Twists, and corrupts,
Afraid makes safe sorry,
Burns holes in future plans,
And sews eyes, ears, and lips shut.
Fear makes us who we are not.
Fear leads to regrets.
We have no room to live our lives
Afraid afraid afraid.
Tears stagger down your cheeks
Making day old mascara
Play chutes and ladders on your skin.
It’s 2:06 AM and you can’t sleep.
The yellow glow of streetlights
Claws at gossamer eyelids.
You shift in the sheets
And pray to your pillows
For the minutes to slow down
So that you can finally rest—
But they don’t.
And you can’t
Take a deep breath.
Hear the wet air.
Taste the way it falls
Into your skin.
Open your lips.
Whisper a word.
Touch the shoes
Your feet are in.
Taste your weight,
And that push
Towards the ground
As gravity takes
Breath out and smile.
Close your eyes.
Open your arms.
You are alive.
are never happy
however well paid
or paid attention to
You’re fickle like a pussy—
Cat is optional.
(Plus three letters:
Your jeans don’t fit me anymore,
When I mention this you shrug it off,
They’re tight on me too.
As if I can’t see
How loose they hang around your waist.
I wonder if you want my attention,
If I should mention it to anyone—
I always ask,
But you dodge my questions.
Nothing could get you
To budge an inch,
While your inches disappear
Down our bathroom sink.
I’m marrying language that twists and turns
Like O. Henry (though is sometimes less flashy).
The rush of pen on paper, the grief of ink blots,
And the curls that grow from the ends of loose leaf.
I’m marrying white pages, black ink—
Some thick with the smell of age and thumbing through,
Others virgin, warm and comforting, fresh from the printer.
I’m marrying words that are as sharp as stones, words I know can hurt me,
Couplets I can taste,
On the back of my tongue
That I smell in my dreams at night.
I’m marrying dead white men that break my heart
And then stitch it back up with a sentence.
Women that mock me from across a paragraph,
Tease me, make me want my mother.
I’m marrying haphazard punctuation that gets ellipses
Caught in my teeth like poppy seeds,
And that strangely sensual half hour of time that I can spend
Contemplating the last four lines
Of that block of words that just changed my life.
I’m marrying the letters that create life out of nothingness,
A dictionary filled
With definitions I will never comprehend
But will strive to understand.
I remember when words came easily,
When rhymes poured out onto printer paper
In power and passion and resonance.
I remember being able to command
Attention in a sentence—
Not these cowardly fragments
That pull my pen (unwillingly)
Across a page
Leaving ellipses in my heart,
Opaque as my pen ink,
To fill the white spaces…
Line by line
Tolls are paid and taken
Meals are eaten and forgotten
She lives life in future tense
Not caring enough about the now
Not thinking enough to regret her actions
And all the while insisting
She’s thinking about “us”
Thinking of /you/ in all she does
When you wonder if
Us is in your future tense
I can’t pretend I don’t hate the 73.8 miles,
The 1 hour and 43 minute drive
That keeps you away
From the sheets in my bed
That call out to be warmed.
I can’t pretend I don’t hate
That they’re too childish
And twin sized
For my 19 year old body,
But I like the small bed.
I like the 39 by 75 inches,
The plastic covered mattress,
And the way the sheets lift
When we move around
I’ve been waiting all those 73.8 miles
To feel your chest rise and fall.
I want darkness so deep
I have to see the outline of your face
With my fingertips,
Feel from your brown eyes
Down to kiss your gingery lips.
I waited the 141 required hours
For these moments I’ll forget
In tossing and turning
And the brief kisses you give me
Between 4 a.m. and dawn.
I want you to steal the covers.
Make me cold.
Pull me close.
Again and again
All night long.
There are enough arms and legs to go around.
And they do.
Until sunlight hits pillows,
And sometimes even after.