flesh

many have proclaimed,

the flesh is weak,

 

but I’ve never been so sure.

for the flesh contains whole galaxies

and innumerable lifetimes

each tragic, each beautiful

 

tell me, have you ever tasted another’s tears?

warm like anticipation in the chest

the second before a release

rich with cinnamon and deep sea salt

from where all the rivers converge

and have held hands,

made memories

through the sun and storms

of centuries past

 

have you noticed the melody

in words spoken just for you?

whispered and willed

into etchings on the soul

just as time

etches ridges into bark,

grain into wood

 

have you ever held a broken heart?

felt how its pieces clutch one another?

fingers taut

scratching and scoring one another

until the chasms are closed

deep caverns form,

where ghosts live

and reminisce

 

oh, the flesh is weak

 

that being the only tangible truth,

we seek strength

we seek refuge in what we know

flesh

covers

flesh

devours

flesh

embraces

flesh

 

ss.

 

Published in The Lettered Olive, Volume 11 in 2014.

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too many don’ts // doubt-nots

 

I don’t feel here

I see what is and know most of it isn’t

Speak what I think I know

and call bullshit

But words change with time

I mean well

 

Overwhelmed

We could die at any moment

yet we don’t I guess

don’t leave me

either we live at the world’s end

or be ended

 

this living was not my choice

but thank you

where’s the reset I’m done

but I can’t be

I’m hung so don’t touch me

will you hold my hand

 

empty fills

but I don’t know that I’m going

take me with you

don’t forget to take care

people don’t break easy

 

laissez-faire self-destruction

just don’t mind me

watch and learn and wait and pray

maybe one day will

run into moonlight, don’t come back

 

same old new shit daily

we sleep under stars only through windows

I can’t find no more I knows

maybe only I notice

and wind blows away

 

people near, not close

learn to try to think

but don’t push me

be all you can’t be

we are what are

 

 

ss.

 

note: this poem is from 2015, earlier, and I still feel it, and get lost in it, and confused but calmed at its twists and plunges.

longing

Inherently devoid of limits

I have no destination,

no estimated time of arrival

Enamored by possibility,

I gratefully seize any opportunity

to embrace,

or to share a gaze,

or a life

 

I could never simply want you,

for you are not a garment to be worn

material wealth serves only to

rend the heart

and the accessories of the soul

are intangible

 

My naiveté seeks to understand

you

why I could never

recite your definition to another

or properly explain

the metaphor

rolling in the depths of your ocean

 

But I long for it all the same

 

Your ups and downs

like the tides for me

pushing and pulling,

guiding me subtly

Synchronized

with the inconsistency,

in currents flowing

every which way

Constant motion,

a paradox I move

and go unchanged

 

For I do not just want you

one cannot possess the ocean

I long for you

enamored by possibility,

I gratefully seize

any opportunity

to be engulfed

in a crashing wave

or to see your spray

catch the sun’s light

or to spend my days

kept afloat only by the gentle push

and fervent pull

of your volatile, fluid arcs

 

ss.

smoke

I’ve been meaning to write about you,

how you’re so much like smoke on my lips,

a release

 

I inhale and am filled

knowing that there is no way to keep each moment

expel

and watch curls around my finger from the death stick,

smile as we blow cares into the moonlight

I remember, we said “everything is temporary”

as we lit our fires

 

even then those words hung and haunted

now they ground me, I clutch them for sanity, for reason

To tell myself that I should have known

I should have expected this

 

but it seems reason has no home here,

or else I wouldn’t suck down cancer and notice only the pleasantries

harsh smoke wouldn’t make me want another, soothing hit

I wouldn’t choke on my thoughts when I try to tell you that you’ve hurt me

 

For lack of a better metaphor,

you’re like a cigarette and I’m trying to quit

I’m trying not to think of you on a beautifully lazy, sunny day

or in the deep calm of a late night

I crave you every time alcohol touches my lips

and I don’t want to dwell on how nice it would be to have my coffee with you

 

but I’m unsatisfied with or without you so what do I do

You seem satisfied, you say you are so could you teach me?

Could you give me at least that? My mind is spent

from all the arguing and consoling and believing we had to do

without your help,

you see relationships are meant to grow

but somewhere along the way you stopped standing so close

your smile was forced, your voice was cold

 

So I retreated into my own head, in hopes to understand

and by now you’d think I would,

friends, lovers, or nothing and we chose the former

but you didn’t get to see the glimmer

in your eyes when we saw your favorite band

or the expression in them when we would talk about the moon

 

but I guess that’s why you weren’t looking for those things in mine,

never realized that I just wanted to lay openly with you

carefree and as much ourselves as we know how to be

I thought we could be uncertain together

 

but maybe my heart does want too much and I know my lungs are greedy

but I want you to think of me when something makes you laugh

I want you to want your mouth and hands and shadow on me

but your point and middle fingers are occupied

and your tongue is dancing with that smoke between us

so I smile and sit closer, hoping you’ll see me as it clears

 

I remember, we said

“everything is temporary”

wistfully I repeat those three words in my head

as I watch my smoke dissipate

without yours to combine

 

and its not the same

Though I exhale

I find myself still waiting to truly release

and forgive, because everyone is who they are

and we aren’t who we are for each other

 

I can’t fault you for us not fitting

but I was so fixed on the way you nestled between my lips

that I didn’t notice when our smoke began to burn blue

that you had drifted away and I was still kissing you

 

I remember, we said

“things works out the way they’re supposed to”

 

so, thank you

for reminding me of what I look forward to

because I used to catch a glimpse of it with you

and I’m beginning to believe in it again, too

as the smoke clears

 

ss.

wants

IMG_0702

 

I want to run to always and never

to stay changed, stay sane, stay the same

 

I want to grow deeper,

think further

 

to taste fear swallow me whole and hold my heart in your hands in my hands

 

I want to feel safe in the unknown,

to build my own home in the clouds, meeting sunsets at my door

 

I want to dream and be present; I want something more

to run through rivers and fly inside of mountains one day

 

I want more than I know

I want that to be okay

 

 

ss.

 

i am not my body

 

I am what lives among the bumps and thumps of this beating heart

it is I who travels to all the places I’ve been and places that have yet to exist in one sitting

 

I live deep in the caverns of these brown eyes

where the warm liquid of a buried sun pulses and yields life

I swim in the light, diving playfully and purposefully into its ever brighter depths

night comes – I peer and pour into the universe that surrounds and fills me

where darkness begets impossible beauty and uncertainty is hopeful in its very nature, for even dead stars converse with our souls

 

I am not my body

I am the heart of the battle within myself, a hurricane in all its reckoning

The calm eye and torrential winds – what power in the synchronicity of the two

Chaos and calm, forming an inimitable whole

 

I pray not with my hands but with the fervor of ten thousand congregations, to every god and none at all

that those I love know that they are ever more than some

body

 

because tell me,

have you ever tasted another’s tears? warm like anticipation in the chest a second before the release

rich with cinnamon and deep sea salt, from where all the rivers converge and have held hands,

made memories through the sun and storms of centuries past?

 

We are not our bodies

We are the stuff of dreams and more than is imaginable, moments without location, time, or place

We are strange friends and friendly strangers

So come along with me and we’ll escape into ourselves where without these bodies,

we can finally, fully, freely be

 

ss.