how far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
how often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
where did it begin? what went wrong? and who made you feel so worthless?
if they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
all this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin?
and what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it?
how are you both of these women, both flighty and needful?
where did you learn this, to want what does not want you?
where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?
How good does it feel: to want something and
pretend you don’t, and to get it anyway.
This year will take from me
the hardened person
who I longed to be.
I am healing by mistake.
Rome is also built on ruins.
Salinger, I’m sorry, but “Don’t ever tell
anybody anything” is a string of words
I would like to wrap up in canvas and sink
to the bottom of the Hudson, or extract
by laser from the ribcage of all of us
who ever believed it, who felt afraid
to miss someone, to be the last one
standing. “Tell everyone everything” is
not exactly right, but I do believe that if
your mother looks radiant in violet
you should tell her, or when a juvenile
sparrow thrashes its wings in dustpiles
and reminds you of a lover’s eyelashes,
you should say so. We are islands all of us,
but we are also boats, our secrets flares,
pyrotechnic devices by which we signal
there’s someone in here we’re still alive!
So maybe it’s, “don’t be afraid.” We can
rewrite Icarus, flame-resistant feathers,
wax that won’t melt, I mean it, I’ll draw up
a prototype right now, that burning ball
of orange won’t stop us, it’ll be everything
we dream the morning after, even if we fall
into the sea—we are boats, remember?
We are pirates. We move in nautical miles.
Each other’s anchors, each other’s buoys,
the rocket’s red, already the world entire.
I was 19 when I finally stopped opening the door for unrequited love.
I was 20 when I first learned that
courage tasted like bitter wine and metal. Like blood and honey.
When I told you I loved you,
I screamed it. I let it Rip
it’s way out of my throat, and
it felt so good that I cried.
The other day, you walked by me
I could feel the pity in your stare.
Don’t you do that.
Don’t you look at what I had for you and call it weak.
Not when You were the one afraid of it.
I stood there with my hands open,
my mouth bruised tender with supplication.
Don’t you dare treat me like a victim of my own emotions, like being
moved to my knees by love
was a mistake that I regret.
I will go to my grave with the memory
of the bravery in my bones.
I am not ashamed of any of it.
Not the closed door in my face
or the static silence of my phone
for weeks after.
I was not afraid.
I am still not afraid.
I will never be afraid again.
Bring in the beasts with teeth
like tree branches.
Bring in all the men who will never love me.
Bring in the monsters with
faces carved out of stone.
I am not afraid.
They can eat me alive.
I am not afraid.
I will cut my way out of their bellies.
I am not afraid.
(3 weeks ago
) 3 notes
she has so many knots in her hair because we are desperate in our fucking. Maybe desperate is not the right word. Think: necessary. Think: éclat. Think the opposite of mediocre and then continue to think that until you grow bored. She is always digging, I am always grabbing, and there is probably something else missing here. When I think about her past, I think about space and how both of them make no sense to me. They are both so big, and I have never slept in a house that large. I get tired just thinking about starting another poem. I write in my journal I could talk about orgasms all day. It is hard to be happy without beer. I am working on my stereotypes. My favorite sitcoms are the ones with the pretty wives, the heavy husbands who wear uniforms to work. Is anyone else concerned about the space around their cuticles? If marijuana is a gateway drug, then what is a blowjob? It is hard to be happy when the best part of your day is agreeing with the ambivalent weather. I like it when married women don’t look at me. Sturdy beds are never overrated. I’ve wanted to use this line for months: Where did all of the wedding
rings come from? If people paid to read my poems, I would pay someone to write me better poems. There is only one woman I want to fuck, and that scares the shit out of me.
What did I think about before you touched my thigh? Let me say this: I’m going to touch you until my fingers fall off. If my fingers don’t fall off, I will hold your hand even if it’s sweaty. And let me say this: You are lovelier than clouds that look like lovely things. I have only loved a few times and the last time was when you rubbed my neck under the monkey bars. We weren’t much younger than we are now. I still have the same haircut. You still have only one dimple. It’s on your left cheek and it looks like you fell on a pebble. I love that it looks like you fell on a pebble. Let me say this: You taste like candy canes. There was a candy cane tree in my old neighborhood. My neighbor hung candy canes on the branches of the willow and I snatched them in the middle of the night. It was December when I rode my bike the quickest, like I was going somewhere to meet you. I like you more than the candy cane tree. Let me say this: I am uncomfortable in my own skin, so I hold your face. I hold your face and your hips but mostly your face. You have a lovely face. Let me say this: I love you like monsters like scaring little kids. I make a list of words I can use to diagram your body: petite, mellifluous, comely, milk, necessary. Please, forgive the humming; you see I rarely taste candy canes in March. When I don’t taste you I taste sweat. Not good sweat, mind you, sweaty sweat from the men’s locker room. Sometimes I taste pizza, but that’s only because I loved pizza first. Let me say this: My love for pizza was fleeting. I was young and naive and thought that extra toppings meant something. These are fine days because they end with you. Let me just say this: I’m going to kiss you until my lips fall off. If my lips don’t fall off, I will kiss up your spine until I run out of spine. Then I’ll start over.
You’re beautiful, but you’re empty…One couldn’t die for you. Of course, an ordinary passerby would think my rose looked just like you. But my rose, all on her own, is more important than all of you together, since she’s the one I’ve watered. Since she’s the one I put under glass, since she’s the one I sheltered behind the screen. Since she’s the one for whom I killed the caterpillars (except the two or three butterflies). Since she’s the one I listened to when she complained, or when she boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing at all. Since she’s my rose.
We pretend that we never reached for each other like tired midnight hands reaching for a light switch.
Things are sweeter when they’re lost. I know—because once I wanted something and got it. It was the only thing I ever wanted badly, and when I got it it turned to dust in my hand.