render your body
a ruin. the tenderest places
run for cover. all they asked
was for you to keep
we have almost no information about John’s life
we have to stop now
we have always lived in the castle
we have a bad feeling about this
we have come into his house
we have all the time in the world
there is in existence
there is in the end, the letting go
he learned obedience through suffering
he learned about gun smoke
he learned to love the bomb
he taught us how to love but not how to stop
he taught us how to drive by weeds
he taught us how to watch and pray
not to be served but to serve
not to beat a dead horse
not to be reckoned with, but to live
on the shoulders of giants
on the shortness of life
on the shore of the wide world
I have a soft spot for the salt in your bed,
the way you ring in my head like an old bell.
and I know all there is to know about everything
that is green. nobody likes you. the grass will dry
up and wither. is this what God’s word speaks of?
a creature crawls its way through our relationship.
we lost everything. in the light that is left,
your lips are nothing but historic.
I’m always amazed at how his hands
move across the harp strings
like a fox galloping across those notes,
like plucking the bones of my vertebrae.
I am a cherry blossom on the verge.
With palms that size, he could uproot trees
with a single sweep of wrist,
dirt tumbling to my feet, his other hand
entwined in my hair.
you see that curve of cheek? the way the light
skates so smoothly across that halo?
this face does not deserve to be
to have its pieces scattered across
a grocery store parking lot.
instead, we could allow the gold to be
what it was meant to be.
you sigh like an old Kipling poem.
we could tear the forsythia blossoms
from the branches?
put this gold next to our bedside,
pretend it is holy.
if you stand between two swans,
neck-hearts are split. they tell me to leap
into the hay and have no regrets. love in
the season of marigolds. my heart works until
it’s raw. my body blames itself for its many
shortcomings. I just want to be held by all of your
arms. when we divide my body between
the pale city and the blue country, I cannot
remember your face.
I think we would have been happy
in a life without miracles. Slow blooms
never interested me much. The flowers
show their colors, darken to shades
of blood. He never asked if I wanted to live
without being touched, without the slow
twinge of regret in the morning. The sun
falls on a curve of my breast. I know
what it means to want. It whispers to me
from the folds of my knuckles. I miss
everything I’ve ever missed.
I stand at the foot of her bed,
married to a spark.
A child is a bolt of lightning.
This what it means to be
forgiven, to call out dryly
like a desert.
I could disappear, leave
a gift that will bloom in
nine short months.
I haven’t the heart
to wake her.
I check my expiration date between
the gaps in my teeth. Discovery. It is
today. There’s no mistaking the curves
of the numbers printed there. The year
of my departure. Instead of curling up
inside the folds of my skirt, I take the screens
out of all my windows. Let the air in.
Today is warm, the sun is the bright yolk
of yesterday. Hatched. Punctured by
the sharp wings of a jet, it runs out,
spills over onto the hills, turns everything
Who will praise the blessed Lea
as she deserves? She renounced
painting her face and adorning her head
with shining pearls. She exchanged
her rich attire for sackcloth, and ceased
to command others in order to obey all.
She dwelt in a corner with a few bits of
furniture; she spent her nights in prayer,
and instructed her companions through
her example rather than through protests
And she looked forward to her arrival
in heaven in order to receive her recompense
for the virtues which she practiced on earth.
*found text, spoken by St. Jerome
love her and choose the latter. her hands
flutter down your back like doves. forget
what that feels like. she tastes like the
greenest poison. the thickest brambles
tear the skin. if love was a raven,
this would be so much easier. lips are
ghosts. having a heart leads to fevers,
sweats in the night. there is a way to be
alone. it is an undiscovered continent,
a map that cannot be understood.
A moon so big, it’s hard to wrap
your arms around its wide belly. Bitterness
exists in a coffee mug on my windowsill.
The more I wish the more I know he will arrive
late. Beneath these ribs, there is a ruby forest. Sleep
with him and at least you’ll be held. Through the night,
I dream that all the pines fall. I dream that God
is spun sugar. Pink and full, he melts into the dawn.
I hear the same angels
in my sleep, shake myself awake
when I hear their feathers
rustle against the doorframe.
all flight & bone, light & heart.
submerged. there is a mystery
in this water, in breathing beneath
the surface of my sins. I try to believe
that two starry bodies with outstretched
arms (plus a wisp of a ghost) can become
I taste this bread over and over and still
cannot find the flesh. this wine leaves
echoes of something on my tongue
that I try and pinpoint. it is not what
flows beneath the skin from heart
this land never had any
slithering things to wind
between outstretched limbs.
you lead me to the edge
of the ocean and ask me to stand still.
I thought you were my gold river,
my ticket to the sun.
I want to jump towards the blue,
lose myself where the only thing
to lose is air. I have such windy dreams.
in a life that is thick with thistles,
I have learned to tread lightly.
mornings lean out over the railing,
balance on the edge.
I wait for you to start a fire.
I’ll even take away the matches.
let’s just go home.
hands that never stop reaching,
grabbing for the peaches under
my dress, trembling at the thought
of getting so close to what they want.
run from this. from you. I left days
ago, hiding within my own body.
I reply to you with the same eyes
as yesterday, rustle in my sleep as
you wrap your arms around my waist.
a shudder in my heart. clenched teeth
cry out from their little white homes.
when you touch me, I lie still. that breast
is not mine and neither is the mouth you
press your lips against. I feel nothing.
"No Desires, No Resolutions" - Louise de Marillac
she kept her resolution
not to see _______ anymore
(a desire to work
in the dirt
with your bare hands)
he handled the last actions
(they were clinging
together in fierce
the peaceful resolution of
(there had been a time,
years ago, when he
your body speaks
in growls. a hurt
heaving beneath skin,
within my arms.
this is the language
of pain. I was hurtled
towards the edge and did
not try to save myself.
step out of this gown
bruise up this thing
I reach for you. keep
silent. let’s call it even.
think of me through god-
logic. my love crumbles
like the low stones of
our stairs. I am drunk
on your light, tipsy
with the promise of
remembering my dreams.
there is an ache that never
ceases. to wrap my body
around a breath, a beating
heart within a tight cage
of ribs, lips that do more
than just turn away.
God stalks me
My life is nothing but a
dazzle, a way to blind
myself every time
I step forth into the day.
Sundays are as thick as
sand, my knees
buckle as they sink.
I drink all of this down
with a hot tongue.
My taste buds burn
and return anew.
strip down. slide onto
ice. stand in the middle
of a darkness much larger
clasped hands to
cheeks. toes turn
blue as the snow
in the moonlight.
morning is as warm
as you imagine it to be.
all those frozen fish under
your feet will always
be wide-eyed wonders.
wolves’ teeth are sharper
in the dark. gleaming white
planets of the mouth.
knives to keep under
pillows, sleeping ribcages
hold birds that will sing
predict a crack in the
infallible. see the last breath
rise and fall like a skirt.
how lovely to always have light
on the road ahead.
sanity unravels like a knitted
blanket that covers my feet.
if this is what it means
to be holy,
I’d rather find you and
go someplace I’ve never been.
I beat my chest, slur straight on
I reached the light and found