Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pumpkin Spice

Someone once asked me why I hate pumpkins
and I said, “because Walt Disney hated Pocahontas
and watermelons never turned into chariots.”
Every Jack-o-Lantern has a shark-toothed smile
and there's a glass slipper at the bottom of every
Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Did they draw cages in the sand and say “she cannot touch you inside these lines.”
Did you laugh when I crashed through the bars like a tidal wave? I am not easy to love, I promise. But honey, if you wanted easy you'll find her in your wallet. 

Trumpet Bells

And the notes they stuck like so much dust—
dandelion dust, fairy wishing dust—
in my hair and caught on the skin
behind my ears.
They tugged and teased my trumpet shell,
my dusty, disused, cartilage bell,
and snaked their way into my brain
and tap danced on my memory cells.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


They came at me with crucifix horns,
Cinder-ella! Cinder-ella!
My glass slippers shattered as I ran,
White-cold shards bit my white-skinned soles,
And the shark-shards shredded my snow-white feet,
But I ran, I ran like a wild-fire streak.

They pinned me to an ancient tree,
They sealed my heart with an arrow of words,
to the age-old bark of the ageless sage.
Choicest they were, the woods they used,
As they let loose the ravenous flame on the lavender wood--
--but it was good wood,
it was wise wood,
old wood.

With my unbound soul I raped the skies,
And our bastard children let loose on earth,
Demons with dry wells for souls,
And I let them consume me, eat my flesh,
Their white-cold teeth shredded my softness,
I was wood, once again, burnt sandalwood.

Witch! they screamed, and tore at my hair,
As I fell into their pitchfork fury,
Metal fangs suckled my breast and my womb tingled
from the rancid passion; we were making hate.
Ardently and lustfully, we rode each others' malice.
The rotting, festering vomit of emotion,
settled in a putrid, acid curd.

When it rained, I stretched out my jaw,
and tasted the clean water, free of taint,
And I was melting, melting, oh!
My feet like hot wax glued me to the cleansed earth,
A tender peace, like translucent paper--wet rice paper,
fell over my face, and I could see,
The world washed out in whiteness, peace.

My fingers lock--a gridlock, stubborn gates,
My toes curl like hungry hoes,
And my wood-carved body's carved out again,
And now I'm a boat, a ferryman's bitch.
Men--many men--sit in my womb,
And I birth them with no pain, no gain,
When their journey is done.
They will not return to my womb.
I'm a ferryman's bitch,
A red-wood canoe,
not lavender, not sandalwood,
I'm ugly wood now.
I'm gnarled and knotted,
But I can still bear life,
And my unbound soul,
Still impregnates.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


I fell in love with a Bible lover
and tattooed her name under my breast
like it was the crescent impression 
of her fingernail half-moons biting my skin.
"Your body is a Church!" my mother screamed.
"How dare you befoul the home of God!"
Oh mother, I thought.
I am an Olympus of misplaced Gods, a cathedral of contradictions.
There are demons in my Church.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I'm not fat. I live extensively in the space I occupy. Every bite of Thanksgiving turkey exists tangibly inside my skin. You call it fat. I say it's space well used. You judge my food. Tell me it's full of preservatives. I'm a preservative. I embalm every christmas dinner in the cavity of my body. You tell me I should slim down, look sexier. Where do you store your sexy? In the cradle of your hipbones? I store mine in every dip and valley of my skin. Are you running out of body? Send it my way; I have room for your sexy too.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Letters to my lover

 You keep asking me what's wrong. Honestly, honey, it's not that I don't know. I just don't know how to tell you: sometimes I can feel you grating against my bones like a second skeleton—you inflate me till I'm spilling out of my skin. And sometimes you're spider legs racing down my spine, some phantom shiver that might've been the wind.

I don't know what to tell you. I can't wait to hear your voice. I hate listening to you trying so hard to love me. I'm unlovable. I'm all thorns with no rose. I keep trying to tell you that.

You don't listen. Or you listen too well. I never could tell. Do you hoard my words in the closet corners of your soul or do you watch them settle on the hairs on your arms and pop like soap bubbles against your skin? I want to know what you're feeling every second of every day and I'm terrified that what you're feeling will burn me.

Is this enough for you? Is love just almond oil on wet skin and promises that die at 11:11? Is 10 o'clock our witching midnight hour? Do all our dreams turn to pumpkin shells when the clock strikes goodbye?

How do you love me? Do you wake up at 3 am and wonder why your tongue tastes like my name? Do you ride the crests and dips of my voice and trace the texture of my emotions with your fingertips? Do you hear me arch my back ever so slightly when you say my name? If love is just I love you, then I've loved and loved and loved my life away.

Sometimes I can feel you try to love me simply. I fell in love with the peace around your body. I fell in love with the air around your skin. I am the hurricane to your peace, the storm centered around your stillness. Did you think you could love me gently, like the rain? I will tear through countries to match your calm.

My love is ugly. It won't lend itself to caress, won't lay purring in your lap while you pet it. My father told me he loved me best from afar. My mother tried instead to smother me.

Michael told me my hair was unmanageable. You complain there's hair everywhere. I have hair that requires the use of both hands. That braids into both the hangman's rope and compliance. I have hair that will never let me trust a man who cannot tame it.

Did you think you could be my knight in shining armor? I was never the damsel in distress. I have whiplash in my bones and callouses on my heels. Do you pride yourself on being a warrior? My darling, I am the war.

You will never own me. I say “yessir” and we both laugh because we know. I will not come for you. I will come to you. Call me, beg me, coax me gently with your tongue. Lose control because you'll never possess the woman you've sworn your life to. Hate yourself for being too weak to force me. Fear that I know your weakness. Love that I cherish you all the same.

You will never convince me that I'm your princess. But dear god wouldn't I hate it if you didn't try. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Midnight Sun

My love
How many hours have we spent pouring water into stillborn flowers hoping against hope that the petals
would stir and weave back into buds? Did you think you would find some hidden treasure—some wide-eyed bushy tailed prospector's gold—buried in my soul? Maybe you thought you could save me from my sadness. Maybe you thought you could rewrite on the crinkled paper. But honey, if you iron me out you'll only burn the pages.
I remember wondering if your brightness would obliterate me; you thought there was a person behind the shadow. My darling, I am bottomless night.
Did you ever look in the mirror and not see yourself? Is it like staring into the sun with your eyes closed and realizing that your blood is fire and your body translucent?
Have you ever pushed your palm against your stomach and felt the cavernous yawning of a starving man?
I have.
For years my mother washed down my words with chemical sweetness and told me that daughters should never taste bitter.
Bitter? I beg to differ. Someone once told me I tasted of empty.
What did my lips taste like when you kissed me in the afterglow of T.V credits and first-date jitters? You tasted like ice and liquorice, like cold fire.
Did you feel your life leave through your lips when we kissed? I am a parasite for your purity. Did you feel your sheltered heart shudder and crack? That was my gift to you, my innocent suburban boy. Did you think it was lust? Did you mistake it for puppy love? That was your heartstrings resonating with the melancholy music of my breath. That was your answering echo to my own desperate sonar.
I can feel your heartbeat pushing through your skin when you lie next to me. With every breath your body swells with the thoughts I cast into the midnight air. Do you feel them piling into your lungs like free falling bricks as you inhale? Or maybe they go down easy, like sweet vermouth. Do they lodge in your throat and strangle you on their way to my ears? Is that why you cannot cry?
Do you try to rationalize my family? Do you think that if you tilt them just so that they'll catch the light and ignite? That the coal that is their soul will transform into something recognizable? Baby, they are blackened, charred wood. They're all burnt out.
My mother was a princess married to a pauper. My mother was a penniless peasant wife and my father an asshole. My mother was a person once. My mother was empty. Now she's bitter. She washes down her words with a chemical happiness, with a sweet blue pill.
My father was not smart man. He collected degrees like magpies did shiny things. He build us a life, but he did not build it very well. He was a self-made man, but he did not make himself very well. When the bough broke, it all came crashing down.
How can you demand that I be light? Do you not see that I'm not the sun? I am its undoing, its end. I am the frozen star, I am too dense for my skin, too dark for your soul. Did you hope to escape my gravity? Did you think you would illuminate me with your light? I will swallow you whole. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Where is your God now?

Someone once asked me, "where is your God now?"
so I
asked the monsters under my bed
and closet critics in my head
and they all insisted that they hadn't seen my God.
The Church told me to look within--that God
was hiding in my skin--
that the Holy Ghost was just the wind
that lived within
the billows of my lungs
so I
walked up to my parish priest and bared my chest out to him
and asked him why I had to cover up God's resting place
with a bra.
My mother told me I was a whore and I swore
that I was so much more
I was God's resting place, I said. I'm the temple whore.
In my father's office was a metal safe and I cracked it open
but there was no God amongst the valuables and
the passports insisted that they were more important.
Someone wrote some dirty notes and stuck them on
a wall
they had pictures of tits on bits of bible
but that didn't stop some junkie animal
from pissing on the wall.

There were witch burns across my skin and
pentagon scars where I had been
branded like a sacrificial cow.
I looked for God in prison cells
and wedding bells,
but the closest I ever came to finding God
was in futile prayer
on my way to Hell. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Everyone of us is a battlefield and there is shrapnel
in our bones that rattles
when we sing, reminding us that once there were
no guns
no ammo
just soft and silk and powdered kisses on milk-white skin.
Forever ago and for days after that I thought
that the sun had fallen behind a cloud
like pennies behind the couch
and if i looked hard enough I would find little
couch-cushion treasures buried in pillows and used up
but the sun never came up and I supposed that it got lost
in rain filled clouds and maybe if i cried
and unburdened the skies
the earth would fill with sun-kissed spills
and the sun would come again.

Yesterday I went up to the moon and yelled at him
for stealing all my sunshine
and he laughed at me with twinkling eyes
and a cheshire smile
and told me to look inside my mother's closet.
I dug up the dregs of DNA files listed as classified--
they were in a wall safe behind the skeletons--
secrets--dark, deep--
written in chromosomes and protein signatures
that told me I would die in a vicodin-induced