laundry will never smell right
without mom's sweat and tears.
But you still have to separate lights from darks,
keep the zippers pulled tight
and the buttons unhooked.
7. There is comfort in your parents' presence.
8. Things change
the future gnaws and rips
Stranger's funeralUnder the clouds
Under the rain
Staring at the coffin
At a stranger's funeral
We're all alone
Feeling the storm
But not the pain
For he's but a stranger
And the graves around us
Are just there
Keeping us company
During this empty moment
LullabyHush, my baby,
Be still, don't cry.
Lay with me
A little while.
Close your eyes,
Slow your breath.
Hear your heart
Inside your chest?
Your heart is strong,
It guides you well.
Be sure to listen
To what it tells.
I hear him now,
Outside the room.
It won't be long,
He'll find us soon.
Now close your eyes,
Slow your breath,
And rest your head
Upon my chest.
Southern modernizationBlack comedy market economy, banana peel political humour, cards with the cartels, the solution free room service and credit the union. Bolivar twist, ding dong dollar under control, valley of the coin desert with no value. Gangsta paradise, the victims are the people. Big mac and cold conflict interference a part of it all. In little Mexico you’d need a high horse to jump the great border wall that boasts its peak.
Viracocha melts waters unlike those it rose from, making waves of out of metal oceans to overtake the current south, re-steel, re-take, tech-mechs the entire south into neo-Machu Picchu, cyberpunk music moulding, reshaping old society into an new age, iron dynasty, fresh coat for an old, ancient look. The coattails of Quetzalcoatl if he were a modern man pull together the merge of future and long passed past..techno temples and the like.
CarolineYou loved the fire
of rogues -
imperfect men who shot up
the endings of the day
and drank down
too much beauty.
And like one of them,
you bellied with rebellion,
felt his tense seed
toil where women
and craved his notoriety.
Poor girl -
his verses won the day
and the call of words
was too fickle a lover
for any constant star.
Don't blame yourself -
are more attractive
and all poets are
Darkest MoonI celebrate my right to live;
To the dismay of some, perhaps
It should be noted
These words I write, however true
Are only portions of the moon
I’ve decide to shine light upon.
But who am I to preach respect?
Who Am I to preach equality?
An advocate for re-personification
Of the female gender
But exhibits cannibalistic characteristics
Within dark spaces.
I am a shadow
Hidden within an Eggshell, painted pink,
Waiting to hatch.
Is the darkness
The night brought upon us.
things to tell you before i leave for collegeto mrs hatcher:
i promise that one day i will write that poem you asked me for
(the only thing you ever asked me for)
and i will finally tell you that you deserve
so much more.
to mr. walker:
i promise that i will not pity you.
i promise that i will not envy you.
i promise that you will always be part of my forget-me-nots and marigolds.
i promise to always be grateful.
i promise to be careful.
i promise to be crazy.
i promise that i will remember what it feels like to be needed
and what it feels like to let someone who needs you down.
i promise that i will never resent you for asking for help
and that i will always be there when you do.
i promise that even sixty years from now,
i will not be surprised to find a letter from you in my mailbox.
i promise to always remember what it felt like to be young and crazy with you,
how scared and lonely we were.
i will remember that we both survived it,
and that we'll survive this, too.
You Were Born Missing SomethingYour skin is glazed with crystals of frost
and your heart's valves are close to
freezing shut tight
from being devoid of something
Though I am torrents of hail, whirling storms,
warm tears streaking,and tornadoes of rage
that flow uncontrollably through my veins
and out of my mouth,
every breath near you is warm
because your words are so cold
I am a natural disaster at its finest
with bones twisted in painful angles
and a crooked spine
you were born spineless
The House That Never SleepsThe House That Never Sleeps
A house with windows broken out
Doesnt know when it became so
When people took out the furniture
And moved up and on
Maybe theyll come back, it thinks
It mourns its desertion
With flakes of falling plaster
When did I change?
How did I stumble into this alteration?
The lost woods
Echo with the resounding notes of a piano
Love is not love that alters
when it alteration finds.
Is this the way that Ive been duped
Did you make me blind?
Im so scared its real
And scared that its just passing through
The lies and imputations that cause
Me to love you or you?
Why am I so happy that I think I wont get hurt
When it hurts so much to admit
I changed my mind
Or to wonder if Ill change it back
And hate myself for sticking to my original
Answer and turning back to what
Was not so sweet
Id ask you to wake me up when this all is over
But I cant get past you
And I ca
The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
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