The truth is, I want to kill myself.

I’m tangled in constructs like twine, sticky with social spiderwebs, made to move like a macabre puppet. Why’re you a puppet? you say to me, and then you stick your hand up inside and mime the right response from my lips.

I think about you walking out the door, and how I’ll sit, split, in the bathtub for an hour or two, deciding what to do, reveling in the steam and the heat and the swell. And how you’ll come home to a corpse, and when I think about it, the blood is always still bright red, and I’m beautiful, like Snow White in a clear coffin under the trees and some cumulus. Alive without air.

I’ll become holy. Warred with, sainted, elasticized around memories and wishful thinking, the everlasting puppet you can make say anything, do anything. Cut my words up and paste them in a halo around your heart, in your order. Cut off my face and wear it to work, while my hands prop up your chin, my knees jiggle under the desk. Ache in a simple way for the me you’ve made up, who’s really you, which is why you care at all.

And after I’ve been cursed and blessed and mourned and hated and loved and broken and solved and cornered and pedestaled and anointed and warned and beheaded and born again, you’ll die too. All of you. And you’ll realize it was all for nothing, because I never was a daughter or a mother or a lover or a writer or a woman or a suicide.

I was only trapped, and then escaped.


Don’t even try to feel your way out of my mirrored mind;
its labyrinths are carved according to a mad design.
An ache proceeds from my dark heart and will not let you rest;
you squint, but nothing but the nothing peers into your face.

Then brimming from a distant wing comes light, appalling light;
a red-fringed fire assault upon your vast, dilated eyes.
And stunning through your blindness, whispers violate your thoughts;
evolved from grinding vibrations that scrape against your boots.

Sorrow appears to be the only gift the gods bestowed;
gave us a knowing tree to worship, taught us how to read.
Come, use your fear and anguish since they’re all you’ll ever have;
the depths of frozen loss demand you weep, command you grieve.

Erase the urge to use your feet, they’re buried in the floor;
your hands are busy in amidst some spines of crystal fur.
We glimpse each other fatally, I’m yours and you are mine;
forgive the whirring bats that cry, “It’s not real! You’re alone.”

twenty fifteen

Hurry down the stairway from the third floor with us,
don’t bother getting dressed,
black silk on me and red cotton on you,
dark tights on your lover,
we three.
Greet the chipping paint of the once-white handrail stains,
your fingers stinging bright;
devote yourself to each step’s muted clang,
bare feet making love to
As our laughter flows in deep blood river rhythms,
what looks like full darkness
becomes a hallway with beams of clean light
streaming from an oval
“Walk through the door!”
“Hold on, stop pushing!”
“Where are we?”
“Open your eyes and see!
100 yards from where we were before.”
“What? No, how can this be?”
“Not sure.”
We had been in the front room, removing all of
our clothing piece by piece;
the party outside going along fine,
with primary colors,
and steak.
Some kids ran, laughing, from the apartment next-door,
we heard them through the walls.
They must have caught the corner of our eye –
farther than they should be,
too soon.
We watched them blinking in the sun across a plot
of singing grass and dust;
from the strong hill where our building sat stunned,
we saw them with their mouths
We found us worshipping the boy with glinting hair,
and the girl whose tethered curls
seemed to float right before her through the air.
The rest of them gazing,
just up.
Us three unwound from being intertwined to run,
making our way down to
the place a tiny door was neighboring
the bleak stairs, and it was
like the rest of that forlorn hall. We remembered,
it used to be nailed shut,
but it beckoned us with an open face.
We whispered to ourselves,
“Go in!”
Now we see the sunlit children, silhouetted,
like birch trees on a lawn,
like faultless prey forgotten, left afraid.
Our party sits up high,
far off,
their voices and colors carried by the cold wind;
as if they are all true.
Still, you can see we’ve traveled right on through
to some elusive place,
brand new.

cross and staff

A grave nightmare patchworks my teardrops;
scents of atomic lullabies,
and seventh tries,
those righteous lies
which say I will breathe ’til my heart stops.

I dance in laurels and nudity,
at their brutal, unworldly birth,
sedate with mirth,
a solemn earth,
hovers above and below me.

I touch down on an unholy moon,
amid a vast cornfield to cook,
with the wrong book,
cast a pale look:
the sky is nothing but a spoon

I walk a stuttering, woodland path,
all poached in the emptiest ache,
a bitter quake,
let the trees take
out on me their revenge and their wrath.

Here I cling to the nightmare like wind,
slipping it through salty fingers;
how it lingers,
’til the singers
exalt all that ought to offend.

I starve under bright, stained-glass windows,
my feet on a Seraphim’s nose,
a sultry pose,
a headless rose,
bells ring, but the door remains closed.

Alight with me onto a tower,
follow my corset down the stairs,
war with me there,
frolic ensnared,
in awe of resurrection power.

Then we will swim fast through the river,
all spraying giggles in a splash,
a soaking dash,
a weightless thrash,
playmates like unforeseen shivers.

Crab queenly reclines there, astride
the scales of brave Fish, those clear eyes,
they wave goodbyes,
in cold surprise;
my heart pled for mercy, but died.


The sea careened
in a summer stretch,
unfolding its jaws over
bleached-white boulders.

Strangle me with the strings of
my piano,
and waste me away in the desert,
pining for water,
though I’ve never seen the stuff,
leeching through the bare ground,
cracked sand,
piping hot,
my world is a waterless vine,
a portioned meadow of barren moon,
the sad recollection of jewels
which might have been mirages,
sensual and without respite,
the merry hallucinations flickered and fell
back to what must have been
the only world left.


the sweet, simple whisper of a dying soldier,
the unfocused blood of another year older,
the cold, broken luster of mirrored, soul-hearts,
the poor, folded bluster of dismembered starts,
the racing and raging of tornado ire,
the flame-blasted fortitude of my desire,
the sinking in oceans of frenzy and pleasures,
the frolic of clouds in their broiling sky seizures,
the running horizons, gone leaping like satyrs,
the way I chase after their wine and grape platters,
the icicle holes in the sky call my names,
the voices all chiming and reeling in frames,
the winds from the earth, all four corners exclaim,
the bold invitation to start a new game.


Let us abuse each other under bridges with barbed wire,
if you burn me with cigarettes,
you will see the light,
and if I flay your razor skin with my fingernails,
I will feel my own heart beating
defame my body and ogle at its scars,
our deep wounds fascinate us for days,
my soul will worship you
and rush the
screams of children
out of my ears,
on the wings of
my own.


They gave me a candle,
and I imagined lighting my jeans on fire,
the stripped fringes,
through which I see my smooth knees
shining, and I want them to stop;
flickering heat could caress my thighs,
travel up and down my body
in thermal waves of agony,
desecrating cheap merchandise,
hallowing contorted chokes,
condoning visceral writhing,
conjuring melodious atrophies,
creating monstrosities of my flesh,
to the bone,
nothing ever rising from
the ashes I could become.


I don’t want real life,
rum in my green tea,
butterfly attention-span,
I don’t ever want to be forty,
pressing down starter-wrinkles
under cakes and pies of makeup,
straightening my hair into sleekness,
pretending junior high perfumes.
I see men opening doors,
they do it for me, too,
they sigh afterwards.
I see uncomfortable psychiatrists,
sitting next to me,
and make them more uncomfortable
with unrelenting stares and
by asking intrusively personal questions,
and running my hands through my
knotted hair,
eyes black-lined around,
raccoon-addict delirium,
until they gather up their bags,
like shields,
and run, diagnosing.
If I met you in a coffee shop,
you would run, too,
because I would want to know
why you are living,
I am desperate!
Why do you do it?
I only want
every thrill there is,
and then to die