after she fell

a crinkle
in the earth’s cheek
caught her –
windswept, limp,
and ribbon-stripped
from every
angle.
so many angles!
earth cried,
so many cracks!
and cricks!
so many irretrievable
ticks –
denuded girl
strewn about
like images
like smells
on the pavement
hills and hills and hills
obscure her
grubs of feet
and twelvefold fury
every mouth
has its music
but every girl
has her routes
her particular drifts
she longed to be fluidic
a sort of purée
to be daubed
all over the earth –
the kindly, crinkly skin.
But Mademoiselle, I implore you –
Do not soften. Stay with us.
It’s far
too soon
for you
to melt.
Stay solid.

trance

In gloves made of shadow,
I would slink,
undiscerned,
through the gauze, enter
the sultry, lemon-swept
death-scent
of her deranged imagination.

I would brush
each eggplant-violet lip.
I would peel
her from
her viscous nightmares –

where sad sequences seep
graceful and paralytic

from the cracks
in her hands
made by the day.

The blueblack
light
strains against
her brow, even now.

Fatal Detachment

I stood in the light with a thorn
behind my ear

tongue fat with the effort
of pronouncing
its name:

Marilyn
with her black eye
Jesus
with his knocking knees

Every mouth in the world
dogged their movements

Every man, woman, and child knows
their pain.

It makes a poignant tableau:

a pretty pixel
to roll distractedly
between your fingers.

I stood in the light
with a thorn behind my ear

watching
with thin fascination

and Salvation bloomed
on both their lips.

the day my sister threw up a cathedral

[A Narrative Poem]

I was already mad, and sad,
because everyone hated me
because I was the reason
nobody was allowed to play
with skipping ropes at break time
all because of that one time
I tried to strangle
a girl with them.

Now I had bigger problems.
My sister was heaving
with the effort of
regurgitating
an ecclesiastical structure

And I was holding her hair back
while a congregational basilica
gagged her –
The spires, too, were especially vexing.

But what on earth
did you eat it for?
I fumed. Stupid girl.

Someone said I should, she mumbled,
while prayers peeled from her stomach
and bile dribbled
down her chin.
I don’t remember who.

I groaned, resigned,
and hugged her tight.
At least now we’re both
outcasts, I said,
and stroked her feverish head.

Poem: The Hole

Last night I dreamt
I had a hole in my hand.
Not a small hole
as though made
by a hole-punch
or a kitten’s claw in your tights
but a dark, cavernous pit
that I could look into and see
trapeze artists
and sea monsters
and sheep
and oily, disembodied smiles –

I told my dad about it but he just
said not to worry. Everyone
gets them from time to time. These holes.
What do you see in yours? I asked –

But he is spontaneously
replaced by a kraken.

The hole is me. I am the hole and
I am in the hole. There’s gum
stuck to my shoe –
can’t move –

the kraken roars –

A row of belching grandmas, watching
the show. Pink and orange
up in the air. Glitter. Terror.

Dad? I call out to the darkness.
There are echoes
and the cries
of a man
selling popcorn.

I stroke my palm to see
if that will make the hole go away.
My hand slips in, is bitten,
comes back
full of static.

I hope this is only temporary.