Fat Babies

if you ask me, that conversation is tucked away
from when there were no expectations
from talks of wedding plans, rendezvouses,
and fat babies. i’d gladly drink

my memories messy like I’m drinking from a sieve—of a boy
who was supposed to change, but couldn’t. i do
not know how to love someone with that sort of intensity that i loved
him back when i was sixteen, and he held me while his cheeks rolled wet

when i told him: “you don’t have to say it back, but

i love you”

i don’t know if i will live another
moment as pure as the first time i watched him cry for me, half wanting
to kiss away his tears and half rejoicing. sometimes i wonder if he still cries
for his girl who got away, the girl who makes him hate

musicians, for the sound of an e minor chord makes him choke
on the memory of lips locking
in the practice room, behind hushed doors and barred windows. i want him

to remember the names we said we’d choose—how we promised to
keep his middle name for our fat babies.

i want him to remember Me.

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New Toys

mangirl.pnginput:
                   racecars: decreased agility, increased stability
player: macho muscled manly

output:
                   My movements are fluid, morphed creature in lines and curves, doodles
on a blank page, like a museum          or a mausoleum. I’m the animal
preserved in amber: slow, but precise.            These walls cannot tear me,
nor can they hide my pride when I rip the sun to feed my engine. Gasoline
          is too expensive when you buy it like sunlight, like it has something to give
          scrappy boys                                     who love cars.

input:
racecars: increased agility, decreased stability
player: pink perfect peach

output:
                   I curved around the tracks once, feeding                   sorrow
          to the asphalt, and the skies were feuding gray, dripping diamonds like syrup.
          It shook me, like a gunshot. As I swerved, I could feel my core tighten,
          electric and radiant.                   I am an assassin, a killer, a champion.

     I run my finger down the seam of my bodysuit, a prayer, like destiny of motherhood.
     It’s the color of raw topaz. Alien.                   A mob is gathering in my amygdala,
     like lanterns ablaze with the children crying. I am rare flesh to peering eyes,
     a warm body in a foreign suit, on the tracks for the carnivores to peel apart.

          See! My ovaries are on display like an x-ray.

Rocket Man

 

mangoesonmarsI.
the mango skin unsheathed at first touch, under his veined hands,
awash in stardust. its ripe flesh: the first sign of life in a space wasteland.
that was the first time she fell in love with her Rocket Man,
who taught her to stare at the sun without blinking, promised
to fly her away under shooting stars. claimed that mangoes grow faster on mars

and she believed him.

II.
in her thermal suit, her knuckles were cold, but the atoms inside her body were still
moving, even at zero kelvin: the state of perpetual stillness. he held her hand
as they stared heavenward, stared at the celestial bodies, stared at the stars beaded by silver ribbon,
then he took her inside his ship and made love to her under a thousand galaxies of unknowns.

III.
three facts about space:

  1. it is very cold and very dark
  2. the speed of light is faster than the speed of falling in love, just slightly
  3. mangoes can’t grow on mars

IV.
when stars die, they glow brightest: a supernova
consuming its host galaxy in its wide mouth. she watched it bloom
bright red, before swallowing the sky like kindling.
then: a black hole, a rip in the time-space continuum. she knew it was dead
even as it burned. 

V.
the truth is: you are never supposed to look at the sun without blinking;
you should shield your eyes before it blinds you,
or risk crashing into it altogether.

From Grace

Graceful throat, my lungs are hollow,
On thrones, I sing, on Earth, I wallow.
Swollen tongue lead and battered lips mine—
The faith of men,
in man divine.

Snowy peaks and mountains red,
pure lust has turned the life I’ve led.
Repent, resent,
good souls fall fast
the descent.

My king’s gone mad.

I’d fry my bones
to hear them crunch,
burn my flesh in flames
(I, a humble
lunch).

Flighty Bird (A Villanelle)

songbird

Yes, in another life, I’ll be a bird in the sky,
born and bathed in sunlight and dew.
I’ll be singing love songs ‘til the day that I die.

I hum sweetly to the ears of those passing by,
and bask in the sun ‘round I flew,
Yes, in another life, I’ll be a bird in the sky.

When the clouds draw close, darken, and sigh,
I shut my eyes and dream of you.
I’ll be singing love songs ‘til the day that I die.

Wiser men have lived lives far greater than I,
though they surrendered their songs, from their lips I drew.
Yes, in another life, I’ll be a bird in the sky.

I could never silence my love, unholy sweetness of mine,
to your wildness and temper, I cannot bid adieu.
I’ll be singing love songs ‘til the day that I die.

God will see to my wings, He will let me soar high,
He’ll shape my wings from marble, wide and true.
Yes, in another life, I’ll be a bird in the sky.
I’ll be singing love songs ‘til the day that I die.

Worth

Catharine Mackinnon wrote:
“man fucks woman; subject verb object”
but I am not an object, something to be filled.
Old me: focused and driven, all sharp suits and eyes
straight A’s and big dreams (they call it ambition
in men.) But I was told that that brain of mine is just an organ
and not a personality.

I am an hourglass, a time bomb,
I am Marilyn and a china doll all in one;
I wanted a quick mouth and strong words,
to be a lion and a dove—how awfully and utterly confusing!
So my sisters, tell me—should I be ashamed
for the way my body curves? should I apologize
for the way I was created? for having hips and an ass
and breasts: signs that I am a woman?

My face is rippling and his reflection stood still
and all I did was love, like Lucifer loved God too much
See where that got him: kicked like a dog.
Fallen, black, and sooty
and here I am just trying to regain my grace:
my wings, my dignity.

I’m as bitter as my coffee
but then I remember: I am not an object his palms can warm
and my brain is my personality, practical and quixotic;
perfectly paradoxical and fantastic.
I took the other path this time—
the one dictated by my head
His me: quick tongue, skin,
all flesh, and hot words that heat his bed
So sometimes he will come back, head hung,
an apology clenched between his teeth.
Alas, bulls in a china shop; that’s all.

6:30 AM Arrival

There are beaconed street lamps down a long pathway
because the sun has not set, or risen, or both—depends
on yesterday and today. The ghosts of sunsets past have not left
to impede the sunrise and keep the colors from spreading,
keep me from floating to you.
My gale filled palms slipped on my skin,
loosely, weary for a new day. Sun, or moon, or both—depends.

Take a woman wailing under the moon, without home or with,
wrapped in white cloth, ratted and dirty, wailing, a moonstruck lunatic.
If you feed her some sparrow’s tongue, toss her in the woods, maybe
she’ll start singing.

If only I had heard the sound—
that whoosh of dust and empty space, rumble
like something great is happening, like the earth is beginning to rupture,
like my skin will burst open to reveal a network of veins,
linked and patterned like shedding snakeskin.
But I walk in and silence stalls. Just old men glued to their papers
and me, wool coat and silken pockets.

Monsoon rains and salted wind—I feel the trees trembling,
but I don’t hear the rumble of your arrival. And then the lights come on
bright and furious, a roar. I see wool and silk and a silhouette of a man,
and I am not alone.