for emma


this is the
this is the end
this is the end of a very old sentence.
i need toast with butter i need a garden of heirloom tomatoes
i need rough hands on my legs and my hips gripped hard
i need whiskey or brandy or a warm blooded animal
i need a thing that connects all things
without having to stay up all night to contemplate them around and around while the moon watches, smiling with a hand over its mouth
i need sun, but never when i can see it, or when i'm really looking
make it sneaky.

this is the calling forth,  the call for

but the keyboard is too lazy
it wears an elaborate costumes and i want whats underneath
this is where you show me
this is the attempt to breathe in
pianos say, ('no, go deeper')
('but my lungs won't open')
('then you are free to be nothing') it says
so i go          so slower
when i was six my piano teacher hit a key with his finger and said

 this note is 'b'
i said bees! i hate bees! i stopped playing the piano
this was a time of not quite yets and a still big sky forever opening
until it finally did and

 adults shattered and 
sex played it's strange b notes
while guitars began slowly strumming in.
and you know

i never knew how little i must have been seeing until now
i saw everything twice
this is the second time

restless



heavy, heavy animalastic instincts, primal urges and even some carnage, if you want it. one million ghostly coincidences and scrubbing at things until they disappear and nothing is left but all the chaos you could ever imagine. my ears are ringing. i drew a deer on the skin on my thigh with a marker last night when i was drunk.  i found older and likely much drunker rambling writings in a composition notebook and i started back dreaming until my body felt funny and my head was drawing pictures to color myself into. the deer was smudging on my thigh and and my knees were cold and there was someone with my hands dialing phone numbers of exes i  somehow still had memorized. shit, no. not that last part, i embellished, i'm just running to the thought of you. only i did call, really. i called him. he was in his bed and i was in the middle of a dark road surrounded by white-out snow forests wearing sweatpants and no coat or hat. my ears were two stones in the snow and my cheeks and nose were beds for things flying around in the cold air. he called me girl-face and i called him a god damn bastard and that was that. it was the best i could do.

77


my heart has a terrible stomach ache. it has lupus, it has polio, it's infected. it has an ebola hemorrhagic fever. you've got to do something fast,  talk to it maybe, tell it something good. its shaking way too hard, this situation involves seizures and scratching and blood moving backwards. there's blood all over, its on my hands and in the sink and all over the city.
this situation involves any understanding whatsoever of a small child cognitively processing and comprehending and grasping just the gigantic idea of physically witnessing two planes fly directly into two very tall and very real buildings right in front of them, right the fuck there in front of them. there is so much to say, in this situation, it was an impossible thing, happening impossibly. it was where their hands were exactly, how steady their legs were, the last sentence they said out loud,  the sounds of every sound. the god damn occipital lobes in their brain visually processing the explosion of a building one hundred and ten stories scraping the sky with no logical explanation, 1 + 1 was 3 and 3 was screaming. somewhere in their little brains the knowledge that those buildings were made of steel and concrete, which is a word we use twice in our language. it is used to sometimes define rigidity and solidness. but fucking where? what solidness? the buildings burning put all the adult bodies into a new perspective, all tiny now, in proportion to the giant silver bodies burning and then crumbling until nothing crept around except the smoke that danced for the retinas that would send the visual message to their tiny, heavy, gorgeous, brains.

it is morning because mornings come everyday, despite everything, and the papers are flying all over on earth, in the streets, in your homes, in your stomach, inside my hearts diseases and all of the the blood. could i tell you about the smoke? probably not but listen, the schools classrooms filled up with it, no one on that tiny island knew what was going on but it was going on anyway. the south tower burned for fifty-six minutes and thirty minutes later the north tower caught up, fire is like that. in each of your eyes the retinas' 130,000,000 cells are very sensitive to light. when light strikes one cell a chemical change takes place that starts an impulse in a nerve fiber which travels to the brain. those tiny, heavy, gorgeous brains filled with papers and fire and repeated sound-waves of terror and everyone they've ever known and everyone they don't on earth.

to perceive my hearts size and sound right now, its stomach-ache and the seizures and the paper and the blood in the sink you must die one million deaths. the heart is an expert on this. it is beating and in between every beat is death. vibrating. i can tell it has more cells than the retinas of an eye and its also a great deal more sensitive to light. it is sensitive to the words 'chemical change' and 'perception' and 'tower' and 'war,' sensitive to the blood in the sink  its begging for. when i was little i would move my fingers around my face to break the world in pieces. i would blur and focus, blur and focus, deciding what was what and who was who and why and why not. the brain adds substantially to the messages it receives from your eye so most of what you see is actually created by your brain, it decides what it wants you to see and remember again, for later, for whenever it feels like showing anything it feels like showing. on the 106th floor was a restaurant called 'the windows on the world'. this is what i am telling you. about the heavy, gorgeous, tiny brains. it's all up there twisting and okay, so it was 56 minutes and then the 30 after that, but it wasn't. a group of us walked home early from school in the clouds of smoke that had become the new air, we wrote our names with our fingers in the dust on car windows. we went on our rooftops and smoked cigarettes and read the burnt papers that slow-danced around us. the fire the world and my heart and the tiny, heavy, gorgeous, brains had seen had been burning forever and would probably not stop and that's right when we knew it. there's blood everywhere and i can't remember why but i know that i threw my heart up into the sink, i'm sure of it because i can see it in there outside  my body still beating, inside the thick puddle of blood in the sink. beating and then dying, and breathing, and dying, and then beating and before you ask me the answer is no, i'm not okay.

martyrs

right, okay, this. so it hurts a lot more when you're lonely while in love with the person right there rather than on your own just you, maybe not strong or totally together, but not really lonely. not like this, with you right now. this is why i always stayed in control, of my chaos or my peace, i remember. you're like the sad part of the movie, where the audience winces and wonders if the whole film is worth these  sharp, tiny, wet shards  of tears. i would pay one million dollars not to see your dreams tonight and to not worry about who dances in them. on second thought i'd pay one million dollars just not to have to dream mine. and before this very minute i was about to start writing about the end-of-the-world-sex we were still breathing in and out until i heard that grizzly bear song and started to cry and turned to see you had just fallen asleep and then i remember things i said and some things you said back, all empty-eyed and angry.  i needed to know and i needed to hear you, "do you swallow the darkness or does the darkness swallow you?" and light? and not ever sleeping? or actually sleeping but then having to dream? and to "owe"? not even only what you owe but how to owe it right? without crying? and the impossibility of all of us existing?
nothing.
 "kerry fuck you and your self righteous sadness."
i doubt its the meanest things you've ever said to me but i still wrote it down. and i know i brought up your past lovers earlier but i really didn't mean to, it just leaked out of my brain onto your eyes and everything turned blue, with the song still playing in my head and your ghost, right here, asleep, away. now the room is dark. so. now the keys click and the wind screams like i want to but i won't, don't panic, i won't wake you up again anymore. unless of course, the words and the sentences and the typing stirs you and if it does well then that makes two of us.

 self-righteous: adjective Definition: smug Synonyms: affected, canting, complacent, egotistical, goody-goody, holier-than-thou, hypocritical, noble, pharisaic, pious, preachy, sanctimonious, self-satisfied, superior Antonyms: caring, humble, thoughtful, understanding.

did you know



it's almost the witching hour.
i thought the days would stop coming but they just keep banging on the door.
wait, wait i'm sorry okay, about everything, about bruisky knees and wrists and forearms. but i don't think they are sorry enough so i'll have to talk to them about that later, definitely i will. wait. i'm sorry that when we were little home was an infinite amount of different colored construction paper you could use to create whatever you felt like creating and then out of nowhere home was the sound that the construction paper makes when you rip it. i'm sorry for the tiny shredded hairs growing from the torn fabric edge, tiny tiny broken fingers, calling.

okay and sorry for the ways that i sleep and don't sleep. that sometimes when i do my knees curl up, pressing into you. i'm sorry i do not see the sun and i am sorry the sun does not see me. also i am sorry for the time i wrote my name on your neck with permanent marker which made you mad and how that made me feel the opposite of permanent and forever very far away from your neck. too many poems too many sorrys too many poems about being sorry. the other night the one kid that knows a lot about too many sorrys and far away necks and how my heart works asked me if the edges were my favorite and i said yes. but favorite is not the right word. i only meant its all i know, since always.
i'm sorry. wait.
everything makes me panic, i can't stomach the planet.
i have done something to time and now it's gone. it left with a sound, sort of a "swoooshh" and now reality is not touching me, it doesn't want to, i don't want to, and now things outside of me are breaking. i'm so sorry, i said, but tell me how do we unlearn?  how do we unlearn?

native.

it was a while after we had been sitting in two rocking chairs on a porch in the dark outside a shady convenient store, and way after i had said things using all i've got besides my mouth, that the oldest of the women turned to me and said. so. tell me how long has it been since you've known god? her eyelashes were very long. not when you 'found' god, she said, but after he found you.  how long has he been telling you?
the only light for miles seemed to be coming from her mouth and eyes. her skin was  the color of wet sand. how to reply, how to reply, i looked down at my hands - i hated them, crossed my legs, i fucking hated them, soft and skinny but bruisy and pale like a patient in a hospital bed. i said nothing.
'a long time' she said and nodded once with her eyes closed. 'you don't have to look at me.' i didn't look. she coughed and said 'wait, please look at me.'
i looked at her, her teeth were broken and the skin on her hands looked like the bark of a tree. i didn't want to touch her, i thought she'd become dust, or worse, grow and become a whole tree, making the ground shake and crack open. i didn't want to touch her but i wanted to feel everything that she was. it felt like we were all hiding but it wasn't in a bad way. i don't think.
in the store her people, family, or "cult", really, if you will, around here that is what they call them. here they're considered evil, they're ignored, people keep their self-absorbed distance. they are associated with things kept quiet and underground, demons and chaos, the people here would sometimes say that they were dark, that they were surrounded by a darkness that gave them nightmares and made them keep rifles under their pillows while they slept. i looked at the woman and the bodies moving around inside the store. it wasn't for buying things, it was more like the store was a stage prop and i was watching a performance. they were all women and very old, ancient like. even the men were women. they always moved slowly. i didn't speak much, mostly i watched them, everything they did was musical, i wanted in on this supposed darkness. the trouble was that i was only seeing light, i only saw light around them. but i could be wrong, there's always the chance that i'm wrong. watching them turned my clock hands, the ticking seconds everyones heart beats. it made me recall writing somewhere how strange it is that we grow up with this innate fear of darkness, its funny because for me, my ghosts are creatures with a light. the ones i know are preternaturally irradiated, shining. i couldn't even count or explain all the different shades of light if i wanted to.
the woman with the hands like bark tapped my knee and began to walk fast, summoning me, she walked so fast, faster than i'd seen any of them move, with an urgency that made it hard for me to swallow or feel reality. we came to a house i knew, i had lived there before, in a state of hibernation, ghosts too. the front yard of the house had sunk in, filled with water and froze over. a female deer and a small spotted fox were both stuck halfway in and halfway out of the ice, they looked dead but not peaceful. there was a horse, too, immersed fully underneath, through the ice i could see him struggling, his muscles angry and tired, his eyes wild - full of all fear. i could feel their frozen limbs inside my blood like an intravenous, intramuscular injection.  the three animals made no audible sounds but i could hear them screaming. the rest all happened very fast, my brain clattering like the horses hooves trying to push against the ice. the woman pointed to me from across the yard and kept her finger there in the air, straight and steady and for me. her mouth was moving fast, quietly talking to herself or the earth or both. it was no longer dark, i touched the ice, it turned to cold powder inside my fingers. i lied down onto my back, knees buckling first and i squeezed the freezing seeds of ice hard in my fist, praying, how cold is too cold and i swore i'd stay right there and never move and never tune out the screaming and kept strangling the ice with my fingers and then i passed out. when i woke up i was sitting indian style, the deer on my lap in my arms, its fragility i could taste while it shook there. its blood was almost as warm as mine. i wanted to share bloods. the horse was there too, laying behind me, it's body curved making an arc sheltering the deer and i, its big dark horse-eyes did not leave me for a second, after every blink they were still on me, knowing something good but also too much. i felt like the something good but also the too much.  the melted ice had created a deep lake where the fox sat beside, cleaning its paws with its tongue. the woman with the tree skin hands was still across the entire yard, clapping and laughing at the setting with her mouth open and no sound, her broken teeth like stars in pitch black. i couldn't tell you what was shining then, if it was with darkness or light, but everything was seen and immersible, everything was what it always called to be and i got in, in the end it wasn't her i wanted inside of but this. the deers body hummed: "my,my,my " my pupils were dark and wet the corners of my eyes lit with little teardrops.


it's not like i believe and

my heart feels like a wave that never crashes and it's really not okay but i am trying hard to remember that all flesh is grass. remember it like i remember the first time i heard 'ghosts'. not the ones that sit in the corners of rooms and just watch and watch me, but the song. though both kinds sing, loud and quiet. i was in a cement walled room and my heart was pregnant and bleeding. she sang it over and over because thats how i played it. she sang, we died and then we woke up hungry. our selves stayed up in our heads and then flew right over everything else alive.

i miss you like death.

 
yes i think i know that song and i really do want to listen but i want to die more. he's asleep in the bed and i'm on the floor cause i like it here and i think i wish you were near me because you make me feel like who i am, effy or not effy, good or evil, peaceful or a wild rumpus, margot, brod, the sky opening, the ghosts that broke your heart before i met you,  whatever. 

 
i miss your heart like a million pounds of concrete pouring.

 
all flesh is grass.
all flesh is grass.
all flesh is grass.
my heart is the forest and the wilderness is good and perfect.

the flesh is grass. 
fuck, no.
i miss you like a nightmare-eaten child whimpering in its sleep.  

how do you entice infinity? please, i can take it, i was made for it.
it is a thing in a room you cannot call for, its already there, like the song, like the devil waiting and waiting. 5:25 a.m, 5:36 am, 5:39.
"i used to eat your breath" you said, and just like that, i was removed. flesh is not, was never really grass and the wilderness is just gods metaphor for what my insides feel like, looking quiet but feeling loud. who can breathe me now? i move. and who eats up my wilderness now?
do as done, there's nothing else left to be but here.