ROSES

tonight was strange.
what nights aren't?
what day is it even? ah the 29th.
june 29th, okay.


you said, milk is good for bones baby girl so drink up, you're breaking, i can't hear you through all this breaking.  milk is good for your teeth, darling, so take small sips - you're all cream and sugar but mine are empty hands, crying fingers. in my mind i ask you to hold the cup for me, like i'm a child, or very sick, maybe put in a straw - the thick kind with red lines. in my mind i ask you to put my head in your hands but instead i watch the mosquitoes spin in circles around the light bulb begging it for something  other than it's light, it's only power.

widows and orphans

i'm not here
a poem took me, it picked me up
it's carrying me on its shoulders
so we'll catch you later, babyface
we'll find you later, maybe.


i'm not here
the words are carrying me like ants on their backs
like that childrens song
the ants go marching two by two
"hoorah, hoorah" / bruises on my thighs
& i'm hugging thin air
it says it's sorry, "i'm only made up of invisible gases"
of mostly nitrogen and oxygen
of mostly things you cannot hold or see but only think of fondly
when you look out the car window.
i remember one of them stopped to tie their shoe, the little one
it's always the little ones
i think i need to see your face
i think i need to break our hearts & hear the thunder

hollywood ending

in my head i look at the people around, one's talking to me and walking at the same time with their hands and arms, their story involves some past event but i focus on the way they touch their face and step with their ankles turned in- i can't hear what you're saying.
in my head i look at the people around
they are sitting on bar stools
and in their lounge chairs, legs up
and in their coffee shops
and at their picnics
and they ask me things and they tell me stories
and the lips inside my mind say shhhhh
they say hush, it's important you listen
to something else but your voice
and mine
it's important you  make a decision
i want you to feel it all
or i want you to feel nothing
when i say it all i mean a big fire and when i say nothing i mean ice
when i say i'm tired i mean it past blood past bones past brain patterns and lies to questions
and people who can't sing on key but want to and people that say okay when they know it'll hurt and people who fly and the people who sink, i'm tired, that is what i am saying.

i think i should see your face

I.
if i said that when i accidentally cut myself badly while shaving my legs in the shower that i liked the way the blood looked swirling down the drain would you hold it against me? because i've never been in any environment i didn't blow up - i never not started forest fires, i never thought blood wasn't pretty because i know it means i love you i know it means loves been around. 
But I never said your eyes weren't so golden they created fire, or so hot they burnt if you looked too long.  I never said my breath is only as long as the seconds it takes for you to say my name.
II.
when i write sometimes it feels like swimming
but i was never really a good swimmer
whenever i went under i always thought of suffocation
i thought of water in the lungs.
whenever we go under i think of suffocation.
when i write sometimes it isn't like swimming at all, but breathing
it fills up and lets out , a breath that can't be seen but felt,  
like how cold the car windows are on your fingertips 
when you write with them over the fog,
but not what they're saying. it's never what we're saying.  i lie.
III.
I'm in bed but i'm running through fields of tall grass in the dark
and the hard blades feel like things you say to me that don't matter
so i close my eyes and i go just faster
and if i put my hands up like i'm on a roller coaster, i guess it's not that bad.
if i remain very close to the edge, if i whisper as loud as a scream
 i guess it's really not that bad.
because when you love someone and they breathe
there's a taste that comes out of their mouth
dedicated to the sighs and of your ideas of home
and god damn
you will want it inside you - despite everything
you will want it to stay the breath for your breath
it's an air to exist inside, to show to the sky
air to wrap your fingers through and run your mouth along
to hum and say goodnight to
goodnight  too. 

6/11

I am dripping.
not the way you want me to be dripping
but the way the vampires mouths do in the old movies
it's all black and white, so don't worry,

this blood is black
not red
so we can just hit ignore on our cell phones.
it's all just an orange juice commercial from the 40's so don't fret.
i am burning & i hate you.
  why? because you're not there when my fingers ask for you
you're not here when i make no sense

& you're not here when i make the most
no ones here to turn the words into movements, to say: okay
not here when my voice cracks, when it talks in tongues.
the religious folk would say "you're being touched by god"
and i'd say,  no, the gods are touching us through me
i'd say , listen, i'll translate
they say , turn that record on, sugar
they say, put your hands on me like the radio sounds
and those nuns would gasp and i'd be sent to the principals office
and they'd say, angry & squinty-eyed, "do you know why you're here, kerry?"
and i'd say, because i know more about beauty than beauty itself
and they'd sign some papers and i'd have detention
and the world would spin like it always does even when you ask it to stop
and then the story would end
because some stories end this way
without making any sense , without landing in the right direction
we spin like tops and those advertisements where the slinky's would
flop and barrel down the stairs and land where they pleased 

but the kid always looked excited
the kid had no idea.

when you weren't looking


we drank orange drinks tonight - orange or pink - 
neither could decide on the other  ,   as per usual.
right now i hear the voice upstairs, 

you're drunk and too close but distant also, somehow
not in the way that means you're not  near, just that she's very far.
like the way a voice can change it's mind about the mouth it sits in
it says, i don't love you anymore, goodbye                                    

i'll fight club this;  switch off and "bam" she said on a park bench
let's make a new life out of all the old ones , with red walls to swim in
i only just realized it's been a year
maybe that's why i was talking about sex
i said "i have no problem discussing this"
whose red cheeks are these?
please don't look at her body
please don't
i only just realized it's been a year
since i fell down  the stairs and 
that thing might have happened but with things that like that who knows?
tomorrow things will happen and they will be bad
i don't know what they are yet, no one does, not even god.


maybe i'll lay in fields & let my heart open up-not with a knife but with fire 
and then a great cold will enter, a big breeze on the inside
it'll sing me billie holiday
and the stars will all start making love but i'll wonder if they're fighting,
maybe i'll use my head to get up there and ask them, 

which is it you? is this love?
their voices will sound like a song they played 
to make me fall asleep when I was small
it was "sunrise, sunset" from fiddler on the roof and to this day 
you could not understand the heart break. the stars say, we do.
the stars say, we're dead already.
i'll do something bad tomorrow, or the day after that
and one day, maybe, it won't even matter.
i just realized it's been a year since we had sex on that
couch and i probably told you i loved you.
 the stars say "we only look alive."

"i don't really create imagined states you know what i mean ? i just take note,of, the apocalypses that occur in everybodys souls and i think about them again and again every night, that's all."


there was a woman with no shoes on

she was thin and had long blonde hair, the kind that looks unwashed, 
it probably smelled like rain
she was right in the road outside
all these animals were on the porch, every kind of animal
there were white bears but not polar and deer 

and small rabbits and big turtles and lions and birds
they were approaching hesitantly but i could tell they were here for something
their eyes were full of answers and questions together; it left me unsettled
i thought it was probably the end of the world.



the woman brought in a cup of water from the river 
we thought it was just a cup of water from the river
she pulled a silver instrument out of her pocket and used it to drain the water

to show us the small aquatic beings that collected
we watched them pass through & land in her hand
you said, "what do they eat?"
i said "smaller beings."
they moved about -  the colors of them were wild and screaming.
i said the word coral out loud.


her children came, her son was young, and very tan

a boy who knew things about things , about things
they had painted all of the rocks outside

i thought of the roses in alice in wonderland
her son had a book that he had written
all the pages were laminated; shiny and smooth.
his writing was god damn beautiful
i told him this
i said people need to read these
he didn't like what i said and this hurt me in a distant way i didn't let show.
the words on the pages were like squinting at a painting
or like watching the world give birth to things
it never even knew it had in it but by some means it all happens
i read a couple of lines that i instantly knew i had written somehow
 somewhere too - before all this
i told him, i asked him how
 it was two sentences and four words were different 
 and i asked him if it scared him
and he didn't say anything
he didn't say anything but i knew it did.