21 March 2017
no bigger than a grain of sand
scuttle white and camouflaged
across my palm
only their furtive sideways skittering
setting them apart
from fragments of coral and
(i only saw their tiny
legs once i had leaned in
today i filled my hands
with little shells
black and white and brown and
seemingly the same
each resident creature gathered
up the courage to come out
exploring the strange new surface
of my skin
revealing snail or
and then i told my dad that i
would write a poem about it.
that i would capture these
these days rolling beneath
liquid earth flying into roiling sea
twilit walks up an overgrown hill
wind tugging at branches heavy
bright hibiscus blooms
by bright nineteen-month-old.
i told him i would write
about the feeling
of salt in my hair
of the entire sea stretched out
of summery sunny sweetness
distilled into a morning
bowl of fruit
of looking up at stars
spattered across improbable skies
even the shyest among them
bright enough to see.
i told him i would prove
hot miles crossed on blistered feet
that i could write a poem
about two white crabs so small
i almost didn't see them.
i always meant
to prove that
darkness isn't the only thing
i know how to write about.
25 January 2017
To whom it may concern:
04 January 2017
22 April 2016
and i was picking pieces of myself
off the sidewalk
because there was no one there
to do it for me or to watch,
or to listen to the gulls screaming
carrion cries fighting over what bits of me i
a thumbnail here, or a
knucklebone bleached white
since morning, or a
hair, a tooth, a stone.
as the day frothed its last
against the shore, beating itself red
against the stalwart waves,
the impotent assemblage
groaned and cracked
and took up her place,
breathed a sodden, brackish breath:
asking where had the time gone,
and could we get it back,
and would it ever be possible
without falling apart
in the meantime?
06 April 2016
somewhere by the red rocks and the sea
where the breeze tangs of iron and salt
and the waves move more slowly in
there's a place set aside for the people like us
forged half from truth and half from fiction,
braced against the cliff where the seabirds nest
in great exposed stone catacombs ripe with
lichen and ossifying urea.
i stand with my toes hanging off the edge
where solid ground gives way to pure horizon,
waiting for what i know only in the unknown:
fathom only in the faceless forms of mythic artifact.
i will hear my calling once i have moved
beyond befores and afters, beyond the sweet
and terrifying certainty of now, or of then, or then.
when i am myself subsumed into the uncouth wind,
stripped of physic consciousness, borne upon
the biting, crafty wind,
only when i reach this formidable Beyond,
our febrile Eden will begin to grow
within what's left of me.
our ferocious, indeterminate Eden--
glutted on blood and lymph and
will reach Before every before,
and After each and every after,
and rescue us from ourselves
and from each other.
i stand with my toes hanging off the edge
of a cliff ever dropping clean and quick
into the sea. i take each step back, and i realize
that i am content to wait
for inspiration. i realize
that i am content to lay myself
before the reddening sun, the composite moon.
someday i will sing your song
to the stones and the waves.
today i am content to listen
as you sing to me.
08 March 2016
she always seemed so small
the corners of her mouth drawn down
brows forward, furrowed,
eyes ever wet with the myriad tears
she would never learn to shed.
i remember how she used to take two
corners of the sky, pull down and spin and
wrap it around herself like a blanket,
a shawl of moon and stars to breathe
and hide in.
i remember how
she used to be part of everything, and
everything used to be a part of her.
and when she folded in on herself
she disappeared, collapsed
into a singularity
of darkness and light,
of music and silence,
of crippling faceless fear and
ferocious unstoppable hope and--
her gaze, her smile, was the event horizon
beyond which no soul could ever hope
i remember when i found myself in her orbit:
a speck of dust tumbling headlong
around the body of a star--
but then she smiled, and looked down
at the ground, and in the darkness
all I could see
was the fitful glow of a firefly
clinging to the palm of my hand.
sometimes i wonder if the wind finally
tore her apart, scattered the pieces
like ashes from the burnt-out aftermath
of arson--or if the sea finally
came, sought her where she slept,
swallowed her wholly and quietly and
brought her back to the deepest place
where the water crushed down comfortingly
against her poor, wounded skin,
always full to bursting
with images and ideas and insight and
everything she couldn't contain
and everything that couldn't contain her.
i wonder if she is buried in the earth somewhere
or if she still wanders between the trees
of some forgotten forest,
her fingers understanding the texture
of each tree, each flower, each sunbeam,
i wonder if it is even possible for her to die
and if so, what that might look like
and if the world itself would still exist
once she had departed from it.
mostly i wonder where she might have gone
and if she might consider
to be with me again.