I’m tired of my voice

crawling through the same
story, eye swung in pendulum
against eyes that refuse to gaze
past this vignette.

Give me a reason to clutch
the paces, to blindfold this
rivered lens
that thrusts icicles
into shouts of brevity,

take a trip with me
until our feet nail themselves
to the barrel rhythm of trains.

I can’t fall in love with a sphere,
or wrap my footsteps
inside some circular journey
where I know already
the trigger affixed to each vice,
the mechanism shifting
every crooked heart’s tick.

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The Misfortune of Frames

Whether or not dominion is intentional,
it’s a triviality. Here I am outside
above and below. My body a fringe
clutched reluctantly in shrinking palms:
birth to death, a folded blueprint.

My teeth may lose luster or rot
like everything gentle in a peach
but somehow, this drunken
perception in the mirror, these
bits of frame I wish peeled off
like wallpaper, my big bones
incorrectly placed—they’re patterns

crafted from shoddy wool,
the only material permissible
for mocking height, worth,
a ring of well-intended lace,
the charm always stitched

back to ground level, or lower,
ten feet in the swamp. Thread
spooling illusory walls, eating

its own edifice. Temporal vision
deconstructing, the veil of progress
flimsy, inside my foundations I watch
everything crumble back, its skeleton

lost in sky scraped flesh. Its hunger
tearing out its own eye sockets.
A stilted persistence of movement,
ascending weight on dusty bricks,
ignominious truth and its dying verse
admitting never will it shed its old skin.

On the Differences in Snow Suits

Bones are heavier frozen, buried
deep in weather resistant sleeves,
a cousin’s half-beam, half-gloat drinks up
the piney winter sting, the fake mirth every family
glows as they link shoulder to shoulder
in the snow. Nobody else sees her–

in the puffiest of blue jackets,
the emaciation between herself
and the pretty laughs grazing
her shoulder; the camera

flashes and everyone’s
faces dim to truth. Snow debris
like calcium dust dimples her puffy
jacket. The exoskin may not feel
now but there’s a thought tickling
like unhealthy acupuncture: why
does skin fall the wrong way over her bones?

And why did nobody tell her she’d never
have the cheekbones to sing? Underneath
the color is bruised. The veil of asymmetry
latent, a rattlesnake wanting
the other side too desperately,

as dissonant bodies cram
into this insincere painting
of glass. Bodies,
young and old, torrential specks,
slip through a mother’s
clutch, as our grip never
reaches far enough
for our fate.

Porchlight Confessions: A Sestina

How easily a snake’s tongue can flick
awake eyelashes once tangled in dreams
of canvas and pennies. I hate how he reeled
parasites within you, how now you wish for burns
or aberrations instead; any mark more tangible than a tear.
I always thought you carried too much prayer in your eyes,

I choked, on a night radiant with vodka soaked ice
we torched our lungs with cigarettes, burning
away whatever still survived in our finger tips.
Somewhere, you mused. Humans torn
just like you were fleeing those boa constrictor dreams,
and constructing golden new houses; to me you swore it real.

The next day I scourged mildew off old dishes and realized
my life never staged enough sadness for such hope. My tears
were just the collapse of tension or the disintegration of ice
shards. And either way, when I slept they only drifted to nightmares;
the reoccurring dreams of failure and the inability to ever flick
away your demons to a place where I could set them aflame

I remembered that night as we sat on the porch, heat
lightning glimmered and clung to the rim of the sky, flecks
of electrons seemed to climb the ladder you called heaven. I dreamed
the world was shifting to an inverted kingdom of eyes,
one staunch enough to detect voice trembles, ripped clothing, real
pain, strong enough to stitch together that miniscule, noiseless tear.

How do I pretend I’m not lost on this fucked up musical tour,
after you went missing in the crowd hours ago, when I’m scared your eyes
won’t reflect back at me the same way. I’ve seen them burn.
Just briefly did I let your breath carry my momentum–and I’m reeling
believing in god, gasping in that kidney punch of trust, flickering
in an amber light of brevity, and dreaming

Of vision
where burns
and tears
and flicks
of damaged eyes
aren’t real.

To Keating

Your eyes were a flashlight of our universe

Yanking sin from the corridors like a pirouette

Swirling the tides of life and doom like torn ribbons

Dancing even though the frays could only get deeper

And more thin worn. They say you had the warmest heart

Yet always through the window you knew sadness. Those crystals

Shimmered in the black lick of flame like a blood diamond.

Eating up the air swallowing the sky combusting along

The steady click tick tick of time and gravity writing back

There was such beauty in your shield, Mr. Keating.

Your mind a net woven gently with cactus silk

 

Where in our thoughts exists the place from which we’re not allowed back?

How do we become locked in a room away from it all?

Why does your line in this play ring so dark?

Why did you have to drown?