Wednesday, October 21, 2015


At what age did you learn your compassion? I learned mine young, and he worked his entire life to unlearn his. Compassion is a poor man's wealth, don't you understand. And he didn't want to be poor. So he gave all of his away, and my feet hurt from its colossal mass. How poor this man had to have been, burdened with such riches.


I will never meet the man of my dreams. I don't dream, you see. And my men all seem to live in nightmares.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


I imagine his love the way sunflowers imagine the moon;
a cruel reminder that, "in the dark, the sun is still rising, just not for you."


I always found it a little bit strange
that he's both the armor and the blade.


I tried so hard to make him understand; I tried to nail down the ether of my feelings, to packet the little electrical sparks between the words. It was never enough, never enough packets, never enough words. in the end, i lost more from the process than from the pain.


on a cold hard sunday, i realized
my scars looked a lot like his teeth.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Selfishness. That's what I'm struggling with. I have been accused of being selfish. I have been called icy, hard, and volcanically self-contained. 
I've been called cruel, and unforgiving and unavailable. I've been called a butcher with a surgeon's touch—apparently I cleave hearts with practiced precision.

I do not mind being called cruel or clinical in my decision making. I know that I am clinical in my love, and diplomatic with my intimacy. But I do not want to be selfish. There is, I think, a distinction to be made between those of us who love completely, and those of us who want to save some for the next one. 
I'm oscillating between the two—on one hand, I want (I want I want I want) to be all glass and glowing bride; to blush red-gold under someone's gaze like I've swallowed the sun. On the other hand I am afraid of my own transparency—all glass breaks and all that glitters was once whole.

But to save some for the next one is to, inevitably, keep some from the one right now. The force of pulling back doors that say “push” is only going to break them. I don't know what's worse: pulling or pushing away. It all seems to end the same way. Reckless abandon or cautious dispensary—either way, every person I've loved is asking to barter: how much for one night of intimacy? How much for a decade? I'm no less of a prostitute if you pay me in gilded whispers. 

How much of myself do I need to mine to become selfless? If I give you everything, if I excavate my heart strip my body down to the bone, am I then selfless? 

Call me selfish, call me cold. Call me miser and call me shrew. 
Call me crazy, but I'd rather die warrior than martyr.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Eleven steps to your girl's heart.

Good evening, class. Today's lesson is: Eleven steps to your girl's heart.

My professor told me that the easiest way to a girl's heart was the path of least resistance.

Step one: find out what she likes. My girl likes fighting with boys and shooting beer cans out back. Wrestle with her, and make her shotgun those beers.

Step two: Tell her how much you like her hair. Down or up, she'll ask you. Tell her you like it braided into a hangman's rope; that you would happily die in the mouth of its noose.

Step three: Take her dancing. She'll tell you she doesn't know how. Tell her it's just like fighting. God knows you know how to do that! Make sure to play spar on the dance floor. Shock the pearls off the little old ladies behind you.

Step four: Call her by her full name. She's wince and tell you you sound like her dad. Smile down at her and say, "call me daddy".

Step five: Run your fingers up and down her ribs. Tell her she's your xylophone, your angel harp. Your little harpie. Laugh when she looks confused.

Step six: Tell her you're going to cook for her. Meat is for the men, remember? Eat your vegetables. Call me daddy.

Step seven: Tell her you can see your xylophone through the little white dress. Tell her to wear black instead. Take her dancing.

Step eight: Play spar on the dance floor. We've done this before, haven't we? Take her home. She doesn't want to. She whips you with her hangman's hair on her way out. Take her home anyway.

Step nine: Kiss her. Hard. Tell her it's just red lipstick on her teeth. She whimpers when you hug her—your little harpie. Someone broke a string on your angel harp.

Step ten: I don't want to fight! She wheezes. It's just like dancing, you tell her.

Step eleven: Slip the noose over her head. Feel the fight go out of her. She didn't want to fight anyway. The easiest way to a girl's heart is that path of least resistance, remember? 

Sunday, March 22, 2015


To those of us who could not keep it together she said,
“let the seams break, the lattice snap. We were never friends of the gatekeepers, and forever on the wrong side of the gate. Who cares about the fallout? They were fools for trying to cage storms.”

Thursday, March 5, 2015


It was the month of thawing, everything fluid and slipping under slick glass-ice. It was the melting season, a revolt against opacity. Shadows moved behind eyes, everything rose to the surface. It was a welling season, a swelling month. Everything that once was frosted surrendered its belly, let translucence bleed into transparent. It was an entire nation suspended in white amber, clear and distorting and bulging. It was the season of pregnant waiting, the month of held breaths and suppressed desires roiling. We cannot wait for June, you and I. I'm already swollen with waiting. It's the middle of February, and I'm tired of captivity.

Flint stone

We ate flint stones, he and I, hoping that it would calm the yawning, cavernous hunger we had for each other. Sometimes, when we make love, I imagine the flint sparking in our bellies, filling us up with wet fire--the thick, miasmic smoke of a burning house.

My mother ate stones for a man once, and waited for the burning. I can see her in my mind's eye, stomach fat with flint that had nothing to rub against. I can see her now, swallowing gasoline instead, waiting this time not for burning, but for explosion, for burning down.

This is what we are now, loaded and incendiary. We are the war children, they keep us away from the wax museums, from hairspray daughters and beer-bottle sons. We are a bomb State, we wear grenade pins for earrings. Highly inflammable, handle with care. 

Monday, February 23, 2015


Most people's demons are metaphorical.
Mine is real
and I happen to be sleeping with him.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


"Is it still betrayal if you knew it was coming?" I asked.
"Have you ever looked directly at the sun and tried to close your eyes against the light?
Have you felt your eyelids betray you; feel them try to fight the fire and give up their opacity? Did your skin heat up despite you willing it cold? Did you become paper over candlelight, thin-screen clear and suddenly naked?
That's what it means to hold back from love. You thought you could swallow the fire instead of letting it consume you.
Well, dear. All you managed to do was to burn from the inside out.

Friday, February 6, 2015


I had never felt like this, so hopelessly inadequate--
he was holding a glass of whiskey older than I was, wearing cufflinks that could pay my entire tuition.
And here I was, hemming apologies with smiles and tears with apologies; my god, could you imagine coming undone next to a man in a hand-tailored suit?


If you look at her in the moonlight, you can see blue river ribbons under her skin.
she had gnarled hands, like I did, but mine were hard and brown and sun worn tree bark...hers were crumpled paper and blue-pulse pounding. There is not the smoothness of youth in her face, nor the wisdom-laden parchment wrinkles of the old. Only the gaunt craters of her cheekbones, the valleys of her eyes--she was the moon, this woman. Plain and white and inoffensive, until you got close; and then suddenly she was a conquest to be made, cratered and valleyed and virgin. She was the moon, and men fell over themselves to touch her, to be the first man to mine her, and to say that for one glorious moment, he walked all over her.