It's all about her,-I had never wished to know the moon,
or the burning gaze of her lover.
I am merely a forest of silences,
old dogwoods & untamed hair.
-But, I made a promise
to a bone collector once.
He could have my spine,
my kneecaps, &
one flowered rib,
wrapped & bowed-up
like a present
-if he could fall in love
with things that slip through his fingers:
-“It would be a sin to love you,
my dear sweet wolf;
you will always cry for the moon.”
A lion among sheep.There are ghosts in my bloodstream
kissing concrete cells &
the bedroom eyes of nerve endings.
( foreign words
engraved into my marrow, birds in my chest
& wars not yet fought between my hips. )
I've taken myself apart every night
since I learned how to swallow a pen
limb by steady limb.
Passed around by grabby hands,
a sold, & borrowed daughter;
I am a lion among sheep,
drunk on life & ink.
your name has a familiar tasteunder the moth-like hum of a lamppost,
your lips molded around hers like a cast
mending a broken wrist.
i stood motionless and watched
as her figure became shapeless,
conforming to your crevices and
letting your hands glide over it
like sudden rain clouds.
as i choked in the outskirts of your paradise,
i couldn't help but wonder if we, too,
looked this way before sickening ourselves.
as we multiplied in fractions and 2 became 1,
did the crunch of the leaves
beneath our backs realize the magic?
your teeth imprisoning my tongue for never too long,
my fingers shaping themselves to the curve of your neck.
our gentle caress disintegrated
like a thunderstorm to a campfire
to solemn ashes and broken twigs.
i first sensed your absence when i knelt in prayer
and your taste was not on the tip of my tongue. from
then on, i ritualized purging myself of every memory.
2 months later and you are still not ridden from me.
regardless of all this mess, your touch is still the epitome of content.
the lump in my throat isn't always a poema man with a scruffy beard and ice-blue eyes once told me:
when we love, we get angry when we are not loved the same way.
i wonder if he saw the hint of indignation,
the fragments of promises still swimming in my irises.
i want him to know that my smile still stutters across sentences,
that even though i haven't broken yet, i'm pretty damn close.
i want to ask him:
if an avalanche occurs when no one is looking,
will there still be a feeling of panic?
what happens to the leaves on apple trees?
if the piano is out of tune,
why do we bother dancing in the first place?
there is this lump in my throat that has not yet translated into a poem.
i think it's stuck there for good.
the human body cannot discard vitalities;
it is not designed to expel emotional things.
as he undressed me for the third time that night,
i tried to imagine what the moon tasted like.
my tongue kept clawing its way to the back of my mouth.
i enjoyed it too much.
now, his hands find themselves curled i
what to do when he doesn't say it backa)
you will give all of yourself to a boy who won't know you at all.
he will recycle your parts, make you stationary, bind you into
paper that he will gift back so you can write poetry about him.
you, too, say i love you quickly.
when he doesn't say it back, evaporate.
he will kiss you in places you didn't know existed.
until him, you were a peasant in your body's palace.
he crowned you princess, broke the lock of your castle's gates.
when he doesn't say it back, load your cannons.
you are a fountain pen.
look him in the eye when you write him letters on your skin.
when he asks to read them, surrender.
you have always been this way: too eager
to make wildflowers bloom inside of him.
when he doesn't say it back, trim the stems.
when he tells you that your eyes remind him of tree bark,
show him that your gaze is sturdier than nature's limbs.
without breaking eye contact, slowly back him into a wall.
when he expresses discomfort,
ask if he knows what choking is like.
forest firesmy signature scrawled across all
of your sentences like a stain of apologies:
i'm sorry for anchoring you to my hip
like a one-sided promise, like a flood of insincerity.
i'm sorry for collecting you like a well of wishes,
for whispering you into every crack in these walls.
i do not have the depth to tether our limbs
with the tautness of our smiles, but i will
balance you on the edges of my knees until
you slip away.
i have been kneeling with my arms outstretched
but the divinity of your touch
never graced my expectant stance.
our bones built forest fires together,
but it was always my tears putting them out.
cartographyyou mapped out every inch of my being & whispered:
when i leave you, i want the next set of hands
to know everywhere i've been.
i still fall asleep with my body curved into
the shapes your fingertips trailed across my skin.
there are paths of stars stained into my shoulders
and the constellations you crafted are still nameless.
i tingle at the ghost of your touch,
i am tangled in the web of worries
you wove into my lion's mane.
you are a saber-toothed regret,
a raindrop in the ocean of my imagination.
forgetting you is the hardest thing i've never done.
i will ache for you always.
ashthe first time i looked into your eyes
was one year after meeting you.
my toes barely dipped into the pond
of blue before i realized there wasn't
much to swim to.
i fooled myself long ago into thinking that
if i was ever brave enough, i could plunge
into your endless depths and bathe in purity.
soak up your little-boy grins and weave laughter
with you, creating the most infinite soundtrack.
but when our irises finally connected,
i felt the make-believe ropes i had looped
through your fingers snap like convictions
too heavy to maintain.
it was the first time in a while
that i had a name for the reason
i was broken.
i shook in a rhythm so violent
our bones couldn't dance to it.
instead, they cracked in half
and crumbled to ash; remains
of what we never were.
starsi pray that someday soon, in a lonesome winter, your bones will cease to ache.
regrets will no longer break your morals like glass figurines,
you will not ask God to pardon your sins.
you will forgive yourself.
i hope, for your sake, that your butterfly-flutter eyes
will only be dampened with tears worthy of shedding.
your glory will shine out of those 2 crystal windows
and you will finally know what freedom feels like.
one day, in the midst of a dreary december, i wish for your wings to open wide
and carry you to heights far past any you have ever experienced.
your lungs will become blooming forests
with snippets of poetry carved into the tree trunks.
you will no longer be broken, but instead, crack into miniscule pieces
of yourself until all of the grace & goodness
buried deep within the crevices of your flesh
is soaked up by the atmosphere.
i am awaiting the day that i can finally lay next to someone i call lover
and point up at the stars to show him
fragments of you scatte
there are 2 things that not even the most
forceful of rains can cleanse me of:
sometimes, i feel like a caged lion.
only with a lot more impatience
and a lot less resilience.
i have yet to discover what it means to be content.
i am either too stagnant or too fluid.
no middle ground.
i have mastered the art of leaving.
it's the idea of moving on that still haunts me.
i fear that the light in my eyes is so dim that it will burn out
before even i have a chance to see the world with it.
i am not as clever as i pretend to be.
someone needs to teach me that
i don't need reassurance; i need self-assurance.
that someone should be me.
my greatest fears are loneliness and cancer.
the second because all my beauty is in my hair.
the first doesn't need an explanation.
i am still discovering what it means to be a woman.
everything is confusing me.
i am secretly afraid of massages.
feels like i'm being stabbed.
we all know how that is.