Saturday, December 6, 2014

oh the weeping I was allowed

I hold my breath. My friend told me
when I was twelve
and we were in the art room.

I don't remember what
we were making but
I was making it
like I was listening
for silence
to speak.

Why are you grunting, she said,
or something like that.
It was months
before we figured it out.

Why choke someone
forever? Wait long enough,
they'll take over,
if they're anything like me.
But look here now:
how I still breathe.

Eric Garner didn't hold his breath.
Eric Garner doesn't hold his breath.
Eric Garner can't.

Teachers told me to never write a political poem.
This is not a political poem.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

soon we will move far away

that winter day we sat
in the back bedroom
with the windows open
and the snow outside
smoking
and talking about
your mother.

some thousand miles past
I see someone
with her haircut
and feel the anger
sharp in my lungs
like burning.

I catch myself,
because it is June
and you are not here
to remind me
the future is forward
not back.

I've left before
but never this far.

that day we talked so deep
I remember
we forgot
we'd put on tea.
with the water gone
and the coils hot
the kettle stuck.

we took it hard.
we couldn't force it off.
we pulled but
it wouldn't
budge.

it almost felt
like giving up
to forgive
ourselves.

but later,
in the kitchen,
you lifted
the teapot
without trying.

this was just the beginning.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

nothing is subtracted

I have carried the loss
because where else
could I put it?

down?
is that someplace
like heaven
that cannot
be mapped?

I am not a dolphin
carrying a mummified
baby body
what do I have
to let go

must losing
make us less

or can loss be
like the sea
turning rock
to beach?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

look; one of many

sometimes I fear the problem is
I see the world a little too
Hieronymus Bosch
when we're really all
more like "Nighthawks"
and sometimes I feel the opposite

who you must think me to be
to speak of feelings
in such flash-card art history
is it how I think it to be

if you could see me writing this
in the tub like how it is
would it be anymore
like it is

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

forgiveness doesn't make sense, you said

I told you
I loved you

but you couldn't hear
with your heart in your ears 

like that feral cat
they left for dead 
whose teeth
I still have
in my hand

you're the one without
I'm sorry 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

personally

poetry is for people who feel too much,
he said

and suddenly the trees shiver
and my vision pulls into sharp focus
and I can see individual leaves quiver
like when I was a child

you are not too much,
I should have said

Sunday, October 20, 2013

ode for asymmetry

I forgot
I loved you

I'll just say it

it was easier
when tv wasn't allowed
and I was just some kid
trying to keep myself together
with paper

then, loneliness
wasn't something
to be chosen

but what about
when the popular kids
sit with you at lunch
and ask you why
you always sit
"at the dyke table"

this happened/
happens

you can only sit up
with a book and a flashlight
for so many nights
before you read something
someone won't like

but heaven
forbid we find
reasons
to stay alive

like Galileo,
Maya Angelou,
Calvin & Hobbes,
Sappho,
and yes, you:

you who kept me up
you who keeps us all up

all those nights
we've never been alone.