boys (excerpt)

My eyes are dry

But my flesh is hurricane

That shakes and is not shaken by

The likes of your extinguishing muzzle

My soul is a natural disaster

It burns

And it ruins

And it floods, and it freezes

And it, as it runs rabid, is disruptively unbound and unchained

I do not write about boys who would smother me beneath the tin can of some hapless gas fire

I am not a bunsen burner

Or matchstick flicker

I am a tsunami of depth and chaos and size

Your shadowy birdcage was unprepared for

–Are all the things I wanted to say

To the boy I wrote this about

Bad feminist, I hiss at myself

As I dream of the arms attached to the boy

I wrote this about

 

come

sticky running through

it comes deeply

surviving on a hope

or a desperation

it comes softly

inside, in waves

stinging on a promise

you promised you’d make

come quietly

the only lie is that i’m on my stomach

by choice

the only truth is that i said yes to the kill

but no to the time

it comes quickly

and begins again where it ended–

within me, a swallow of mess and the silence of shame

hey

maybe in a year you’ll find the dried root

in the folds of your intestines

that’s given itself to fear and detachment

and you’ll finally know

where to plant it–

or maybe you’ll be embarrassed to look at him

because he’s hung you out

to dry

on the wires of anticipation.

either way–

you’ll still be older

in the same body,

hopefully driving the same tongue

into different dances,

verbal

and sweaty

and numb.

narcissist

you’re in there

somewhere

and i’m sick

of the mirrors you put in front

of my face

so you can argue me into some epiphany

you’re having about yourself

lock my words in a vice

that you claim is the boundary

of reason and fariness

but from my locked hands

and from my stiff neck

it feels like a beartrap carved specifically

for someone who might be tempted

to steal

 

if nothing i say is true

consoling, forgiving, or real

and you choose to cast my noose on the threads

of moments when your self focus

had me unraveling

i realize i’ll either be hanged

or i’ll run

and that neither answer will lead me to you

 

already i know i’ll miss

thinking you might someday want me

there’s only so many cold touches and shut eyes and hidden corners

and disguises

in dark car rides

that i care to romanticize

before admitting this has just been

one more verse

in the piece you’re sketching for your future resolve-

that the “she” of my details is

just a pronoun

in a sentence that wasn’t even about me.

no surprise, really

i am sorry for all that i’ve been

and now my business

is promoting my original thought

for someone else’s sales

my words are owned by a person

i’ve never met

much like everyone else

i am 23 with

 

it all begins from within

and here i am

too obsessed with what i’m living without

the external is made by me, not makes me

how do i access that bit?

i wanted to do, so i did,

then i stopped

too aware of the glass

i was crushing in my unsigned checks

i was comfortably shape shifting

within

but it stops

and forward procession must be marked

by an intentional call toward detachment

but that’s not to say

i can’t love you

 

just that the only one

with the power to drive me crazy

should be whatever storm

is already inside of me

everything else are inventions

and i create, with you, a reality

a shared reality

that i’ve been mistaking for my own

foreclosure

gather the pieces of me that

the people who have seen my body

still hold onto

take back the part of me they believe they still have

take these pieces and not place them back

in me

but create something

outside of me

something that belongs to no one

that exists in time and not space

a separate self

a non bodied self

now untouchable, more whole than the fragments

that previous owners believed were assets

to their portfolio

 

though I loved you

your territorialism and chest puffing

and slut shaming and gaslit desire to keep me

“safe”

and

“pure”

said more about the percentage of my body

over which you believed you were owner

than of the respect

you claimed to have for my freedom-

men with skin like yours

want to own everything,

anyway

 

take back the piece of me

even from you

from the fingers before you, to the arms after you

that still calculate

my flesh

and my hollow space

that they were privileged enough (sometimes strong enough)

to touch

as a deposit into their self worth and sociopathic ideas

of what makes them “man”

 

though I loved you

I could not see you were holding onto

the final piece that needed to be collected

so I could deny

future ownership

and allow

this new wave of mine of escaping spirit

to live within me

without territory, without registry

unkept

untouched

by anyone who believes

they still own a share

spring 2015

there was, chasing me,

a riotous figure

spinning discs in the green

all I wanted though

was an Oak dividing lawns

of blonde hair and silk sheets.

when caught by the

figure in shades of

disease and desire

she knelt beside me and

offered her chewed gum

to say, with sorry eyes,

divinity

already got away