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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
Nightly DemonsWhen I was little,
I used to run up the stairs,
To evade the demons that lurked in the darkness.
Afraid that they’d devour my limbs,
But they’ve since migrated into my head,
Some nights, I still lay in bed fearing for my life.
I see myself smirking in the mirror,
Holding a knife to my throat.
Others times, I’ve been thrown into holes
By Shadowy figures
Only to find
That I’ve been digging my own grave.
The end (acrostic)Through this life we suffer
Heading towards the void
Enduring pain along the way
Ending life early is no solution but
Nothng can prevent death
Dealing with it is all we can do
Useless effortI try to change the world
But I can't even change
My own life
And so I'm sentenced
Poor Wooden Puppymy poor wooden puppy
has a leash
nailed into his throat
has no say
in what the other end
gets wrapped around
or tied to
and when we
walk and run
we roll, tangled
both as likely
to go backward
the where and when
bumps of where
we've already been
(or have we?)
his wooden nose
truth is, puppy
this world really is
its motors and belts
within everyday life
bodies and buildings
behind us, because
only what we want
and no one truly
(Un)RestrainedYou weep like a bird caught in a cage
but your wings are not bound
and no bars corral you, it is time
you leapt free-- grasp to life
like a starving creature clutches
the first buds of springtime.
The world is all a-blossom;
it is calling out for you to fly
and you must, you must unfold
in a burst of glorious plumage
there are no more moments left
for wreathing yourself in loneliness,
like dawn mist envelops and smothers
the early stillness of morning.
Your chrysalis is complete,
peacock child, and your heart
beats with the wind. Listen,
listen: spread wide your arms
and embrace the cosmos inside you;
you were never a lonesome eagle,
but a phoenix awaiting
huntthe rats are fat enough
to die happy
and this is where
I should be:
a dirty screen and light.
the weak, thin music
you hear in waiting rooms,
in bed, face up,
alone enough to find lust
this morning I bought
a loaf of bread-
and reflections of the lights
limped across the plastic.
I left, went home.
found twin peaks on tv
and watched strange people have
after an hour or so I
turned off the tv,
turned on the light
went upstairs, without
the sun was down
under a blanket
and I am the sun.
I lay face up
and plan out ways
to slay the night.
To a Curbside Womanstretching her legs over
the sidewalk beneath the
overpass, ankles crossed
feet wearing dirt like socks
but her dress feels like silk
and her hands hold each
other like puzzle pieces
This is enough for her
This is enough
for her. This is
enough for her
i want my casket open, pleasehe asks me why i haven't
picked out my casket
i ask him why he needs to
speed up the inevitable.
kristen, he says
sometimes you need to see
to get rid of the blues,
i shake my head but grab
a ticket anyway-
get in the line that stretches
all the way down
(never really have been good with peer pressure)
day one, part oneyour voice grates on my nerves like the old dependable classics,
like nails screeching down a chalkboard and utensils scraping across a plate
it grates like:
stepping in dog shit while looking for a towel,
a pickaxe lifting the back of my skull,
coconut shavings in desert;
like that feeling of moss growing on the back of my teeth and
the breakdown of language and i can't remember words or letters or ...
what love is not.it was a s l o p p y first kiss where
my drunk lips fumbled against yours.
the dull thwack of my heart,
locked behind curved ribs
cleared my groggy brain,
clouded with lustful premonitions.
it was an e l e c t r i f y i n g first kiss where
you entwined your hands in my hair.
your mouth encompassed mine and
my breath became lost in the steady
of your chest.
it was a s h y first kiss where
i pulled away before you could explore.
your tongue grazed my teeth,
searching for a way past the ivory gates.
i dug my finger into the stubble along your jaw,
my nail lulling your carnal desires.
it was my first kiss with you.
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