flightless

// the trembling of the space between our atoms, aching for connection across every possible universe.
half-open-hearts

ash wednesday

ash on her forehead and
lies on her tongue. she says
she grew up catholic, that
there’s something in her blood
that she can’t shake off.
a sort of eucharist, a sharing
of body, transubstantiated
into the unholy spread
of her fingers.

i ask how a girl who
doesn’t believe in jesus
feels the need for absolution.

she shrugs, snaps a photo
of the ashen cross,
then wipes it away.

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observer effect

you run from things you cannot see.
this world, blurred like lights
through rain on a window, water
streaking down glass. you learn
at a young age that your breath
on the window only smudges
the outlines of the world more.
later, you learn that
some things are destroyed
in the simple act of observing them.

it’s easy to fall in love
with the idea of love, the way
faults disappear like fog on glass,
the way the superposition of
yours/not yours collapses
with a handful of words.

you’ve been running for years,
escaping something you cannot
name. this haven, this harbor,
the ways to say fear/love
in a language you never learned.
this light redirecting your path
into her arms.

we wait for the bus together,
breath white scarves in the air,
a cigarette dangling between
her thin fingers.she laughs off hurt like sunshine
off glass windows, too bright
and flashing to see into.
the pain between her teeth
echoes in her skull, but
her fists are too clenched
to reach out for help.

she inhales smoke, sighs out
warmth. swears she could quit
if she wanted to. i nod,
cold wind stealing
the words from my mouth.

villanelle

 

this faint rain, the sound
of drifting clouds above,
of this world without bound,

say: here is where we found
the fragile bloom of love,
watered with gold, crowned,

nevermore to fade. around
us, the crying doves
in the misted rain abound.

say: here, love, surround
me, take me, full of
the sea and sky and ground.

shatter me into newness, around
us here in the waving grass of
our desire, bright and newfound

hymns of light drowned
in the sound of love,
this faint rain, the sound
of this world without bound.

lock and key

 

my heart, always under lock
and key, but you opened me
up, made me believe in luck
again, like skipping pennies
off of train tracks and hoping
nothing will crash. like
hoping someday the sun will
rise again over a world
that knows peace.

take my hand, love. we will
make this world gentle
with nothing but hope.

moonlight

i ask the moon to wash away
the bitterness, the sting. ask her
to teach me to sing light
instead of endless empty.
tell her the weight on my shoulders
deserves a rest now and then.

re-remember me, i pray.
make something new
out of all this brokenness.

quiet, love, she says. some things
were never meant to be forgotten.

allegory of the cave

mountain-4-unsplash

the allegory of the cave:
our world, only shadows
cast against a wall,
the light from without
blinding us when we finally
venture forth,
and the dragging footsteps
of our inevitable return.

read my poem “allegory of the cave” here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/allegory-cave-poem 

objects

she remembers your name
on the good days, looks up
with clear eyes and smiles.
these things slowly slip away:
the pen and paper by her bedside
with appointments, dates,
names. the bottled water she
insists on using, the bowl
of candy that tastes as ancient
as desert-blown wind. the canyons
of the wrinkles on her face,
ropes of veins across the back
of her hands. the fur coat
she wore to church, hung up
and yellowing. she asks you
to bury her in it, but you fear
the thistles of memory will fade
long before her body goes cold.