before I was possible there was your charcoal body hungry like an ember and knotted up burnt matchstick legs hairline catching fire, consuming eyes, hottest part of the flame.
where there’s a will, there’s a way out.
plait hanging like a rat in your hand brass polish got under your nails pewter dirt worked its way out of your skin, scrubbed clean dried between your toes. your books’ spines turned to ash.
Ever And After
You left me breathless- Stranded on some stormy bay With rays of frosted moon Biting at my heart: A cool scoop of vanilla Floating in wet sky, My fingers blue, Tethered to the bosom of the sea.
You left me coffin limp and lifeless, Pallid as a white sheet on an October shore. Warned, but not heeded.
It arrived like a knife to cut away the wound, perfect on the outside - a miracle of unworn proportions. At first it was high and bright, a little less than magic but so much more than simple bread. Soft, sweet, somewhat urgent - it pulled you from isolation, helping you release the deep betrayal that fused to your insides. Now like summer, its happy season has passed, and the dull breath of neither-here-nor-there has arrived. He never calls, never needs just to hear your voice. You are unsure if you even like his smile, his style of polite irritation and control. Ear to the ground, settling with lack until you make a decision - one last effort to receive the miracle in full, hold hands with someone where love is mutual, something of passion to count on.
In the early days, she hauled a mattress to the ocean view windows to sit and cry. Who can know the origin
of sadness? I recall only her sorrow, not its source. In time, she adapted to a northern life, to its rhythms of sea, storm and gale.
Her yard bonfired summer flame. Her smooth hands packed soil around roots of annuals in hanging moss baskets: jewel-
toned lobelia, pansies, begonias, geraniums; firmed soil around root- balled azaleas, rhododendrons, apple trees. Her long bangs caught, swept
into the anchor of a barrette, she eyed Snow on the Mountain in the rockery, thinned their tangle to yield bloom. She paused to swipe
the back of her gloved hand across her brow, maybe to catch a loosened lock, to scratch a bite from a no-see-um. Mom green-touched her space,
tamped my childhood with wild earth and cultivated ground. Flourishing fruit trees, berries, abundant bloom, this shore I call home.
the root of it
I split a banana in two to find a crust or something malformed.
I peel back my sheets, lift the trunk of my bed to forage for some pellet on my mattress sheet.
I’m looking for something that’s been niggling me - feels like a dry flannel poking my ear first thing in the morning
or at night like a crisp’s under my back, borrowing my warmth.
I am sure there is something
so I claw at the curtains, pull them till they’re just unthreaded string
and I unfold myself in front of a mirror to see if something’s stuck somewhere
I sift my hair and double swish with mouthwash and double spit - or maybe something’s tacked on my wall?
There is something I go to sleep with, something I wake up with that makes me feel like a mirage of myself.
I have its outstretched hand but I simply cannot find its root.