undetectable poison

Flowers and coal dust at Pithauria coal mine, Jharkhand, India. From the series The Coal Cycle Wallahs, 2009planted seeds in my psyche
that seeped deep through
everything once clear
and bright. a rose in a coal mine,
I shriveled in sincere denial,
and rationalized my inability
to feel the sun. i fell in love anyway.
with your turbulence, i threw dreams away
like dirty white flags, and laid awake
listening to the fucked up rhythm
of my heart. i fell in love anyway.
with the warped butterfly
that flapped its wings and left me
in a pile of dirt to be washed
away, anonymously
in the ocean:

my heart now misses its life raft.

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from the edge of the earth

an uncharted soul will drive you anywhere,

transform your heart to a peacock feather,

fan the flames in your amorphous eyes,

while your mind collapses spontaneously into back flips.

tell me, is oasis one of those truthful lies? 

do we ever learn to walk amidst tidal waves? 

or does this water just continuously tumble through us?

I want to know if a decision breaks me or creates–

if the splinters of me thrive best scattered, among alien lifestyles.

I walk until I shrug,

until my feet become oversaturated in dirt and my hair consumed with tangles,

my pockets filled only with gratitude.  

In Memoriam to Josephine

I know they say dogs are a human’s best friend but since I turned sixteen, my best friend has been my forest green Ford Explorer, Josephine.

When I got her, she already had decent mileage. She also shook a little on the highway and had suffered a few engine problems since her 2001 birth. 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 the bizarre lands of Florida, from the gator-rampant scrub of the Everglades to the Spanish colonial village of St. Augustine. We saw hundreds of 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.

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 to her with love and nostalgia. Josephine, my first vessel of freedom, rest in peace.

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.

First Coffee Table

Low to the ground,
white and oaky.

Banana peels,
lost sushi roll sock,
yuengling bottlecaps,
incense towers,
a remote to nowhere,
another remote to nowhere,
sock-like hat,
coconut wearing said hat,
empty pen caskets,
rusty scissors,
suspicious ash,
suspicious papers,
less-rusty scissors,
peanut crumbs,
a broken lighter,
orphaned chargers,

Pokemon silver.

The tapestry against the sun

The tangles of limbs and people

Soaring too far past

Low to the ground

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.