Friday, December 12, 2014

12 December 2014

You got tricked
because it was safe
and in the back, something shiny.
You reached as far as you could
folding your wings
to climb part way in
to get that little bit more.
That's when you heard the door being closed
and you managed to thrust one hand
back in time
to lose three fingernails
before the spindle rammed through the wheels
and everything went dark.

I didn't know if I could
forget the numbers
- or those little red eyes
so I defaced the dial
with a screwdriver
so everyone would be safe.

But I got lonely
and looking at those three fingernails on the floor
just gave me a pain in the stomach.
After dark, voices
Wisps of air on my face from their wings
around and around me
and I wondered if you were safe.

Halved with regret
I keep spinning that battered dial
left right left
listening for the notches to line up
listening for a sign of life
waiting to feel safe again.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

7 October 2014

The road - dark and wet
the sparklers fizzing out
before they ever really had a chance
to make it the way
it should have been.
Long past the sound of boot heels on asphalt
you rested your aching head
but the road didn't notice
or curl its fingers around your brow
the way you were hoping.

Just do one thing -
just keep going.

Clouds draped over the moon's cage
for the night
disbanded stars
glinting in the road
showing you the way
it still could be
the way you were hoping
when you smashed the glass
that said EMERGENCY.

Every step now takes a year
and you are certain there are only seconds left
and the road
just does the one thing.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

30 September 2014

Every drop of rain
standing on the ledge of the storm cloud
wind whipping through their hair
one trembling hand gripping the window frame
the other hanging limp
burned eyes misted over
obscuring where the ledge ends
and tragedy begins.

Thunder and lightning begin to chant,
while the cloud chokes out a whispered,
before everything falls apart.

Friday, September 26, 2014

26 September 2014

I never asked you about that scar
mostly because I knew exactly what happened
and who was to blame
but also because I'd heard you
tell lies about it so many times
I wasn't sure if you remembered the truth anymore
and I didn't want to be the one
to remind you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

24 September 2014

Swirling in a glass
taking odds on being drunk
or spilled
or poured back.

Sparking the flint
wanting to be held in that perfect moment
before everything burns.

Lingering over the cinders
asking the vanishing glow
to come back.

Lying across the tracks
waiting for resolve or regret
or a train
to show.

I guess they don't
call it The Witching Hour
for nothing.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

11 September 2014

I remember nothing.
It's my only defense.
I don't want my memory jogged.
I want my memory dragged
out of his safe place
claws scrabbling at the felt
delivered shellshocked into the street.
I want my memory roughed up
by some unsavory characters
in an alley behind a bar
after last call.
I want my memory forced to fight
against insurmountable odds - unarmed,
when the other guys
all have knives.
I want my memory romanticized
for refusing to hand over my last 5 dollars
not out of bravery
but because threats were made.
I want my memory shoved
face down into the concrete
for having a look in his eyes
that was familiar.
I want my memory exposed
picking locks underwater
like Houdini in an empty theater
practicing for the grand finale.
I want my memory felled -
hurt and blue and drifting
knowing that in those final moments
no one is coming with the ax.
I remember nothing
just the way I want it
just the way it happened
the key jostling the mechanism
keeping everything locked up tight.

Monday, August 18, 2014

17 August 2014

Stranded in Hy-Brasil.
You were supposed to meet me here.
Did you never come?
I keep watching
underneath the waves
the stars, blurred
and crashing -
my whole home is gone.

Did you sail straight through
thinking I was pulled under?
I woke up at the fence-line.
I keep the torches lit.
I mind the waves
the memories, blurred
and crashing -
my whole heart is gone.

If I let in this banging dark
to flow over everything
it won't put the torches all the way out
there will be a muted glow, still.
I will tie a rope around me
and loop the other end on a fence post
and I'll keep looking up
the watery stars lapping at the edges
you can find me, still.
Meet me in Hy-Brasil.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

1 July 2014

Wanting something so much
that you knew nothing
except that it would never happen
because it's possible
to hope so hard
that you wish the thing
out of existence
before it ever comes into being
which leaves you
as you were
trying to put some distance
between you and this holy ghost
that you won't let go of
just in case.

Most people save their hope
for times when it seems like there's at least a chance
but you always said
that's not what hope is for
and I always liked how you spent yours -
just a trickle at first and later,
past midnight, past all reason
you open the spigot all the way
flooding the chamber
so that your holy ghost is trapped
beneath the surface
that terrible underwater light
reminding us
of all the things we never
should have wished.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

26 June 2014

We are at most stolen shadows
borrowed without asking
from a stardust closet
full of sackcloth and ashes.

An unforgiving sun names us
marking our days, slanted
some of us lost around corners
others thrown off the edges of buildings
always falling
never piercing
despite our clawing efforts
to stand still.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

18 June 2014

I wanted to open this
old library book on constellations
and slide out the card
     stamped in red and black ink
     documenting due dates
     from years gone by
     fingertips grazing the Smith-Corona typeface
     as if it was Braille
     the edges being held
     with just one finger each
     to see how much force it takes to bend
and on the back write a very good hello
then lay it in a tiny skiff decorated in red and black ink
and let the current carry it across your welcome mat
and under your door
on a winter morning
so that you'd know
 - despite the fact
    that some things are too beautiful for this world
    and that's why they fade in your hands
    when you are trying so hard to hold on
that someone was looking at The Archer
and thinking about you.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

17 June 2014

The tiny bones of birds
mixed with sticks
strewn across the only path.
You keep pedaling.

What did anyone expect
you to do?
Why did you expect
anything else?
You keep pedaling.

A shrill wind, so angry
but never with you
that cuts through the pines
until their limbs stop praying
and start resisting in earnest.
You keep pedaling.

Just ahead, a clearing -
A black light lake
slanted black smooth stones for resting
black birds keeping watch
at the edges, but they don't see you.
A bright light shines through
making everything seem undiscovered,
having waited for you all this time.
Clarity descends, talons extended
candy pills rain down in ocean blue and sea mist green -
there never was any bike, of course.
The crackling of bones from beneath
is very far away and the light
is just a pale dot in the distance.
Head, hot.
Sweat, stinging.
You are thinking about how cool the lake might be
but when the thunder rolls in
the birds shift nervously on their perches and you realize
there is no time.
You keep pedaling.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

5 June 2014

As soon as you set that cracked teacup
atop the butterfly display case
and that unholy resonance of porcelain and acrylic
held the briefest of folded moments, I knew
you were for the fall.
This always made you uncomfortable
in your clothes and underneath.
It was the reason for your headaches,
it was why you never finished anything
and the justification for your drinking.

But I couldn't help it anymore than you
could stop yourself from cutting me down,
cutting me out
until I was a paper doll begrudgingly holding back
half the pages
in a book too heavy to take off the shelf
with any care or consistency.

The dusty outline of us
left on the chipped plaster
of a heaving wall, sagging
under the weight of everything
is not all that's left.
It's just the main thing people notice
when they first pull off the wings.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I come to your table to take your order.
You notice my pink uniform and tired eyes.

We get randomly paired at karaoke.
My stealthy side-eye, adoring gaze is captured
on someone's phone.

You drive me to the airport and realize
you don't want me to go.
You tap me on the shoulder in the security line.

People who saw the movie wanted to
read something into the final shot
of your hand on my shoulder
but I always like to tell our story backwards
so that it starts out loud and rough and sharp
but ends showing two people meeting for the first time
and all that quiet hope that never settles.