The evening rain exhales
Sea salt laden sighs.
A spider spins in the drafts,
His web construction combating western wind,
Mist lined silk glimmering in the breeze.
Dusk settles like sirens into crevices,
City corners soaking up sound and grime
To be rinsed clear by water
Or kissed away by subtle fog drops
Every valley serenaded by ghosts
Wrapping around peaks
Treading lightly like eight legs settling in
To wait out the night.
I don’t know how to pray anymore.
I kneel at the temple of knowledge,
Hallowed hall of learning –
Pagan idolatry –
To speak of my shortcomings.
Have you ever felt certainty coursing through your veins?
Would you wish omniscience on anyone?
Taste bitterness in your mouth, transcendent –
You are lifted up.
I am surrounded by blue.
You are laughing, dancing through
Fields of water like you’ve gills
While I dissolve,
Can you feel bones click inside your fingers?
The right answer never comes yet we
Grind away, chisel and sharpen until
Our strength is unrecognizable.
I follow disembodied voices
All the way home.
The broken alms I exhale
Don’t fit through my threshold
I drown in darkening light.
In the morning, I watch
the sun rise over my coffee cup;
steam dances with tiny sun motes,
If I were the sun, I would
catch each intellectual thought,
run my beams over scattered articles
from tired minds –
Nature methods, Science, Developmental Cell –
and touch tiny samples spread along the bench
200µL of DNA in water, 10X buffer.
I would cherish these things.
I am learning that
The Government is not the sun.
The Cabinet is not the sun.
The Press Secretary is not the sun.
The First Family is not the sun.
The President is not the sun.
Weather does not follow politics.
In the morning, I inhale
steam dancing over my coffee cup.
I am aware,
to cherish the cells and nature and DNA.
The President cannot legislate love.
This chair is green,
a weird vinyl that makes me
still, prevent movement to prevent sound.
The other office has those nice
lounge chairs, to stretch out and
I have been here before.
“I don’t want you to think I’m a
I walk out with
with which to rewrite my life,
an umbrella I am hoping
will keep out the rain
without blocking the sun.
This numb momentum that has
catalyzed the last few weeks
(since high school)
walks me to the counter.
My team of doctors holding
my lease like a tether,
balloon on a string,
hoping to pull me back down to earth.
“Side effects are usually mild, but include-”
I tell you with tears that I am at
the end of my rope, or
some analogy about straws and camels,
or another other metaphor
because it’s hard to convey these crippling emotions,
hard even to breathe.
Even now I am
holding a pen like
a puppet learning
for the first time
to form words.
“I’m sorry you’re going through this-”
I am sorry to put you through this.
this is an old poem, written a few months ago.
Even in deepest sleep
Your eyelashes are
The bristles on the backs of flies,
To sense the slightest touch
And whisk you away.
I want them, to excise them slowly
With tweezers so rusted,
They creep shut
And dust your lids with orange.
To pull them out-
Like teeth from rotting flesh-
Dead roots from muddy earth,
The slurps and squelches
I would build a structure
Of wishes out of them,
A scaffolding stuck together
With the salt I found
Hydrated on your cheeks.
When I have cried you dry
And the wind follows flies
And sends your lashes off one by one,
I will count them as they go.
Counting on one (middle) finger
Where I hope you’ll end.
I swore this ember would be my last,
My mantra of the most recent while.
I have lighters for digits
With flint fingertips carved by your words.
My veins are filled with ethanol
One fire sparks the other,
One fire sparks another.
I met you when I was a child in woman’s skin,
Playing dress up with my own appendages.
You settled me in to your sashay,
Taught me to be a puppet without strings,
Rocked me while moving my lips to speak your moans.
I sewed you clothes and spun thread out from my lips.
You called me a spider, but I was building you a home
While you were teaching me to remember your hands,
Knives used to etched out my fingernails.
I saw silk ashes two months ago, little piles of fine gray dust,
And found you setting embers to the foundations of our home.
I skittered away, because
You taught me how to move
But were no longer showing me where to go.
The smell of smoke reminds me of you.
Each day I spark up a small memory,
Trying to chip off the flint memoirs you have given.
I hope to char myself deeply enough
To never spin silk again.
I am a skeleton,
calcified and chalk white,
dressing my bones like wounds.
You will find me leaning on street poles
In war zones, airplanes overhead beating out
I am both vanquished
Simultaneously held up,
Yet becoming one with the support structures bearing your groans.
I know every language
Or a semblance of them.
They whistle, how they whistle through my ribs like bullets
And take lodging in place of my lungs.
I wheeze out salt particle words,
Meant to flavor but ignored and sent
To mingle with your rationed sawdust,
I am tired like a sinner
Who has worked too much magic.
My fingers cramp and ache.
Pent up frustrations
Form phosphorous to line
The crevices of my nail beds.
We send sparks to traverse the canyon walls,
Wearing out gun bays on your wings.
One day I will miss and light myself on fire,
a pyre tribute,
And my bones will give you new sawdust
With which to paint the sky.