Monday, August 11, 2014


You wasted, devastated man
you said to me I love you
and I reached for the razor
out of habit.
There's nothing soft 
or safe
in your voice
it's not love as in lovely
or hearts as in Valentine's day
or flowers as in first date bouquets
it's love
as in tennis
as in zero, as in nothing
it's hearts as in the cadaver cardiac
flowers as in deflowered and repotted with gunpowder 
irrigated with formaldehyde
and black-eyed tears
Before I met you, I used to wear skirts
now I fear the cloth
that lets me move too freely
that pretends both at freedom and at modesty
but never commits to either
like you
I used to wear my heart on my sleeve
and let my legs do all the hugging
until my mother banned me
from wearing skirts
or anything with sleeves.
you said to me
I love you
and my eyes closed in a moment of silence
for all the casualties
of the war
that you're about to bring down upon
my gunpowder garden.


My mother accused me of being un-religious
and I was too embarrassed to tell her
that just last night I was on my knees
before you
drawing out God's name
with my mouth.


You sandpaper woman
with your broken-glass hands:
Every time you touch me, I bleed.

Burning up

Sometimes, I forget to breathe.
I only remember when my lips start turning blue
and you ask me why I feel icy
in June.
Once, you told me you loved me
and I watched your face fall when I said nothing
in return.
What I wanted to say was I love you so much that there's a burning in my soul and there are "I love you's" dancing in my body in smoke-ring banners
but I had no air
not a single breath left
to voice it
and in that moment, I was afraid to breathe
because I learned in science class
that oxygen only makes the fire burn hotter
and I was already a furnace--
only one breath away
from burning up