In This Recycled House

you lied for
their crutches
which became your crutches
which became you
with a missing face
and blank white slats
and fingers with no prints
and circles of dark brail
that crashed like dominoes
and never broke
but really should have
touched something
more besides holes
of broken knots
holes of words
that drowned
and scraped
like sand

you weren’t the first
brisance
of gunpowder
you weren’t

like the mongols
or the ancient
world
suddenly violent

but you also weren’t
stopping
the phantom of
me swaying
from a sudden depth
of time
of the why

i see pictures
before and
after
and those pictures look like
ugly lilies
and mapped laughs and
how i saw you there
and how i see me
here
we were here
but i swear

we were never there
never
even
almost
quite there.

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As the World Grows Tired

Meet me inside the sounds
which are growing us sick:
that shrieking microwave,
your cell phone ring, the cash
register emptied of real
currency, the defective lighter
you’ve kept, a heart
measuring its own failure.

You pretended stale lights
could make us free, as you
kissed me in a uniformed
parking lot. With exhaust
pipes sharing our breath,
tasting emptier than every
belonging we’ve deemed
worth having.

I would lose all of it to see
the hole of a subway more clearly,
to understand what force tangles
birds into cages. To stop
meeting the sick expectations
of beehives.

I don’t want the news,
I want what’s mine.

You slashing my tires with whatever was left

my birthmark looks exactly like you, an eye finding every pocket of lost conversation and you, your shifty dialect, your body which grinds itself
into the dust of the tiny movements you have been, trying, you know the difference between loss and how we are lacking, you with the sullen posture
and mathematical heart, the grungy eyes and crumpled fingers; you always asking questions with the intent of proving of a point, you

the noise which never comes back to
you hiding in a mile of consequence,
you in the lacustrine drinking saline water for relief, you the disappointing echo
that refuses to learn new languages you and your tunnel

the universe and you you you you the idea, sloppily

deceiving your own photos, you and pain will be
oceanic marbles, you in impossible motion, you the gaps we couldn’t separate
from the smiles, you wasted it, you are flashlights buried in pavement,
you were too young to know how pain creates
artificial sentences, you with no comparison, you folding within the claustrophobia of semi-trucks moving closer & closer together towards you, realizing
you were never whole, you were never any
more gentle than you thought.

I saw a map of you clutching yourself sideways

(after seeing Buddy Wakefield perform) 

A voice that slowly overwhelmed

time, on the day you made me

open & then forget your city of words,

why they bit like jealous newborns,

forcing your tongue to retaliate

with forked language & rebuild

itself over bruises of angry teeth,

the jagged colors a prediction

of when I will be twenty and fucked up

most of the time, writing about clutter

and taking unnecessary breaks, there

will be the skin of your heart I will eat

because there is nothing else, there will be

just your doorbell to ring and wait against

until we’re too sure nobody has listened.

Snorkeling Crystal River

Down here people become soft
bullets. Vessels stare at you
without words
and know something:
how your face becomes alien
while approaching the break
of water, trying to steal that minute
chasm between us and choice,
what makes breath interesting
but never meaningful.
You might hold the tide’s hand
but you’ll always be wearing
a glove, chipping away
your own noise as you
swim through a medium
which fights to hold you
in place.

If it wasn’t our fault
none of this would be different.

On the Kitchen Floor in a Grimy Towel

I need precision like a face needs eyes,
like wind that can’t help but wrinkle,
I need reasons to erode the pounds
that drill bruises into my skin. Like you,
I have made the mistake of being too tired.
I have let all the vegetables rot on the counter
and there’s the sound of everything dropping
away at once. I am eating spoiled
thoughts of you like fodder. I’ve been
spilling urgency without noise
and describing how to be yellow
without lemons. I am the woman desperate
enough to buy pink pianos. I can’t play
and I rest my face in the ink of feeling,
more missing than a kid in the arcade,
the taste of sweaty cheer and disappointment
in flashes. Let’s say it now so we feel okay:

Let’s save each other for a time that won’t happen.