Let my brothers look through my books first. Even the ones I've borrowed and never returned. This is important.
I want you to touch my dead face. Just so you can take it with you that it's all real. Yes, her cheek is cold. Yes.
Someone tell the story of the first day I saw a loon dive.
you have my secrets, please keep them. And one day when you're old, you
can reminisce about this one time there was this one girl who died. How
sad, you might think. And if you remember then, at that moment, tell
the world. Until, put my words in a quiet box.
I am not surprised. I'm the kind of girl who gets rabies. And who breaks
her foot before the race. I'm magnetic in all the wrong ways. I feel
things too much in my bones. I fall in love with all vibrations. I feel
that blue collar catastrophe, personally. I want a sharp hair line and
the kind of collar bone that perfectly spills into shoulders. Maybe beer
on the couch is best. Or red wine in the morning, in a coffee mug. And
stars beaming through electronics. I'm that kind. The ruiner kind.
First, she lets you remember the sun
on your ex-lover's back as you fold
into each other like fresh
laundry near the window.
She whispers. And you, you remember
the contours as he moves like sound-
Next, she brings out
her weapon; possibly a shank, sharp
like November nights when frost can slice
you slant-wise along your ribs.
Gentle and quick-like, she splits
your neck; a cheap smile to an empty room.
(Brace yourself, baby, it's gonna’ sting.)
Finally, blood laps against your feet; one last
Tennessee lake as you sit.
After pumping gas I realized I had lint tangled in my braid. How many people noticed?
Instead, they saw the sleeping horses inside my chest; only an hour before,
thundering around my rib cage with no restraint.
Balmy days are best at regarding my confessions:
silent Hail, Mary's until I bleed. sorry. sorry. sorry. sorry. sorry. and sorry to you, especially.
Picking at the black speck in my flax, my soul remembers: blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
And, I might add, broken are their bones under the weight of grief.
Let's do that thing where we walk
the turn of our ex-lovers' necks.
And eat the foie gras of our transgressions,
forgetting, of course,
to wipe our slick mouths before we tongue kiss in front of Mother Teresa.
Yes, let's take off our shoes and throw them.
Possibly into the next county.
Don't fall in love with me because my jeans fit like
and my breath tastes like night-time whiskey.
I will not apologize for the delicate curve of my tits.
You aren't asking me to, but I'm telling you ahead of time:
We both die anyway, so what's the hold-up? And if I remember correctly I'm almost dead already. My heart is yellowed with alley-way blow jobs and my blood is a waning city, old bricks and poison, going straight to this brain.
I'm mostly done.
My maps are folded with creases deeper than graves.
I want to start with the weather, but everyone does -
so I'll start with -
I talked with him the other day
(you don't know him;
it's fine) anyway, he said You're going to run away. One day, I'll wake up, and you'll be gone. Yes, I said
with a heavy turquoise tongue.
He knows I belong broken apart in the sand.
I suppose I know it, too.
Don't worry, I'll write if I leave.
Don't worry. You can wet the paper and paste your heart back together.
Though, I'm sure my absence won't be harmful to the spinning of the sky, to the birds of prey, to the downward turn of the horizon.
Anyway, it's raining here. Three straight days.
And the price of milk, goodness knows when that will level off.
Childless on a heavy night means whiskey again
and a perfect waist.
Here's what I'm thinking:
it means a few holy promises:
One. to fuck like run-wild
Two. to sleep like paper next to jesus.
Three. to taste your smoke-heavy lips.
Four. to praise cotton for laying on my tits like light breath.
Five: to give you birds, like fire from flint.
Six: to stand on books and sing under low light.
So on and so on until the day settles down inside my room
under the covers,
slathering itself on my thighs.
1 Of course my panties are on the floor,souvenirs from the nights, drunk, 2 we couldn't be bothered with anything else. 3 My second skin, peeled off and lifeless;4 laying face up. 5 Remember how sometimes trust is bones, broken in nine places? 6 And the salt our bodies create the salve? We iron out the bamboo leaves and cover our eyes. 7 We run the blood out of the night. 8 Remember how sometimes trust is bones not broken. 9 Of course we'll put my panties in the hamper. 10 Of course. 11 And the sun will hum to the creases of our 12 skins.
Prop me against any tree while you notify the crows.
They know what to do, but I should warn you:
my eyes are sweet berries in the sun.
my soft belly, theirs for the taking.
my hair, golden rigging for nests.
She circled, pulling her hair and
gaining with want;
running and busting up the earth until her feet were blood and bone. 'Let me catch you and hold you and allow me to eat down the pain that causes heart burn' she sang with the sweet hum of darkness.
and so what else?
Heavy and worthy of ancient hands, he signed on.
And after the feast, she pulled each tooth still sweet with his flesh
and planted them in the north, once without snow.
She planted them in the west, without soil.
She planted them in the east and south, close to the ocean and in the mountains' veins.
They grew without water, though water fell from the sky.
And those, the first people, they chased each dawn;
moving across the bellies' of our lovers.
Words are hard -
You said 'death' like you knew, your little tongue made noises like you understood,
but, honey baby, you didn't.
Wrapped in a ragged sheet, the cat's blood turned to rust
but not before you asked to see her.
That little head moved just a bit in the re-adjusting-
her shroud let light in one final time, and you, little baby,
cried in the yard
We say 'death' because we've learned
(or we pretend we have).
how many ways are there?
to stand and to sing and to
exhume the skeleton ships that
have been french kissing the clams?
how many ways are there to bring in breath
and to face west 'til the lord comes?
how many rules for the moon?
how few times can we count sitting,
how many kinds of strings
are there that world can boast?
how many rules for my hands?
how many ways are there?
to live and to fuck and to die?
Here is exactly why I'm so nervous:
because I might die.
I don't know what that would mean if I did.
Or what if I don't die? but my body throws me in a coma
and instead, I'm stuck between the walls?
I don't have a living will. I should.
I really really should.
I think it would read:
"[He] gets to decide everything. Just let him. Don't fight him.
[They] have every right to dead me and my items and all my love."
So, there you have it.
I'm anxious that I'm going to die.
i stand at the sink differently than someone
who doesn't want -
the way i hold my pen, and put on
the seven ways i calm myself before
i pay bills.
the way i use my ATM card
possibly even in the way i text.
everything has a trace manifestation
of a lonely concerto.