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Six lessons on love.One. Sometimes love will move so slowly
you will stop waiting for its arrival. You will become an
open bar and you will be drained and drained until one
day you open the door to let last night out and love has
left a calling card on the doormat.
Be patient. Let love come to you piece by piece
until you are full to the brim with it.
Two. Some days it will feel
like love has come for you with a wildfire
at its heels. Let it come; you were
meant to burn brighter than any sun or
star we care to name.
Three. Growing back after burning down
is a sign to leave old loves behind. Let them
go kindly. Wrap them up in tissue paper and
ribbon and give them a kiss goodbye. Be gentle but
Do not use maybe. Do not look back.
Four. Love can hurt and you will let it
because you are in love. It will spit venom and
throw fists until you stand up and throw
Be strong, letting love go is not
Five. Love will sometimes be too much.
It will let y
Be gentle, love.Be gentle,
my body is too heavy
hollowed out and
filled back up
Be gentle, love.
Be gentle and
let me lay here,
still and silent,
until my emptiness
The art of self-destruction.I have spent
my whole life perfecting
how to separate my
insides from the
outsides without a
scar to show.
My arms have been
weapons instead of shields
and I have built no other
walls to defend me.
I grew up in
this house of flesh
and instead of tending
to its needs I have
been letting people
set it on fire instead
of loving me.
I cannot lie, even to save you.A road runs
from my heart to my mouth,
a bustling bypass of
things I shouldn't say
that flood my mouth
and crash against my teeth,
wave after wave after wave
of me until we are both
drowning in the honesty.
Starving sleep and apologies.My sleep is starving.
It is shivering sweat like snow
across my shoulders as I sob scream
after scream against your skin;
"sorry, I'm so sorry,
go back to sleep."
I am sad
and struggling to stay
together but you slump
against my sickness
and hold me
It's still you, I swear.When I light
and when I sing
but when I roll
over in the night to
find a breathing boy
instead of your
it's not you.
It's you in
my morning coffee
and it's you in
my favourite jeans,
and it's you in the
blisters that form
on my fingers.
Only I have taken
you out of me and turned
you into things I love
and do and read because
I wanted to love him
Love letter to myself.Small handed girl,
you've written the truth
of your scars wherever there's
space to write it
and I love you.
They painted over
the rape you wrote about
on the front door of
your Uncle's house
and I love you.
They took the floorboards
of your bedroom out where you'd
carved the shape of your
father's fist into their
and I love you.
You shook the sand of
your fifteenth birthday out of
your hair and into a jar
you keep under the bed to
remember a girl with crooked
teeth and bony knees who
fled and flew
and I love you.
You've built yourself into a
fortress with nothing but your
fingernails and shredded skin
and you let him in when he
waited by the door instead of
forcing his way
and I love you.
I have been too sad to tell you.I have been too sad
to tell you that I love you
when I am tearing my hair out
and smashing my bones on the floor
to make myself whole.
And I have been too sad
to tell you that I love you
when you are keeping my hands
from pulling at my skin,
when you are holding my body down to the
safety of the floor with your arms wrapped
around my chest as though maybe they can
keep my sadness still.
But lover, I am not too sad
to write this poem backwards on
your face with my lips.
I hope that one
day you look in the mirror
and it's there, loving you
as much as I do.
just say so.I learned the other day what people mean when they say that you don't stop hurting, don't stop feeling the sting of grief, you just learn to deal with it. You adjust to it and it becomes normal after a while.
It still kicks me in the chest and I have to catch my breath. I heard your song in the supermarket Tuesday afternoon and I dropped the bread. I didn't even notice until someone started humming it and I asked myself to please not cry in the middle of the bakery aisle and at least wait until I was outside. I made it to the car. And I broke and it was hard to remember that had forgotten for so long.
But I wished it had stayed forgotten.
cause I miss you again and now I'm back where I started and feeling more defeated than ever.
christmas is not only in decemberyou sleep through so much sun
that it is the moon
who rises for you.
born in the russian springtime
with cyrillic letters on your tongue,
you are endless.
you are a ring,
curved to infinity
your hands belong in mine,
or else on my hips.
curve me into the shape
of an s,
narrow me in the centre
to give room to your arms-
they belong around me.
you are a gift;
when i fall asleep
on the opposite edge of the bed from you
and wake curled to your chest,
it is christmas every time.
rosemaryyou licked your lips when i walked in
smelling of woodsmoke. there was a weight in the air, and the empty space
felt unusually antiseptic.
somehow i wasn't surprised to find you perched on the old
rocker granddad had built,
your fingers tracing a labyrinth of grain.
your voice surprised me.
i sat on the floor,
spine rooted to the doorjamb.
i let you talk.
my eyelids were branded; when i blinked
the plasma echoes of the flames licked over your sharp edges.
the moon hung low and weary and it seemed too light, still,
to ask you to leave. hospitality
has always been measured in lumen. so i heard not your words
but the erratic rise and fall of inflection,
and remembered the way the fire sucked through the perforations
in the washing machine drum. feeding.
there was a brief insistence in your tone, and i
started paying attention again.
the question you swore you'd never ask.
'can i stay?'
i looked away from you then,
through the window,
and all i saw was a sto
if people didn't filter their emotions and justthrowing yourself on
floors doesn't fix anything,
but it sure seems to.
the consequences of walking in circlesThe lady wore black and her eyes shone gold,
veiled face and veiled intentions, a smile
in her right hand, a dagger in her left.
Slicing with either in confident stride
like the sea-breeze slices across the morning air
and the ocean of her heart bled,
beckoning with wave after wave of depths untold.
When first I gazed upon lascivious lips, I pined
for the days of old, I dreamed of songbirds.
I spoke in languages forgotten. (or maybe never learned.)
I learned quickly the dark plays tricks on the mind.
She spoke, her voice was a shadow on the night's breeze
carried away on a landslide of eluvium. Her teeth were sharp,
and strangely intoxicating. Her scent, like gentlest whispers,
spoke to me of nurture and reminded me of death.
Her pupils were impossibly large. She smiled,
and I felt my will unfold like petals and fall away like leaves.
She stripped me of my outer bark, it fell away in clods of excuses.
I was adrift in an illusion of confusion. And her final wispy words
still echo in wha
no one listensthis is the part where you start listening.
i'm not one to pour my words,
cheap wine no glass just red solo cup,
into an empty room.
i'm not one to talk when everyone
only pretends they're listening when really,
they're just hearing.
the part you start listening
comes at the part where i show you my skin.
i could show you my heart all i want
but you won't hear me.
i could tell you about every moment
i've spent basking, drowning
in whatever endless emotion
and you would nod sympathetically.
but you still wouldn't listen.
not til i show you my skin
screenprinted and scattered in scars,
hatchmarking of blended bends
and tall and stretched.
or if i told you how i've left my body
in shambles, and left it, broken
and rained on like cardboard boxes on city streets
five years after my destruction proved inadequate
until someone else
with fracturing fingers
ruined me worse.
my bones splintered under the thin
stretch of skin
covering them until i grew thick limbs,
a trunk like a tree.
The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
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