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day 17she dreams of the pink swing set under a canopy
of leaves, shoes brushing colours of autumn
of mud slicked steps, rusted spoons and clear
plastic forks turned opaque from grimy hands
of lard-filled jars and broken glass,
glittering teeth hidden beneath tree shadows
of scratchy hay poking ankles and, below, sharp
metal just peeking through faded itchy yellow:
day 3you said: there is just
something about myths.
i thought there's just
something about your lips.
tell me the myths of
your sleepy hometown
and the truths of hands
held proud in public.
i'd like to learn the
stories of your skin,
the loud silence of
heartbeats and bed sheets.
you don't sit beside me in class anymoreyou look like oversized sweaters waiting for
mr darcy vapid vanilla shows up late to
class with coffee cheeks flushed from cold
(but there's more than meets the eye. i like
the flush of your cheeks and last week i
wondered if you bite lips or lick them; if
you'd change my mind on holding hands)
gone is your floral perfume soft breathing
arm brushing mine proximity pulsing legs
crossing blurry profile in peripheral
(but now i almost like it better this way. it's
easier to follow concentration as it moves
along your features and i have always been
more comfortable with distance anyway)
lost in space1
there were words once, listen:
quiet, soft, like fingers brushing over the fabric of a sweater, tickling your ear, warming, small gusts of heat that spread to your toes, a glinting eye, a curved mouth, a promise.
there were words once, listen:
hard, rough, like metal scraping over concrete, bruising, marking your arms, legs, ribs, even your spine, purple and black blossoming on dark skin, yellowing until silence, an apology.
there were words once, listen:
now there are no words, only the deafening roar of silence.
there are words now, listen:
the old stars whisper to each other. they have discovered the secret of patience, a conversation lasting the ages. a single word may take years upon years to travel and you have to know which way to send it. careful, precise, or you may tell a stranger you miss them.
you can hear the sound of these words, like fast cars on a track, restless and enduring. the faster they travel, the slower time moves, slowing rapidly until it sto
sharp nailsthere is a pattern of
veins on my right thigh
that looks like the long,
blue bones of a hand
sometimes these thin,
spindly fingers crawl
up my veins and
arteries to clasp around
my heart, tug on the
back of my eyes,
dotting and blacking
they scrape the nervous
system and i think i
used to pray to settle
from 3429 ft.two years ago from paris, saskatoon looked like a small solar system, hazy with rain and cold. three days ago from toronto, it is midday and foggy, a thick blanket of grey masking tiny grey buildings cut by a tiny grey river. but the feeling is the same and i want to reach across the aisle to hold my sister's hand much the same as two years ago, russell reaching for my hand, any hand, two changed souls unprepared to face the sameness of home.
but the feeling is not the same. we are not two changed souls: we are just happy ones, 'satisfied with the trip' ones, and i do not hold hands when i am happy.
may 3i press tissue paper to the skin
above my ankle, apply pressure,
try not to think about the red and
searing and the itch in my hand.
i decide i want to cover my body in
ink, beautiful and expensive.
my grandmother asks me why i
want a tattoo.
i tell her, "i think they're
five years of thinking pass.
birds fly across my wrist and i trap
beautiful and expensive.
reverberationshey skinny boy, you walk like you know where you're going
and when you kiss me, i don't know what to say
( and it sort of
reverberates between us, doesn't it? )
parenting 101when our children wake up screaming in the middle of the night
or crawl into our beds, we have a list of reassurances:
"it was just a nightmare" and
"it was just the shadows" and
"it was just your imagination"
until they, too, are desensitized and locked in a cage,
condition themselves to be blind and sane like the rest of us
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
coming to termsThe first summer:
I felt bad for the bees that got squished under the
edges of the boxes and went through the
extractor; that came through the tanks floating to
the top of the barrels. I saw massacre in the bottom of the
capper, layers of wax and wings.
I scraped frames of drone bitterly, pacifying my
uneasy conscience by turning down Grandma's
offer of a scoop of honey in my tea on the
I continued to spare as many tiny lives as I could
but discovered that I set boxes down on angry
little bees without a twinge of remorse, perhaps
in revenge for stinging me when I was just
standing off to the side with my energy levels
When Brendan complained about how many
times he got stung, I reminded him, while
unflinchingly scratching away at young drones
about to hatch, that we were the thieves and
(I still didn't put honey in my tea, but I certainly
wouldn't have felt bad about it.)
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