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.

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Your voice
crawled across the bed
and unearthed itself:
a windmill of vectors,
shudders, wrenching into me.
You said it happened when
you were eleven years old.

How ridiculous that a man
would bring his eleven year old
to the railroad tracks
ignoring the way
bullet holes
gouge identity.

You learned cruelty too young,
you confessed, on the second day
an invisible sense of arson
how it crawled in radiant numbers
across the bed. I wonder
if there’s ever a good way to murder,
and if so, can you remain
titanic when you live
a ragged sun.

the word peddler

“Would you like to buy some snake oil?”

I inquire, grasping at a world
held three inches from my face
on a string, like a toddler
choking, always choking
on some giant, inky juggernaut
meant to be human

I never read my words correctly
or spew them out the same way
instead they superimpose as gradient,
crawl from my feet to throat
like spidery, gauzy nothings.

and I want to scoop them up
wear them like talismans,
scatter them across my skin
and feel their darts of truth
in unknown places

wishing for the willowy legs’ assembly
into sloppy calligraphy
one bold enough to frame caverns
and record the tales of being–

like the homeless man in army clothes
who nestles serenely under trees
and never bothers to beg for money

or the young boy who uproots ants
from sandy hills and burns them
with a magnifying glass, the only way he knows:
slowly, unnecessarily, and relentlessly.

me? I’ll stay broken until I die.
but I refuse to discard those dreams
where I shelf my vanity
and replace stories with purpose

where I swap my eyes with mirrors
and leak out the dirty vapor
until it all vanishes
to a lucid mirage

finally professing
“yes, that is what I meant after all”

It’s all malleable

She told me “write write write write write” and I swear colors exploded between the gaps of her syllables.

“Spend as much time humanly possible writing,” she said. “Trust me.”

And that was it.  I knew the gravity of a lark’s plight. Why I can’t believe in god–why I can never say anything lasting about the first time I fell in love–where sin dissolves after bloodshed.

Here, only in subjectivity, I can be. I’ll take my brevity and bury my heart in yarn, twisting and knotting its threads into some imprecise, truthful pattern. You can find me within the layers, hidden like a lost pocket of conversation, clinging to the hope that my life is not a cliche.

There, I can plant an idea, grow a tree, and whittle my labor into a pipe. I’ll load it with potential and it’ll burn into delicate mushroom clouds–organic like the dreams at our feet.

Me and my visions, we’ll summon together the north and south pole and whir lightly over the axis of catastrophe. Parallel, we’ll know the freedom only possible in a well’s stomach.

And if it all becomes too fleeting, I’ll burrow into pillows made of hand scratched letters and admire the inconsistency of tree roots. My ankles will sink into caverns. I’ll throw tridents at the impossibility of clockwork and my vessels will shoot rockets from my heart.

And like a raven who sees the shimmer in blur, maybe, I too will find the color of nothing.

the slow process of unfolding

a waterfall– i thought it would egress, this guilt

doesn’t throw daggers or smash

concrete concaves. it nibbles,

fasting slowly on frayed nerves.

 

quiet has a funny way of stealing me back

 

to the way I’ve pretended to ignore your mail

which for some fucked up reason

still won’t stop forwarding here

 

the way i misunderstood

how frail you were

when your eyes locked with mine

and you apologized

for living through death.

 

the way you never missed a birthday

and wrote me notes 4 times a year—-;

 

sometimes i brush dusty books off the shelf

and feel close to your soul

 

i try to find words that can make sense of this,

of you and myself

 

but all i can remember is the last time we looked at each other

i handed you cheap flowers

and left to go do my homework.

 

your viewing came one week later

i didn’t want to attend

your face ashen and beautiful

a trembling work of art

quickly folding to fog for two years.

 

but then comes your letter;

alive and unread

lost from 2008 behind a shelf.

mice morph to rats.

teeth clench vaulted tears;

i

did

not

take

you

for

granted,

 

please.