Each night I scoop
her brave architecture into
my hands and she teeters
on the tips of fingernails
as I lick star dust from her neck.
Mouth sparkle and
glitter spreads skyward she’s
always worthy of adoration
but has been neglected as of late–
men come and men go promising
to return again promising to bring
women next time that she is
important – but she is scratched up
scratched out white flags surrendered
made own by hands by power
by green by white so pale
so dark so animalistic a pattern
predictable rabbits into rhyme.
Bodies on bodies celestial the appetite
the articulation the pretty navigation
lost parts spun out of control part of
oneself seen only at night only
at a distance if we met again
my darling I shall not abridge
any feelings I shall tell you
everything all about the
mornings without you
and the insatiable alone.
Each night I scoop
IN THIS THERE IS
I am harmonizing with the drunk girls,
hook driven and torn from paper.
I hit the high notes because I am
feeling more generous than usual.
I am growing more comfortable
talking to strangers. I am saying goodnight
to the screen in my pocket, waiting for
the words you’ll send to me that will swallow
me whole. Like my arm in the rose bush mouth,
standing next to a hurricane and shouting
into the vortex a request for everything
to slow down for five minutes.
I ask myself the questions television taught.
Don’t you want perfect color?
Don’t you want a little fizz?
Don’t you need the knowledge
of how wind feels once the mask is off?
I’ll never crunch the way your words
want me to. I watch after
workers lurk through crosswalks
and the pedi cab drivers spin in
the convenience store parking lot
with their Work-Visa laughs spitting
jokes into each other’s mouths.
I wonder if anyone is thinking of me
at this very moment. I wonder why
I am thinking of me at this very moment
instead of thinking of someone else.
I wonder if someone in the distance
will hear me and sing the low notes.
"The yellow dung fly males wrestle each other for dating access to a female. The female awaits the outcome of the battle on a pile of dung. Occasionally, females drown in the dung pile as they wait."
- A biology textbook
for someone to
save you when
your life is
going to shit.
just when they thought
they were done for. A city
other people constructed
out of their soil lives &
duct tape & cardboard.
Karen & Tim were never so
happy to see other humans
in all their young lives.
They were taken to see
the Garbage Mayor who
wore a plastic Milk gallon
on his head. It was tradition.
The Garbage Mayor
sat on his trash pile & looked
them over. He had wisdom
carved all over his face. He nodded
to the others in a way that appeared
approving & one of the other
underground dwellers smacked Tim’s
& Karen’s backs in welcome.
& pillows & a warm duvet
& regular sleep schedules
a lot more than they thought
they would & air fresheners
& hand soap & deodorant
& toothbrushes with toothpaste
& water that doesn’t need
to be filtered and fixed with iodine.
There hasn’t been an Archie &
there hasn’t been a search party.
They huddle together under
hooligan graffiti to stay warm.
The stench of young love can
barely be called a stench anymore.
They hold hands out of obligation
& split granola bars out of necessity.
on a concrete ledge
overlooking a green stream
of vile water. They share
sandwiches & stories of their
past life, feeling like two hours
was enough time to mourn
their soil dwelling. Tim gave
his jacket to Karen and smiled
when she removed her sweatshirt
long enough to kiss him on the cheek.
Tame me an alligator and our kingdom
will be completeshe said
& Tim called her milady before
his gag reflex kicked in.
through a drainage tunnel
& carefully step over rats.
They held sweat shirts
over their mouths and
their nostrils were filled
with the stench of young love.
Young love smells a lot
like your parents’ fabric softener.
Karen & Tim reminded themselves
they fled to the sewers so they
could be alone. They thought
they wouldn’t have to deal with
other people but it turns out
you have to put up with other
people’s shit quite a bit down there.
They knew some people better
than those people knew themselves.
so they obviously hated their parents
& were passionately in love with each other
& decided to run away together.
But they had no jobs, only birthday money
so Tim suggested they go to the sewers.
It would be romantic he said and insisted
any place they were together would be home.
They would find an alligator someone flushed
and name him Archie and listen to him hiss
because he would like his new name
& Tim would fashion a saddle out of cardboard
so Karen could ride Archie through the sludge.
Karen was smitten and filled her backpack
with flashlights, food, blankets, and batteries &
held Tim’s hand as he lowered her into the manhole.