I know nothing of your mythologies,
your comedies or tragedies, but
I know the feel of your skin, and
how your eyes move behind your lids
while you sleep.
this panicked lackI cannot explain this
the way my chest expands and shrivels
how my nerves catch fire
and my fingers tremble
while my hands
I once had steady hands
able to cut straight lines into flesh
hands of a surgeon perhaps
or an artist tracing
watercolor eyes and
I cannot explain this emptiness
the space between the blinds
the shadows long against the rays
of a setting sun--
I think I’m setting, waning
static and stuck in molasses
and the air is escaping
and my chest is vibrating
and my heart is shaking
this soul that wants so much more than it has
like the gnats wrapped in problems
that stick and tangle in this web
and if I have to detangle my hair one more time
just to find it broken and brittle--
and I gasp and I gasp and I gasp
I cannot explain this lack
I cannot explain this panicked lack
(09.17.11) at the end of us“I’m driving you home?” smoke poured from James’s nose.
“Aaron and Lettie left.” I finished my third beer. I wanted another, but the cooler was empty. So I pulled out a cigarette of my own and studied his face. I didn’t like that he asked. I felt disappointed. It was strange to be slipping from his life like this. Inseparable one moment, disposable the next.
“Well I’m going to be up all night.”
I didn’t know why he was telling me that or how it mattered when it came to driving me home. I tried not to look at the girl James brought to the party. I didn’t want to think that’s what meant.
“Okay,” I said before stumbling towards the front of Connor’s house. I needed to go for a walk only the world was a little on its side. I found a corner of the driveway instead. The concrete was warm in the September night. I listened to the rustle of leaves and started out into space. The tires of Connor
point b they forgot to mention I inherited depression from my mother
like I inherited her brown eyes and
thick Puerto Rican thighs
wish we could have something else
to bond about—
not that I’d call waking with tight chests
and shallow breaths
because in this solitary suffering
there is no space to compare scars when
she thinks she’s a fearless warrior
and I fear I only worry her
this is the boneMy mother wanted to be a doctor.
She crawled under the muddy foundations
of the shack she called home
and dissected the rats
that nibbled on her sisters' toes.
This is the bone. This is the heart.
My mother wanted me to be a doctor too.
But I inherited squeamishness from my father,
like I inherited his white skin,
and decided words held more power
than blood or vaccines.
She hasn’t left the couch in a week.
But I found her passed out on the grass Thursday.
Rain drops glistened on her face and
dampened her hair.
I hated how peaceful she looked and
whispered her name, fearing Death
would hear and truly find her.
She gasped awake,
like breaking the surface, like
rebirth. "The air
is fresher after the rain,"
she said, "the breaths
easier to take."
I don’t know how to fix broken dreams
anymore than I know how to set broken bones.
05.15I dreamt they turned you into a bird
caged you and took you away
spent all my days searching
east of the sun and west of the moon
It’s shocking, really,
but your eyes look like sunflowers
the way the irises wrap around your pupil
and it took me months to realize this
but how perfect is it that they match
my favorite flower
hungry ghostsI am the risen:
hidden below reflective waters--
tears of the moon and
eyes, swollen from the years
of empty harvests
and empty stomachs.
Worlds I have devoured--
dreams and nightmares alike,
with shadows that crept along
wooden floors of my childhood;
consulting with monsters under my bed.
These aren't the stars
that stared hollowed eyed
from broken windows. This isn't
the road we learned to follow.
This isn't the place
to rise above
ash-fire streams laced
with charcoal and mud.
But I am risen.
Gold amongst tin--
a phoenix in the dirt.
9.12.13The glitter and excitement are gone.
And I can't seem to trace the breadcrumbs
back to a moment of beginning.
Perhaps in the haze I forgot
to leave more than just bits of dignity.
I never used to dream of you
not even in the year since you left
kidnaping a piece of me without bothering to ransom it
or adhere to my cries of a custody battle
Funny how I’m starting to think I liked it better when you
pretended not to know my number, when I didn’t even know yours
because you changed it like that one stupid Gotye song
that leap from obscurity in that moment to haunt me on every airwave
Since New Year’s Day when
you decided to remember me
I’ve been involuntarily thinking of
tropical sunsets and sprawling streets
crumbled graffitied walls and shady trees
7-elevens, cigarettes, weed, jasmine
the quiet parts of Miami
But in my dreams you’re no longer heroic
my breath doesn’t catch and the world doesn’t
look like sunshine after a thunderstorm or feel
like lightening before it strikes
In my dreams you take me to a warehouse
like that one time you took me to the abandoned house
on the edge of the everglades but i