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
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”.