the letter

I sit in the still of my house, low and somber,

all wishing for witching and time machine lumber,

my promises baking like pies in the fire,

a crayon-soaked clamp round my neck like a wire.

 

A small steady whisper keeps saying its lines,

“I know you are sorry, but really its fine.”

There Childhood and Innocence leer from the rafters,

and choke on the smoke of their recent disasters,

 

and reel from the paper weight of written words,

and never stop squeaking like smoldering birds.

I watch as they wriggle in subdued despair,

I watch as they point devilishly at air.

 

I stumble while seated and stutter while silent,

the cries of the birds rise, soulful and triumphant,

I lay down in decadence, which I ignore,

the beat of their wings echoes down to the floor.

 

I simper and whine like a dog put outside,

the Haunts grow much longer, and stronger, and wide,

I see or hear naught but their song like a flutter,

I bury myself in the bedding like butter.

 

The cushions are soft here, the food never ends,

I’ve time for my mind to sigh, wrecked on a bend;

these Ghouls which you send me are holy and just,

the way you work through my pain which,

dear, you must.

Dear C.,

Remember when we escaped

the holy sea of tents

and your girlfriend that one time?

I still remember the

freedom of the wind

coming through your car windows

while we blasted the radio

and laughed like laughing was oxygen,

and remember the fortunes?

Twenty-four in a row,

and yours opened flour and water

to reveal curses,

and mine promised divinity

in a cookie crust.

And remember when we sort of loved each other,

but never said so

until afterwards?

We had only ever joked about

my fork in the road,

and which way I should take.

You said you were waiting at one end,

and I pictured dancing casinos,

wearing red top hats,

and fast cars,

and the cloying singe of

cloves on my tongue.

But I said no.

I’ve had so many more forks, C.,

it’s hard to think about them all,

and how they’ve led me winding here,

to my happiness and dissatisfaction,

which is why I have to walk

with a foot on each side

of the path.

end it

I am exhausted,

holding open my eyelids

feels like Atlas,

like triumph,

six wands,

my fingers clenched.

I am looking for my fire,

have you seen it

bathed in nighttime,

or perhaps,

crackling under your

ribs?

There is Death,

and she waits hopefully,

her sleek hair joining with rivers

of blood in my

bath tub.

labor

I spilled ink on the floor, damn it,

and left it there for a year.

I would look lovingly at it

every so often,

and it would look lovingly back;

perhaps we’d have tea.

But then one day,

one black, anxious day,

I thought I should clean it

away.

“It is better to be in my towels,”

I said.  “Better to rumble through

my washing machine.

Better to get in between my fingers

and in my hair.”

And yes,

it did like being there.

Even I didn’t mind it for a while,

looking in the mirror and pretending

I was something great,

my ink stains living through

bath waters and sprinkler systems.

The turning point is always feeling trapped,

the day I realized I could not get them off,

could not clear my skin of their

ethereal concoctions,

could not wash their beleagured soot

out of my scalp,

without cutting off my own

head.

the boy

he cries

loudly

in his cell.

” i want my mommy!”

in phantasmic drones of terror,

as only a four-year-old can.

a man

with half a face,

and half a beard,

peers through the bars,

between their holes,

and says

“this is what makes you

a man, son.”

but the boy doesn’t

understand it

for a long

time.

flee

You are not the Empress,

no.

Rather,

you destroyed their lives at conception.

You were built for escaping

and maddening journal entries.

There are choices

and there are no choices,

like jumping hurriedly from

the sixteenth floor.

Their masks, small, enchanting,

will haunt your dreams

always,

and you don’t have a choice

in that,

even if you cling to them.

buenas noches

he spits out,

“you fucking suck!”

before

he slams the door.

and     you    wonder     if     maybe     it      is     true,

since you don’t

feel much like

laughing

anymore.

an euphoric sky

1.

Life is a shallow pool.

And the younger you are, the shallower it is; though you think its depths are endless.

A sunflower is god, because it is yellow.  The fucking blue sky burns your retinas with glory.

A rotting, wooden board is a pirate ship and you are the captain.

You can believe lies so easily, when you are young.

2.

I am almost-young.

A fading.  My new self is forming within my youth, like a pearl forms inside a shell: surrounded by weak flesh.

This may sound all well and good.

You may be saying to yourselves, okay, so she can be more of a realist now.  She can stop living in careless frivolity.  She can step up and become something.

3.

Um, hello?

Don’t you know me but at all?

Jesus, readers.  Pull yourselves together.

If I don’t have my fairy tales, what am I?  I won’t make it through that kind of transition.  I’m not built for it.  I need my worlds and my universes and my fancies.  If my existence becomes mostly about doing dishes and seeing a rotting board instead of a majestic vessel, obscurities will bury me.  A literal sort of burying, like taking too many sleeping pills.  You will hardly see my shadow on the wall.

4.

Now you are certainly saying amongst yourselves (yes, I can hear your muttering) that realism and fantasy can hold equal magic, but you are wrong.  Because I know we are all headed in the same dusty direction through sinks and riverbeds into stone.  I know that we are all lost.  I feel pointless.

5.

I am the oyster.  The pulled apart flesh.  No more shell.  You might gain a pearl from my life.  I hope you do.  But I won’t be there to see it.

6.

I wish to find personal galaxies in the evolution of the sky during a partly-cloudy afternoon.  There are at least seventy worlds in the sky on any given partly-cloudy afternoon.

Don’t let me live myself into death.  Help me go back.  I want to un-know horrors.

I want to live in a sweet, sordid euphoria.

7.

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