You've Never Felt For Me

Take me by the hands
Let us intertwine our
fingers Like our ugly
lives and Overlapping
toes Like the city we
love to memorize Up
here on the roof
Kiss me with everything
You've never felt for me
Then shove me over the
edge Let me spill across
the sidewalk Somersault
Into another dimension
You will be forgiven I will
be forsaken No one will
be alive to know What
happened But for you
And your uncrying heart
Please spare me from
Yourself My knees are
purple from begging
You who've molded
my theories Like putty
and Taken the sparkle
from my eyes To keep
in your pocket Where
it will live Even after
I'm dead and gone.

Dubai panorama. From the top of the world's tallest building.

Follow Me

There is no time, shouted the wrinkled man with a folded spine, wildebeests running across his eyeballs. He wished he were one of them. Getting the hell out of there. If she gathered everything she wanted from her cabin, they would be sacrificed to the sea. Anna took a long gaze at her jewelry box and gilded picture frames from the doorway. The old man hissed at her as he hobbled towards the exit. Really, her hesitation lasted the smallest of moments, but a split second becomes eternity when you can hear the ocean gushing towards you, when you're already in the belly of the ship, below water, practically daring the ocean to swallow you whole.

He wasn't ready to go home to the angels. Though he'd lived a long and full life, he couldn't ignore the feeling that he had many more good years on the planet. He had great grandkids with full heads of red hair and the most achingly beautiful granddaughters an old man could imagine. He had no wife, he hadn't had one for a while, but he had children and true friends and a house down the street from a deep blue lake where he fished every day from May through September.

The girl stepped back into the room. She was drawn to her things like Sleeping Beauty to the spindle. She had gold in her eyes and the devil on her shoulder. The man yelled from his belly, stop! You're going to drown! But the sound came only from his throat. Spindly and quiet. He'd run out of that kind of power decades ago.

He hated her. She didn't deserve to live if she believed pretty things to be bigger than a life. What did she think would happen if the ship went down? Did she fancy herself a mermaid? Did she think she could outrun the ship, the weight of the ocean, the force of God? He staggered towards her, purple fingers stretching for her ivory neck.

Follow me now, or you will die. 

And then he turned and fled. He wanted to look back but he feared this would kill him. He did not see his life flash, rather the faces of his children hurtled through his mind at an alarming speed. With each face, he climbed another rung of the ladder. He was the last person saved from the ship.


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Errant words of wisdom mosey through my mindStrutting like rhinestones, sparkling but weak I kiss them hello with lips that will curse them Roused by sincere reverence that fades by tomorrow.

I am no hypocrite. I am someone with dreams Smooth and supple on the inside, pretty on the outside Lungs crimson with blood rather than charred with Smoke and fire and tumors stocked with poison.

The church says to confess and repent and be healed But God already knows every heart I've broken, so I tell them to go to hell, they say I'm going there soon I say we might be here already.

There's no escaping destiny when it's contained by Sagebrush and juniper trees, tumbleweeds and desert breezes Stale motel rooms where a companion costs extra Even the pizza man if he comes in and shuts the door.

God does not want me to heal, God wants me to Bruise and bleed so I can slip out of this body and Into another. Maybe my soul was not ripe enough for now Maybe this valley leads to a mountain with a view.

When I climb out from under my skin, the scars will stay Dissolving with the defiled flesh of a hypocrite A liar, a thief, a charlatan, a childless mother. Everything temporary like this body I never learned to love.

Everything to Lose

Written for Trifecta. The prompt is to use the third definition of "crack." There were no words in her mind, no being left to be, no imagination tugging at her lapels every time she laid down to sleep. Avery's talent had been siphoned away, like the bone marrow from a willing donor or the breath from a man who'd hung himself.

But Avery was neither willing nor suicidal. The sentences slipped out through the hole in her heart. Where everything important to her had once resided with vigor. The husband that disappeared, and the son with him, and finally the career as a writer. They called her promising. She abided by her dreams and built something from nothing. Until evil kidnapped her everything.

She sits in coffee shops and watches the people, the pages before her as blank as the first snowfall of winter lit by the dawn. They look so proud, climbing out of smooth shiny cars, faces pointing towards the sun like flaxen sunflowers. They beam at one another with nonfictional jubilation, they focus on their work when they sit, they curl their tongues and bite their lips and pucker their eyes. Life pours out of their crevices because they know they have everything. Avery wants to warn them, she wants to slip each of them a note.

If you have everything, then you have everything to lose.

She moves to Paris to write. Where cafe tables populate sidewalks and sidewalks meander into unmarked alleyways. Where children chain smoke and women with ripe round bellies drink glasses of wine. She buys opium from a street peddler with a chipped face and she smokes it over the electric stove in her rented white-walled studio. She hears words strung into run-on sentences. She presses her ear against a crack in the wall, but the voices aren't coming from the neighbor she's never seen.

The voices are coming from inside of her head.

Tsunami Sirens

The last spray of lemongrassThe first note of deluge, sew Shut the eyes and bare witness To divine intervention, the air Smells heady as cracked leather Ominous like tsunami sirens Betraying the quietude of lingering Waves swallowing with infinite jaws Leaving behind empty sloughed Away skins and skeleton roads From up here on the crest I see Them run, dragging leaden feet As they consider making their Resting place the ocean, cold with Serenity yet welcoming, simple Enough to be swept away like Coming from a lover's touch.


Perhaps we have reached the endForsaken by everything trustworthy Starved by our own prerogative Festering into odious spunk Never mind the shelf life lasts Forever. Our toes point behind us Our fingers point somewhere in The distance, an arabesque into The future, two uneven halves Divided with nothing left for the Now. We mow our grass though It never stops growing, we pay For superfluous insurance just To be safe. We spurn safety For money, we declare war on Life by spraying verdure with Poison, we hedge the present With gold and still moments captured By the lens, immortalized by the Screen, because we matter and Those smiles will someday climax And though we prepare for it, we Will never be ready for it, so what I pray is the point in trying?

Infinite Loop

I sleep not, rest notEat not, taste not Kiss not, love not Unless I'm with You

Take my fingers I know they're cold, let's Travel to panoramic views Where mountains float like Birds

I'll wait while you collect Souvenirs of this entanglement My wings flapping in rhythm With the cycles of the Moon

Once she's carried me home Turn your face towards heaven I'll return as a raindrop I'll caress your face with Water

There is no end to us As there was no beginning We exist as points upon the circle Repeating this infinite Loop.

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Run. Run far away andPlease do come back, not like A boomerang, like you. I want you rosaceous red Steeped in clouds and sweat, Brown like earth so deep it is Impossible to dig up. Tall like The volcano in the distance Reminding us of our inadequacy. Murderous like the abominable Snowman, not a monster nor a Storybook creation but a man Who kills foxes with his bare Hands and wrestles snarling bears When they've eaten his dog's Heart, leaving the rest to rot. I want the tears of people You've never touched to flow Leaving a trail of crumbs Blue dots in white snow indicating The road you've traveled, like Plastic bottles hanging off of Tree branches. I will always find you You will always find me. Once you've Felt their pain in your kidneys In every compartment of your spine You can return to me. Leave the Remains buried atop the volcano Where there's a view, where his Spirit will want to visit, where we Will want to visit, too. For we are Never far from the paradise we built It lives inside our beating hearts Like a ship in a bottle, filed away under "Secrets" until our brains turn off and we Exist in the context of bright light rather than Love and fear, God's yellow face, the dots Piercing the night sky: stars or airplanes Or alien dimensions.


Somebody Got Shot

I told them to go: Daddy,Take her to her favorite place The library. Pick up the Thai food And come home, be safe.

They come home and I kiss them We eat together, then we watch Fantasia while I stretch and Daddy works. A normal evening.

Except for the police racing about Daddy wondered why, I said: Guns The last time I saw them speeding Without sirens, somebody got shot.

The neighborhood blog flashed a notice: A shooting at the corner, near the library At 6:45. My reasons for living crossed paths With a gunman, and I sent them.

I get on my knees, blessing my Angels, my worst fears curling and Charred, touched by the fires of hell While I pray for their mothers.

My Heart Pumps

My heart pumps Sticky red, thick red, thin red And other things Fear becoming pain and longing Love becoming joy and hope. I know no end only eternity I cannot replace all fear with all love I sit with what is Flowing like a river or a highway Endlessly until the curtain falls and I am Dead. But I am not only Dead I am only somewhere else Unseen, unknown Far away and every where. My heart No longer animated by spirit Rots or burns, no longer bleeds Unfeeling but all knowing. I am invisible, like oxygen In the clouds, the rain The grass, the flowers, the trees, the light Melting expanding deepening widening Changing transforming evolving Like ice becoming water Like water becoming steam Like pain becoming joy Like longing becoming hope Like fear becoming love. My heart Pumps, for now.

letting go

Written for Trifecta. She looks between her legs, white paper stained crimson. It wasn't supposed to happen this way.

Her body, round as Mother Earth, heaves, like the ship against the waves. She tries holding her breath, drowning herself in the murky density of the mind.

"I want to die!" she shouts when the pain subsides. But her voice comes out of the wrong end. It travels inward rather than out. She doesn't have much time until the next attack. Thought falls into the shadow of suffering. The core of her cramps.

"You're going to survive," a man says. The tightening squeezes the life out of her. She climbs into his words.

You... Will... Survive...

She lives inside of the words. Intellect dissolves and their essence cradles her in an Elysian cocoon. She knows she is dying.

"Let me go," she says. "Throw me to the sea." But the interlude doesn't last. Force demands freedom. The big boom, the beginning of the universe, travels through her body, splitting open her pelvis. She bares down, until she realizes she is about to break in two like a seashell.

"Push your hardest, then let it go. Push, let go. Push, let go."

Push... Let go...

The first time she opens up, she does not break, she widens. Heaven passes through the hole in her body.

Faceless arms hand her a tiny child, naked and disoriented. Blankets, a hat descends, gloved fingers point her nipple between miniature lips. She holds his squirming body against her own. She looks at the suckling chin, a chin she already knows well. She thinks of nothing, not of love or of pain, but of what she has learned about mothering.

The hardest part is letting go.

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Ramona the Witch

Written for Trifecta "When you die, you will come back as a snake," said the strange new girl with strawberry hair and oriental eyes, as if she were casting a spell on my brother while we waited under crispy red trees for the school bus. Ramona had moved in with her grandmother in July and she wore only black, even on the stickiest summer days while the rest of us were up to our chins in the community swimming pool.

My brother, Chase, vexed Ramona by claiming that Mrs. Augustine was not her real grandma. Ramona spent the whole bus ride staring at Chase, giving him an eye so evil my mother would have covered his buzzed blonde head with a blanket. She was superstitious about things like that.

Ramona didn't have one friend. She stalked my brother at recess, watching him like a cat waiting to pounce. Sometimes I didn't notice it was my turn on the monkey bars because I was busy watching her watching him.

One morning, when my breath cut the fog, Chase asked Ramona to stop staring at him. She whispered, "never," and goosebumps prickled the back of my neck. I wanted to confess our troubles to mother, but Chase forbade me. He believed in courage over weakness, silence over scandal.

On Halloween, Chase dressed up as death and I turned into a black cat, whiskers and all. We begged mother to let us go trick-or-treating on our own. She walked and we needed to run. We wanted more candy than houses in our neighborhood. We wanted to hedge our childhood with sugar. Even then, we sensed it would be over soon.

The first thing the driver saw was a black cat in the road. Not me, but a real black cat. She swerved to avoid it, like pulling your hand out of boiling water. The last thing she saw was a skeleton flying through her windshield. A little boy, wearing all black and white bones.

blind chance

Written for Trifecta. She scratches her cheek, wondering if this is a psychological or a physiological response. She's no longer sure of what's real and what's imagined, or if the line even exists. Something real can be imagined and something imagined can be real.

Does she hear spirits because she doesn't want to be alone, or because they're there? Whispering in her ear, tickling her face, playing with her hair.

Is she sick because she wants to be? Are the ghosts here to lead her to the other side? Or is she dead already?

All she knows is that she knows nothing. Which is why she makes no decisions for herself.

She learned during her life as a foster child that the only way to live is by blind chance. She would do whatever they told her to do. If she disobeyed, they would hate her. Since she had no love, she was petrified of hate.

When her foster mother told her to finish her dinner, she did. When her foster brother told her to take off her clothes, she did. When the social worker told her to keep her mouth shut, she did. When they told her to leave, she moved out. When a rich man offered to take her off of the park bench and into his bed, she followed him. When she got sick, she told no one because there was no one to tell..

She is ready to die.



VenomSlithers and slices Shoots and fights.

Nature Nurtures and suckles Shackles and kills.

The living Desperate to matter Thirsty for more.

The dead Are gone to us But where did they go?

Other dimensions Far and near As real as this one.

The unknown One step ahead We'll never catch up.

Fear Feeds on the unknown Festers in the faithless.

Faith The only way To be okay.

image via

You are perfect.

I am a mother. Ailed by my children. Deserted by my husband. Abandoned by the angels.

But mother, you are perfect.

I am a little girl. Kicked by my mother. Ignored by my father. Raped by my teacher.

But little girl, you are perfect.

I am an old woman. Forsaken by love. Alone by death. Hopeless by life.

But old woman, you are perfect.

How can I go on?

Drink your tears Let sorrow metastasize into joy. Heed the lesson Turn your face towards the sun.

Abandonment makes room for love, Abuse undresses the ugly. Without a valley There's no view from the mountain.

You were born perfect Steeped in a cup of grace. Painted by the devas Kissed by the breath of life.