“I am amazed at how many days can go by in which I say nothing.”

And then the concrete touched the sky
and God sighed. This is an invasion
of personal space. And then there were
ghosts in the spaces between us and
the ghosts spoke in languages we didn’t
comprehend, so we murdered them. We
called it an act of love. Their blood
spattered on our skin and even though
it was invisible, we saw it and it
haunted our dreams for months to come.
The world carried on with nonchalance.
Our night-mares turned us into monsters.
We fought off our words like soldiers
in a battlefield. We burnt all the bridges
that could take us home. We fell in love
with pain and with each other. But you
said

you changed me and then you left

but we’re both at the place where it
all started and I haven’t moved an inch
away from you. But you said

I don’t know what I want

but I wanted you and there’s so much
I’ve given up for a future I could
never see clearly and I know I know,
I know you need me with the same greed
that I need you with, but I’m tired of
asking and you’re tired of not knowing
and I just want to feel safe again.

The truth is, you’ll probably find me
at your door, bare and bearing a sword –
ready to fight off old monsters and new
ghosts – whenever you decide to call.
This is what shames me.

*Disclaimer: The title of this piece is a line from an Adam Clay poem.

“I am tying a typewriter to my leg with a heavy piece of thread.”

You’re tired of painting halos
on all the walls I stand against.
It wears you out and you vilipend
me for the stains on all your
clothes. I know this. You
whisper it into my pillow when
you’re asleep and it makes my skin
leak what my eyes refuse to.

You claim you’re a victim
and I claim to be a poet.
I do it with contrition.
I find flaws and fill my pens
with them. I write my
poetry with blood that isn’t
necessarily my own; I make it
look pretty. I make it swirl
and dance on paper so it’s
aesthetically pleasing.

We are all lost and bewildered,
but these walls around me put me
in my place. I’ve named all these
bricks and I’ve painted them all in
the same shade of red.
And now this fort is tall
enough and the walls are sturdy so
I’m well protected, but what of
these cannons poking proudly
through – ready to fire?
And what of these mettlesome
rifles I seem to enjoy fondling?

This summer, I am ravenous with
the idea of trading in my
masochism for something a little
less self-oriented. I wouldn’t want
you to get caught up in that.

So when I ask you to give me your
heart, dig your nails deep into it
and never let it go.

 

*Disclaimer: The title of this poem is a line from Adam Clay’s poem “For Your Eyelash Anchored To The Sky”.