this booth bench feels like bus bench

that passes road sign to road sign

all deep fried, all stir fried

all starry eyed

and pining

misty for the tides of abandon


this passing,

I’ll make it a tradition

and keep it a secret

between you and me

I’ll give you every Sunday morning on benches

frozen lakes on the steam of my coffee


people are, to us, who we were to them

and I suppose I miss being Monkey

the world of family is not drawn by legal pads and eagle seals

but by sounds, remembered smells,

by laughter and plants on the walls


I wish to honor you and

sit across from all the you’s

on this bus of a booth that

could be anything


the truth is,

I feel bigger than this immediate corner

I feel bigger than the left or right corner

bigger than clumsy evening

or skin to skin battle,

desperately distracted

in search of family


left behind





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




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,



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



by anyone who believes

they still own a share

the constant is me

I’m just disappointed that it’s not electric

That we are not prongs on a wet field of instance

Conductors of connectivity

Gunpowder mouths exploding into ruin

and decay

I thought not wanting to yawn

Meant more than stillness

I thought not wanting to prove myself

Meant more than being nodded at

That we are flashes of static in a dry dry room

Devouring energy with friction and socks

These floors are hard wood

My shoes are cheap rubber

And you

Your mouth

Is a calm silence

Damp on an untouched keyboard

I thought a meeting of minds

Was reason enough to pry apart the barbed wire rims I’ve kept against my white matter

I thought a cleanly halved ratio of sick and sappy aesthetic to sad and girl aesthetic

Was reason enough to sustain the vibrating murmur of our chemistry

I’m just disappointed it’s not cosmic intention,

That I was waiting for cosmic intention

But am sitting in gas mask quarantine

two ghosts with trust issues walk into a bar

They both

In their ghastly pains

Scratch at the loose dead skins they once wore,

Share horror stories, share fables,

Some about homes

Some about wars

Some about mudslides

Some about lost belongings with name tags no longer true

They eat,

One more than the other,

The other obsessing, obsessing,

Obsessing over dried gum underneath the table

As they look through each other and check silently for blemishes

The looking becomes a search party.

The other stands suddenly,

Seemingly at attention and attentive to a far off horizon-

It seems possible,

They feel,

To reach if only the walls didn’t keep closing in

“I’m claustrophobic,” this one finally admits,

And the other, ashamed, tucks away their tunnels into empty pockets.

The hours pass and the bar closes and they wander into the street corner

Beneath an overhead lamp borrowed from an interrogation room-

A police room-

A nightmare,

Although ghosts don’t really dream, they just wander

And they trade similar recollections of pulse

But it’s just comparing scar tissue that will never be possible to feel

Or to heal-

Flat footed, but not really on the ground,

One points at the forward running street,

Asks for a sense of direction,

But with hands so obscured by plasma,

The direction isn’t a route-

It’s a shot of a cry for help in the dark-

The other stays still, floating in the flood, water rushing through to wipe away

Their delusions.

When they try to touch

They miss-

Not for a lack of trying,

Mostly for a lack of nonbeing,

As one throws a lost bone from an old broken soul.


Her feet smelled of saffron rice

and her palms, of sweet incense and thyme.

Every inch of her flesh was a tea ceremony,

a sacrament

to intention.

Within her chest she held a tenderness of living breath,

and her toes, the dust of unsettled earth.

I expanded with giving,

my soul open to light,

my breath honored, knees humble.

Between the blades of a heavy hearted back,

And the bones of a heavy handed soul,

I felt the radiance of lasting softness,

laying in stillness

as “here” swelled itself open.

Hands full of flesh and given nothing more than

the gentle ease of a currency with no value

but that which she carries on the bus

between vacancy signs and milky starlight,

I danced like one would without legs–

sideways and

entirely undone.


And the prize goes to the woman

So afraid of being “girl”

That she shut her eye and waited

For life to come to her

Charge forward

Free of shackles

And others’ doorways

Charge forward

In your own track &


Charge forward

Through windows &

Broken radiators

Carve forward a

History without

“His & hers” footnotes

slivers of light

Don’t hold onto the slivers of light that crept through the floorboards

Shining a believable ending onto a confusing succession of disbelief

And accusation

Don’t hold onto the good texts like a security blanket

Walking around the house wondering why the screen is so black

And the clock so late

Don’t tell yourself this suffering is the good kind, is real

And sit through subzero campfires glowing bright by gaslight

Don’t avoid your dry eyes in the staring contest

Don’t blame yourself for all of his delusions and allow shade to frame your lost heart

See instead the coldness

The vagueness

The distance

Remember the time he caged you into a pit wet muddy by fallacies which to him were vices of reason set tuned to a hair trigger fault finder

Remember the “fuck u”‘s

The walk outs

The odd stares

The mind twisting

The disbelief in yourself he injected through a flat screen keyboard

The ticking time bomb

The unusable words

The first time silenced

And he was audacious enough to deem that “enraged”

The irrational victimhood

The resentment of female

The avoidance of wrongness

The pursuit of island

He, alone and left wanting, so wanting, for longer than you can wrap your straws around

Hold onto the flesh that was present, that you misread as flash

And eclipse

And let go of the sharpness he spent years of resentment sculpting in the dark

Don’t tell yourself this kind of numbness to the mind and panic to the tongue

Is love

It is, rather, a vice

He’s learned, over time, to build from the shards of his bruised and blackened heart bones

His sit bones, touchless to the earth

For his emptiness gave him flight

From any skin-to-soul connection

Leaving him floating among the dust

That gathers itself in the corners you’re not ready to clean yet