The path you were on
rolled up its tongue
like a faded red carpet
and swallowed itself.
You opened your mouth
to speak of it and your
voice fell out as silence,
like a baby bird from its
You felt hope pass away
inside you, but couldn’t find
Maybe the rumors are true:
how beyond the hope no
longer there, another will hope
for you, or how a demon
is just an angel that hasn’t
been hugged yet.
Though you always knew
grief was a window beneath
your skin and it would shatter
open, the world rushing into you
like an intemperate gust of wind
blowing your breath away.
You also knew there was
no loss you could not house.
So you repaired your hands
and reset your eyes and realigned
your feet and reshaped your heart
back into the shape of a kiss and
You, who knew our breaking is
malleable and bruises have sunrises
and wounds are wet clay, ready to
mold the dream inside hell’s
mind; where the air has not
been screamed to ash and horizons
are not made of smoke and piece
by piece, you built a causeway
out of your body for the light
the greener grass is fucked too
outside my grandparent’s condo in naples,
florida, a landscaper dressed in sweat
is digging out the singed, exanimate grass
to be replaced by fresh sod,
but the sun will continue to cauterize its wounds
and clouds will forget to weep for weeks on end
and dogs will continue to piss out of remembrance,
as the greener grass from some other side
will be stunned at how swiftly the world
can siphon the color out of a face;
how even a blade of grass can perish
in an astonishing amount of ways;
how life isn’t faithful to anything for long.
to study the living
is to be an expert
I am starving for numbness;
the butterflies in my stomach
I freeze my thoughts in this
white page like an explorer’s
brain in a glacier
that knew it was fucked
when its vessel became
another piece of ice.
And I might have to abandon
my tongue to survive,
my voice too heavy to carry
across miles of desolate possibilities,
and my veins are bursting pipes
in a home shaped like loneliness;
in a home with hope like coughing
furnaces, trying to utter what’s
no longer inside it.
My life is a fridge that preserves
and poems aren’t blankets, so a part
of me is always shivering like bee wings
in frigid realities,
desperate to save the hive
and some sweetness
and a god,
but my heart is as blue-lipped as the sky
I couldn’t kiss through walls of grey.
Yet a pen is frozen to my fingers,
and it keeps writing:
And then there was light,
And then there was light,
rubbing verbiage and syntax
together, as if branches
over a dry pile of breath
could give birth to a spark
the sun would worship.
I Didn’t Ask For This
Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay
To mould me man? Did I solicit thee
From darkness to promote me?
—John Milton, Paradise Lost
I suppose in my mother’s womb,
my initial heartbeats must have been
a star opening its eyes—
Thump: This will burn.
Thump: There’s so much darkness
to sort through.
A first breath: A door opening,
all of life bursting in at once.
Birth: the participation trophy
Are we born to share in the loss?
To hug what’s only ever being
To stitch unseen colors into
each other’s iris’?
To fill each other’s skies
with clearer horizons?
I wish I knew. I wish I didn’t have
to make wishes, so of course, I wish
I hadn’t been born; of course, my mother
has told me with tears becoming her lips
how love is what pulled me out of her body
towards the only light there is, both swelling
and retracting, full and incomplete like
I’ve always had the desire to wave,
though I never knew if it was hello
or goodbye, snagged in the middle
Thankfully, I’ll remember my death
as much as I remember my unasked for
And I suppose the quiet will hold my
fresh corpse like my mother first
held me; maybe kiss my head away
along with the whisper that isn’t there:
Hello, it’s been so loud for so long,