VERBALLISTICS:

In quiet reflection.

I would like most to remember
his hands - palm pressed to calm cheekbone
a cool touch, collected
and capable of anything.

I have seen these hands
prayer-stitched and penitent
folded neatly into one another
They have been both church and steeple - prayer and pulpit.
They have known the weight of praise, and the light of Saturday nights
spent in quiet reflection.

I have seen these hands at peace,
a symphony of purpose - harmonic
and charged with their own music -
a metronome precision of movement,
No note wasted.

I have seen them, also - uncertain
constant as clockwork
twitching and shifting agitation,
a steady, endless ticking...
Fondling cigarette casualties
casually, with fixed attention,
Flicking ash into air
into cup
into upturned palms
Lighting one off the butt of the other
smothering the unsteadiness of time
in the constancy of ritual.

And also,

his tentative grip - slow and timid
shufflestitch of fingers,
seeking shelter between my own.

Still, I would like most to remember this -
Calm palm pressed to cheekbone.
His cool touch, collected
and capable of anything.

The Family Paradox

What dwells on either end of the extreme
becomes
one whole
when born
under the same roof -

in the same way
one sheds tears of joy
or resents a work of art
for being too admirable
or loves
all of the worst parts of themselves
too intensely
for change

this is the conundrum
blood ties - which are both
gift bow and binding -
unexpected sweepstakes
and taxed burden
which follows
is that really winning?
The discovery
that loving and loathing
sound very similar
when one speaks them quickly -
without thought
to consequential enunciation -

and, isn't it strange, that
one home
might shelter so many
strangers
still call them relative -

Elegant, this
remiss tug of war
just the tautness of heart strings.

A Terrible Way to Approach Dating

how does it feel
when we kiss
well
the first time
still
and it made me mad
when we were
outside
of his house, on the sidewalk
and everything glittered
and then
the next time,
I cried
couldn't keep from welling up
with all the sadness
and then
quiet again
afterwards
happy,
then so ~ and
so
I guess
speaking
statistically
I'll have to try
a thousand times,
or so
then
divide
by ten
to know the answer.

Insecurity

Insecurity lives two doors down from Love - wants to adopt a pet, so she won’t feel so lonely - so she can feel someone’s loyal devotion. Insecurity does not like open spaces; is good at taking up less space - diminishes herself to make others more comfortable. Insecurity spends too many nights dressed to expectation - can’t meet her own eyes in the mirror. Spends too much time in front of it, anyway. She is always becoming something other. Molding herself to fit into the moment - into the desires of the present. Into the waiting hands of entitlement. She is not the kind of girl who walks home alone after the party. She does not believe in her own strength in the face of darkness - in the bright light at the end of the tunnel.

She is slow to smile - often awkward. Covers her mouth when she laughs hard. Holds her breath more than is healthy. Doesn't believe she is lovely. She needs to compete - needs to win - will still not feel worthy of the prize. She will still flinch at the flicker of their eyes as she walks by - never believing her stance is inspiring. Insecurity is not the type to ask for what she wants - only questions the sound of her own voice - echoing, reflective. She is all swagger and high heels and hip sway - only stumbles when Love is near. Insecurity grapples with pale fear, and her own sharp teeth.

Love wants to rest quietly in bed - still hears Insecurity’s heels clicking, a slow stroll down a nightmarish hallway. Love prays for the white noise camouflage of the heater - for endless compassion, and patience. For a generous slice of kindness, and clear communication - but Insecurity wields a sharp knife, hands shaking; waiting to slide it between Love’s soft ribs -

still, Love is not a victim. Love is no sleeping fool. Love is a five-alarm house fire, flashing a winning smile. All sirens ringing, blazing the way with no fire escapes - razing the walls to lick at her insides, resolved to burn them both down to the ground… only Love will rise, whole - from all of this ash.

m(V)k



In this moment

You
are not
the man
I'm
choosing

I
hope

You
are not
choosing
him
either.

What Eve Said

When I was younger, I was naive. I didn't know our sins were cumulative. It doesn't happen overnight, see - the fall to despair. The fall of a body into disrepair is a slow fight to the death, literally. A house that crumbles, eventually, under years of foundational stress. It starts with a dripping faucet, or flexed glass which cracks and remains unfixed. Ends in a flowing carpet of ivy, starred over with the flowers of clover, and becomes once more reflection of the night sky. There is beauty in decay, sometimes. The gorgeous wreckage of our lives' lack of common sense, forethought, or funds.

When I was young, all I wanted was to know the feeling of nourishment. The joy of joining one's source - of letting my atoms go, to be transported or reabsorbed and formed again into another life - maybe as an apple, this time. Maybe something better than a man's left rib. Maybe after seeing what happened to Lilith of Mud or all the little Cinderellas on their knees in the dust - maybe I was hoping harder than I should've for mouthful of poison and a soft bite - the snake's first strike.
Really, can you blame me? He was always wandering the garden. Naming birds in the air or stars in the sky, never noticing those shining here, in my eyes - all that wondering miracle - when I was younger, I was more easily swayed. Wasted all of my beautiful becoming so quickly. Confused coup de foudre for {cold} fusion. Back then, no one told me that it would all unfold in perfect order - one fractal path following another, into the drastic infinite. All becoming the mass of experience which carries us along, slowly increasing in size as it tumbles in orbit, gaining momentum until it's own force simply tears it apart. The friction of it's own body charged, weighed, then dissipated. But none of the language surrounding it matters. We'll all give ourselves back to the cosmos, eventually. Water and ground will absorb us. All the sheltering stones we've stacked, crumbling. All debts gathering interest, eternally - all our bones dents gaining density, reinforcing themselves into calcium fortresses - still, breaking down. Falling, laden with the burden of age on old limbs, letting go.

When I was younger, I was not afraid of this. I was not afraid of anything, then - I had no understanding of consequence. How one bite of fruit might move shift straight to my hips, or dole the cursable gift of knowledge both good and ill - I was just naked and craving, seeking fulfillment from anything but him - still hungry and yearning for new perspectives...

See my point of view? I had no ill will - just nothing to lose - and a sweet tooth.




Always the groomsmaid

He sends me photos
from the other side of the world
and wants me to be happy for him

Asks me if I can see
how beautiful his new girlfriend is
Tells me he chased her across an ocean

And, isn't that love? He asks
Isn't it some kind of wonderful
the way the world works out?

And I am distancing myself from his words
by anthropomorphizing the globe,
fantasizing that pumping iron will help him attract the moon

When he says I knew better
than to make the same mistakes
I made with you

And I am imagining dear Atlas,
bending his knee beneath the weight of my heart,
muscles straining

And I try not to laugh and cry
at the same time, as a general rule, so
I just say I'm happy for you

Hoping the green salve of gratitude
draws the sting from the wound; renews
my thick skin in time.


изгубени в космоса

Аз говоря,
но вие не можете да ме чуете.
Ние викаме през една празнота -
гласове
отекващи и изоставени
никога не прекосявайки пропастта между нас
за да стигнем до другата страна.
И двамата викаме
и двамата викаме
но звукът отскача от бариерите на природата
се скита самотен и изгубен.

Аз работя за нещо златно.
Счупвам камъка от сърцето си
издълбавам твърдостта
опитвайки се да отрежа фасети
които оставят нещо
остър и блестящ зад себе си.
Всичко това изкопани ни оставя да се взираме в космоса.
Не знам
как продължава да се разширява

San Francisco

Oh, you
City of Concrete
of bumstink
of bad traffic
and no parking
barking with laughter
the whole way home
from the bar,
City of Linking Arms
and hollering after midnight.

You
of constant wind
and cold summers -
late-harvest Autumn which wraps us
all in sweaters and slanted light -
falls on the golden glow
of a comfortable front stoop
ringing fate's doorbell
only to bail at the first chance.

Someone called
you
The City of Love
once,
but never again -
still, all the hopefuls
come back
to

You -

Goldrush of the West
your jasmine perpetually in bloom,
though its soft scent seems lost on
the hard-soled parade of your sidewalks -
all VC fanfare and ticker tape -
City of Step-on-your-Mother's-Back,
City of Slip Through the Cracks
City of Soup Kitchen
and Instantaneous Drone Delivery

City of Bright Bridge and
privilege and real money
conjured from thin air
you
no longer
wear flowers in your hair.

You
no longer
seem to care
for such trivial things
as this.


San Bernardino

The hills were on fire then
and they are burning again
all bluster and smoke
updrafting breeze which crumples
giants to knees, tumbles
mountains to foothills

And maybe it was all just timing -
a tidal wind broken on rocky cliffside
at just the right moment to carry a spark
from safety to circumstance,
chance blaze of one little cinder
fated to bring all this old growth to ash

But maybe it's better to ask
what might come of all this?
What fervent splendor might birth itself
from all these broken bows, resprout
from this newly fertilized path
on the route towards civilization?