This just made me tear up. I have been having so much trouble with my work, lately, and I feel so much like I’m letting you & myself down. To know that you’ve stuck with me and still enjoy reading my words means more than I could ever say. Please do not feel you ever need to be anonymous. Thank you, thank you so so much.
Being published in print was one of my goals for the year. Everything else right now is stressful and changing, but I cannot stop smiling right now.
I wake up to stale lipstick smeared across white sheets.
I am becoming a stain on something pure,
taking something fresh & new,
and leaving an ugly mark
to remind the world
I can feel the aches that have settled in my bones
quite contentedly, bringing their malaise,
their obnoxious children: loathing.
Inside of me is something
decaying, and I will not find it,
lest I pull myself
I never told you last night that I cannot sleep
for the spasms that wrack the body you have come
to worship. They’re shivers of fear and of loneliness,
of cups of tea while the world falls apart,
of cigarettes on the sidewalk
while your family
I am everything that deconstructs. I am analysis and contemplation;
I am the theory behind the art that takes away everything
you found beautiful to begin with.
No one will watch as I diminish,
finding lint on couches and
You know how there are some people in the world, where just seeing them smile at you is enough to make your day, and spending time with them is just bliss?
a man with a scraggly beard and dead wife
calls himself The Widower
he smells of moth balls and sweat
and he carries his life on his back
like a turtle
The Widower wanders because The Widower wishes
that The Wife he had was still With Him
but instead he is a tortoise man,
a tortured man, and he screams in agony
at train stations
he plays piano on your leg at the busstop
with his scratchy fingernails and you’re much too polite
you let him cry on your shoulder at ten in the morning
and you wonder how to explain the stains
to your boss
you wish he’d be silent but the cat’s got your tongue
and you let him mourn for his youth
The Widower wails because The Widower wants
what The Widower will never have
I was so small. That bearded tree
seemed to dwarf the sun.
I squinted through my stubby fingers
and could never see the sky.
When they cut it down, I wept.
Those stubby child fingers trembled
to see the sawdust fly. I could see the sky
and I was afraid.
Everything was so bare and so dead.
I sat beside the stump and counted the rings.
I could only count to seven. I counted twelve lots
of seven. So old. I was so small.
When they cut me down, I will not tremble.
Hardly any sevens, just a lot of cigarette damage
and regret staining my lungs. Still so small.
The world still so big. My stubby fingers
You peel mandarins so slowly these days.
Once upon a time you would have ripped away the skin
to suckle at the meat inside, but now you cannot bear
to sink your nails into anything you need so desperately.
You’re thinner by the day, because everything on the plate
came from somewhere, was loved by someone,
and you won’t consume anything
you might become.
You’re tired when you reach for the ringing phone,
because there’s never anyone on the other side of the line.
It’s radio silence in Apartment 204,
when once there was jazz music, band practice,
and his sweaters which always smelled like your neighbour’s perfume.
That was okay. It was Chanel No. 5
and you’d always loved
You never close the bedroom window.
You’re always cold, but you’ve named each goosebump
because they’re a reminder that the ground is so so far down.
Cigarette butts line the windowpane at three in the morning,
and your fingers are stained yellow.
The city is always more beautiful at night:
then it’s just lights and windows and you can pretend
humans aren’t so fucked up. It’s easier to imagine
when you can’t see anything but smoke.
You’re so small and so empty
and you always smell like desperation.
Maybe you never gave up smoking
because it had been so long since you were allowed
to caress anything that lovingly, or have anyone
inside of you.
The woman next door is growing
a garden from her rooftop.
I can see little tufts of grass.
It’s growing like the soft hair of children,
sticking up so wild and unruly.
The gardener can clip away like a frustrated hairdresser,
but there will always be wild, untameable life.
Flowers kiss the wind shyly, dancing
like little ballerinas, afraid of the world beyond their roots.
Daisies turn their faces to the sun,
looking through the dappled light of ferns,
and they are awed. The sun is so bright.
Bushes spring from the corrugated iron,
as if they never needed the earth. It’s like moving out
from your ex-lover’s place. You take your favourite sweater
and all your records and you learn to live in the big city,
alone. The spiny branches and little leaves are defiant.
I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad
to grow from cracks and little spaces.
You’d learn to survive, choking,
and still be content with the sun.
You will feel it
a never-ending wave
building beneath the deep,
rolling as music over mountains
You will drown
pleading with the overarching crash
sweeping photographs, crockery
away. This storm,
made by grey heartclouds of those left
You will swim
searching for that shore
where the sand is gold and the sun
never sets. Where breathing is just as easy
as they say.
But the desert island is just that:
you are surrounded by the salt water tears
your sandy throat