Observe your breath –
is it still
there?
Observe your breasts
as they rise and do they
fall as you do,
limbs leaden,
their loss of lift leading you
to
this ground your grave,
this water your weightless
end, your eternity.
observe your breath –
picture it
perforated
cut off, choked out
observe your breasts
imagine them
motionless, meant for love no more
meaningful than the ones you’ve known before
this embrace
this farewell your final
fist in the fight.
now.
observe your breath.
is it still
there?

 

The low road bears your name,

wet, heavy, hard to read
each letter stretched close enough to forever,
a code understood only by those who have lived inside you,
behind the mess and smell,
in a hole small enough to permit no movement
no progress forward. 
 
The high road doesn’t exist. 
 
Left on a middle road, 
searching for something known in my veins
but never by me, 
there are only shades of grey. 
 
It’s easy to get lost on any trip,
to turn in circles, forget north, due west, and home.
It’s easy to blame the road,
search for signs, 
hunt for letters and names.
 
It’s easy to walk past the truth of the journey
time, time, time and again,
to build your vaunted high road
out of sticks and stones
and walk there in lockstep
with everyone you said you were.

 

How I am using you to remember rage and despair.
How easy it is to forget.
How you are just the latest in a long line of excuses to be less than, less than, less than.
How I do not always know what I am doing until I realize what I have done.
How I am never enough
but always too much.
How I consume people whole,
how I wish it wasn’t true.
How I have changed and how I will never change.
How I am testing my limits and the end of the story.
How I am built like this
and cannot be any other way.
How I had hoped for something different.
How I always make it just the same.
How I do know what I do not want to know.
How I do not know what to do,
how to change it.

when you are being consumed
the rhythm and routine of lying can save you
the shaking hand shakes hands and makes the deal
nods the head
spreads the smile
keeps talking
moves the feet
north.

when you are deep in it
on the ground
covered in sweat dripping
with blood that doesn’t belong to you
trying to catch your breath
and
looking for where you left your icy calm
your even breath,
when you are folded and origami,
when you are raggedrottenbleeding
when you are victorious,
when you are now sated
now at peace
now hungry no more
now grinning madly
spinning in place
now childlike with wonder
now at home, now breathing easy, now beating steadily, now like the rest of them
now like the rest of them,
know that you are not like the rest of them.

I’ll write you letters of love that I love, my love,

the golden rule carved into a heart, on a tree where our names should be.

I’ve pretended to forget you while chasing your name in veins

now, I wring hands and write hymns meant to praise you without selling you so well some other she comes to purchase before I can find purchase here,

before I can stand on solid ground in some corner of your heart cheap enough for the only offer I can make.

I’ll write you letters of love that I love, my love, but when the time comes to read them so that you may care to read me we’ll find

my voice

is no bell

this uncertainty sews itself into my skin
until even the idea of balance would steady me, these shaking hands
grasping for a touch to stir
something in me I’ve left behind
and lost to that part of yesterday we’re still trying to sleep through to the end of,
grasping for something other than the fragility found in places we were sure we knew
so well we could never leave them
even as they were leaving us weak
kneed and emptied out,
left to try to stand still, silent, still
searching for a way to hide the intent assigned to our caution,
the meaning behind the spaces between.