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i dont want to think about home anymore.

at some point almost everything i own is unfamiliar to me, i need the warmth to come back to my belly to remind me why i like to wear the things hanging in my closet. the jars in the refrigerator clink when i close the door to state their existence. 

my palms touched the back of your head somewhere in the middle of texas, it wasn't even night time but i couldn't see anything past your patterned shirt. this is visceral, this is sand on my skin that i can't get off, this is owning up to something, this is disappointing you. 

 

 

FLIMSY BIRD

i am thinking about birds, caught in the wind, caught in a lunch break with their wings spread floating above the water. above the miles and miles of emptiness, above me, cackling.

i am thinking about the point in the lake when the water is up to your stomach, it is cold and youre lifting your shoulders up to avoid the discomfort you put upon yourself. your friends are behind you, they are yelling at you, you are yelling at them, but no amount of yelling will get you under. it is to the count of three, and we begin, and we are there. 

im thinking about all the times i never said anything at all, in a place that probably could have used my voice. 

its about the unending dialogue in my head with my past. it is a forever game, no one is keeping score, but the decisions i made yesterday will always haunt me. i am trying to let things go, but i accept the past will never leave my present, no matter how hard i try to make it disappear.

im realizing that nothing is ever how you imagine, a hand on your shoulder from someone you love is different than a strangers, but its not worth explaining because what we are really after is the feeling, not a story.

 

 

CIVIL WAR EYES

the object is on the table. it is in the middle of the table, and it sits alone because it is the only thing left. i filled it with water two days ago, two days ago my legs were still working but i have lost feeling in everything connected to my heart, so today i sit, to watch the days evaporate.

the object is fragile, the object is breaking, and it is in the middle of the table. it sits alone because it is the only thing left. i filled it with water on monday, but now it is wednesday and my muscles are starting to rot, so today i sit, to watch the days evaporate.

im thinking about my fingertips on your face.

your cheeks looked like lumpy garbage, because you ate too much cake and your skin had never forgiven you for your incessant acne picking habit. you said i was sweet, i said you were soft. we met somewhere in the dark, in between the sweaty thighs and drooling mouths of everyone else who existed between you and me.

we lived here together, under the loneliness that kept us warm, in our bed that kept us quiet. your bones creaked when you turned on your side at night, in our bed, under our sheets. it is dark and night, i never fell asleep as quickly as you so i lie next to your breath, scattering my fears and confusions into the space above us.

how will you hurt me? and what do you know that i do not.

how do you exist inside of me? to grow my hair, and to form my curls.

the object is on the table and it sits in its own sweat. im thinking about the trees in the front yard. they are maple and they have lost all their bark. their insides shine with a newness that makes me uncomfortable, a nakedness that no one ever wanted.

do you remember when we talked about how your ears were going to get really fucked up when you were old? i hated that time had anything to do with how i thought about you, and there is some part of me that feels badly for what i said, but its not anything you can control. im not sorry your ears are going to turn into deflated balloons, my thighs are going to double in size and my pants are not going to fit how they should. youll have those fucked up ears and ill be restricted to elastic waistbands. the difference is that you always thought the squirrels had done that to the trees. squirrels had nothing to do with it, the trees debarked themselves.

i drank too much in the car and started crying before we even got to the party. the snot was down to my chin and a bib of salt was sticking to my chest, you put your hand on me for comfort and you said everything was going to be okay, but at this point my eyes were already too swollen to see how sincere your words were and the space your palm made on my neck spoke louder in my ear than your voice ever could. the emptiness hummed of a better life, one where i shatter your kneecaps and hold your face down to the gutter. one where your eyes are boiling, your hair is falling to your shoulders in clumps, and you will be your own mess that you can never clean up. the emptiness hums in my ear of a better life, it warms my throat and calms my heart. i will drown you in your sleep, and i will bury you in my dreams.

i left you in the middle of the field. i tried to look in the rear view mirror but time had already taken your ankles, the bourbon had turned sour in my stomach and i threw up the meal you had made me an hour ago. an hour and the candles were lit, i was rubbing your thigh with mine, we were eating filet and broccoli and now your favorite sweatshirt is soaking it up in the seat you just abandoned. 

this is a leg. this is the table. the car is silver, the object is empty, the glass is on the table and the bed is made.

i wake with the sun, distanced from the thoughts that bring you back to my side. my brain hasnt woken up yet, so for a few more minutes i lie and remain in an unreality.

i think about cooking my children. germs. cutting off my wrists, and eliminating the dull pain that lives in my spine. i think about the undercurrent that no one sees. pulling out my hair, and breaking my arms. 

 

i am building a wall for no one, each brick arguing with the other because nothing knows why its there. the wall is taller than me and it is weak, made thin so that i can hear you through it.

maybe this is where you tell me about that time you locked yourself in the bathroom at a dinner party of your moms. you were standing at the counter, barely tall enough to see the reflection, barely old enough to know yourself, to feel your sweaty hands on your empty stomach. you think about the hard marble meeting your teeth, the cold water running behind your eyeballs, your dirty fingernails embarrassing your mother

maybe this is where you tell me why you are so angry, that you figured out it has to do with the crisp sheets on your bed and the sterile breakfasts each morning. each ingredient carefully considered, the meal prepared as a token of responsibility, not of love. the pots were warm on the stove, hot enough to burn you, but nothing was ever in them. lift the lid and take a deep breath in, your mom is calling you from across the room, she is whispering to the walls, she is gone to the wind.

this is where you tell me that youve figured it out, things are much calmer now and its going to be a lot better. you say this and your eyes are clear but your toenails are rotting. bad things come in threes, i am the third and i am the first.

maybe this is when the beat finally matches the banging of the drums, everything clicks into place and the white carpet below your feet becomes a soft place for your toes. the drums are to carry the beat, to drown out our hearts, to confuse the smile in your eyes.

maybe this is the day that i finally get to see the insides of your hands, the squish of your palm and the wrinkles that lead to the bends. i could be on a boat. i could be alone, floating down each one of your wrinkles. sleeping outside under the stars. curled up inside your pocket.

i am building a wall for no one, each brick arguing with the other because nothing knows why its there. the wall is taller than me and it is weak, made thin so that i can hear you through it.

the cup is on the table, the object is still, and it is starting to disappear. it is in the middle of the table, and it sits alone because it is the only thing left. i am the roof above our heads, the emptiness that we created together seat belted to my heart.

TO REMEMBER AND TO KEEP GOING

i remember being picked up from the airport, it was back in the day when visitors could come all the way to the gate to greet everyone coming off of the plane. my grandmother was wearing a long skirt, my grandfather his khakis and sweater. they looked happy to see us but they felt like strangers, their smell was unfamiliar as her skirt brushed against my nose. this is your family, this is your life, these are people you trust. i don’t ever remember being touched, im sure i was hugged but there was a distance in both of them that felt confusing to me. i wanted to express this to my mom, to ask her questions, but the questions didn’t form into anything tangible until it was too late. these two people made you? this person made you meals, everyday? how did you become a person that i know? do you love them?

i am my mom more than she is her mom.

when you die you start to shrink.