And then my heart learned how to salsa

A seashell within outer space, I am:

small within you
great within you
alive within you

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In Memoriam to Josephine

I know they say dogs are a human’s best friend but since I was sixteen, my best friend has been my forest green ford explorer, Josephine.

When I got her, she already had decent mileage on her. She also shook a little on the highway and had already suffered a few engine problems since her 2001, production. I never cared. All I cared about was that I had this car who played music, transported my friends, and took me to the beach whenever I wanted.

Over the years, Josephine and I went on even more grand adventures. We trekked all over Florida, from the Everglades to the panhandle. We saw beaches and beach houses. We even got to see New Orleans together.

Josephine knew all my favorite songs. In all of her scattered compartments and consoles, CDs overflowed. Because she only had a standard factory radio, nobody could plug in an aux cord for music. Instead, music was powered by the people in the car. Many of the CDs in Josephine were made by friends and family, often featuring personalized Sharpie cover art.

Sure, there were times her battery died. I’ll never forget sitting on the side of a desolate country road, waiting for the kind people of triple A to arrive (hopefully) before nightfall to replace a popped tire.

I also could never forget in her later years, when her volume dial started working in reverse. I found great amusement in watching visitors trying to turn down the volume, only to be horrified by blaring music.

Towards the end of her years, her side window had a stylish adornment of duct tape holding it in place. The turn signal began malfunctioning in such a way that the driver would have to manually flip the switch up and down in order to activate the blinkers.

It was then that Josephine’s grandparents decided it was her time for used car heaven.

Not only did my friends and I have a send-off party for her. We mourned her loss for our final two months of college. To this day, we think back on the way she felt so safe, how she carried such deep, liberating laughter. We joyfully sigh to each other, “Rest in peace.”

Brief Nirvana

And this brilliant light hits us and we’re cured.

Our ragged chapters, disintegrate

Bend like shadows and forked silhouettes

Our bodies integrate as would a forest:

Scaled down first and then torched,

Its skeletal system removed,

The matrix of our leaves, singed down

Through sacred floor.

An atom splits and un-ends a portal,

I look across the vastness and toss my feet there.

Tiptoeing, I quit wandering. Release my shell on a sandy grave,

shove away time, what’s leftover, in a jar.

In the center of this tunnel,

fluid edges & staggering wholeness

collapse, gaping & whispering

about the end.

A redemptive quiet stalks the moon.

Our blueprints, soiled.

We grow ourselves over.

Black Whole 816

We are crummy kids and martyrs
Birds of warped feathers and electric cores

Unstable faces wanting
To heal.

We pile an old coffee table
In ashes

We knit together our dreams
In a frantic rug

Waiting for an explosion,
for the day we become Holy,
Old messes dripping away,

The day we find the horizon
of the ocean that terrorized
Us, we’ll scaffold that star
we named “hopefully Estrella”

From an alien grotto
We’ll stumble in quiet bliss

One day, I’m convinced
We’ll be somewhere radiant
Hair and eyes tousled
In meteors

Our old and battered world
dancing through us, blooming
from a Lunar gorge.

We release our safeties.

Hell Off Earth

I am living in his backwards screenplay and he is rewinding.

We marry on set. He tells the same story to everyone:

How we took the black hole out, slogged away the human left.

How we ate toxically and traveled for the clouds.

Where our stories made us less than we were.

I left the earth for you, I say.

I grew these feathers for you.

The mechanics of his voice

Fissure.

His eyes become the fierce jungles from which I run.

From the outside, we see everything and touch nothing.

His eyes, so dark at night.

The sky is always this dark.

The Day We Became Sun

Like we became two
junkies in love,
and found the missing
lines containing
everything, a shock
felt all at once
untraining
the instinct to record
thoughts I never wanted
to touch and now
we’ve forgotten the pieces
we have yet to lose, the earth
to which we are glued,
we learn
how to yank from
from our cells
what is needed,
where to chart the asymptotes
of words we approached
and missed,
how it felt to stand
in the doorway and
only graze past
sadness as if it was
just a pendulum
just a pendulum
to avoid.

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.