Apr 16

"caution"

Mar 12

You know what it's about.

Dry knuckles, the aggressive scent of Clorox;
empty soap dispensers,
Row Row Row Your Boat sung over the loudspeaker for the first time since kindergarten. 

It’s not about personal preference,
I counter “your generation isn’t even affected by it” with,
it's about social responsibility.

Frequent absences, checking email;
$8 plane tickets to Italy are worth it, right?

Oh, ok, I get it,
a girl snarks in response to “you young people are putting others at risk with your recklessness,"
it’s like reverse climate change.
Feb 21

a plethora of questions & why i am the silence following them

“why do i have to make my bed every morning, again? it’s pointless, i just mess it up again at night.”

“why would you breathe if you’re just gonna die anyway?”

why do i breathe? ok. i breathe because living is something i want to do. so oxygen can sweep through my lungs and into my bloodstream into my heart into cells of tissue and organs, to carry my muscles onto the next mile. because that oxygen is there for more than allowing for blood to leak out of self made wounds. i breathe because there were fireflies in ancient greece and the gap between polaris and betelgeuse is exactly the size of my flashlight because i made it that way. for monarch wings and wax wings and airplane wings. because i still need to prove to myself the sun rises in italy, because there are books i need to read, because i’m going to hear my new favorite song tomorrow, and because even tomorrow, i’ll have today. i breathe because life is a choice, and i choose to breathe.
Feb 21

faithfully unfaithful

church is the most consistent variable in my life. three houses and fifteen years
it took me to realize. in fifteen years i’ve learned who killed abel but not why i should see god in blooming daffodils.

is home a steeple? i do love stained glass sunlight & silver cups, but. i used to believe god played the organ, and there are decade-old drawings fingered into velvet pews half a country away, but.

but even after seven hundred eighty-nine sundays, why must i still chew the inside of my cheeks, on longer possessing the patience to love, hate, and pray on command, and lacking the talent to lie?

what is a home if you still question its foundation?

is home predisposed, or chosen?

...

what is a home if you don’t question its foundation?



i’ve been forgetting to count myself in groups lately. i hope god doesn’t have the same tendency.

 
Feb 21

fifteen fits in my mouth

the same way now as it used to when i was seven but didn’t know it.

it fits like a poor man’s key in palace gates.

fifteen is less than the amount of types of headaches i’ve identified,
screwdriver & orbit & sour milk & throb. . .

i am not fifteen,
but whatever i don’t say at the breakfast table
between sips of orange juice.

i am a spine willowed with misty sleep,
an eroded crescent on my left shoulder. 

infatuation and observation,
doubt and deliberation.

i am knowing i can be so much more
than the floor of a 70s style bathroom & its ugly wallpaper,

and 

i would rather be a thousand things
before fifteen.
Aug 03
poem 1 comment challenge: Legacy

The persistence of memory

Legacy.

On my notebook, nestled in the corner
among glued-on stars, are the words
second law of thermodynamics.

It means, literally, that entropy always increases.
It implies that one day, the very last star will run out of
nuclear fuel and everything, anything,
will cease to exist.

I chose to have those words there as a
reminder of my impermanence,
that simple scientific law
turns the pages back to sun-drinking trees in my hands, my
hands back to dust.

What I’m trying to say is I don’t need a legacy.

I don’t need my name up in lights.
But I would like it in the wind and seasalt and dandelions, so
burn me when I die.

I don’t need my name to go down in history.
the infinity before and the infinity after anyone said it
will all be the same to me.

Legacy.
What a distracting concept.
Jun 19

City

i.
sure, it’s gorgeous here;
i have plenty of nature’s glory
in these winding mountain roads,
but they make me citysick
& i need proof of human decay.

ii.
let’s go somewhere
where there are a million lonely people
broken smiles and cigarette fingers
we’re sane because everyone’s alone.

iii.
why is it that emptiness is heavy,
but skyscrapers make me light?
open meadows are exquisite
but they don't fill me the way
symphonies of taxi horns
& masterpieces on subway walls do.

v.
i’m sorry to betray the stars
by choosing neon lights over constellations,
but there are some things
that are seen much clearer
from a hotel fire escape.
Apr 04

ars longa vita brevis

i bet no one ever told you
that poets are liars.

they are gifted with the curse
of spinning tragedies into fairytales,
like straw into gold.

because before blood was beautiful,
it was brutal.

it was the animal desire to survive,
scarlet rusted on wolf fangs,
a deadly tapestry dyed on fur.

because before hunger was attractive,
it was abuse.

it was a half-dead city rat
with bones like blades,
starving under a starless sky.

because before addiction was normal,
it was neglect.

it was broken bottles and cigarette stubs,
craving and carving,
thoughts like curdled milk rotting inside a skeleton.

because before mental health became a competition
pain was not coveted.

what poets do not tell you
is ars longa, vita brevis:
art is long, life is short.
Jan 23

the curse of knowledge

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