break yourself to open

return, to the crime scene—

the clarity is muddled 

it sacrifices itself in the palms of my eyes,

with sugar and bitters and sustained retrieval

I am left out in the universe

to endure and imbibe from the wounds

that seep simultaneously

with excuses

frozen, 

untouched

atoned

I am a lamb/

soft-hearted

elegant

gentle

tolerant

surrendered

Now what?

How do I move in silence when I’ve kept quiet for so long?

How do I scream without sending waves?

There is a roar underneath the core of us/

a contemplation of sex and stars/

a strut 

a snake

a glance

an embrace

I am all angel and villain 

black feathered hair/sharp mouth

illusion of something small—gigantic at 5 foot 2 

corners hide the sly, the slick, the tick, the lie 

of giving more than you have

of reaching for my sky, of making it rain

new fresh limbs rise from my eyes

new found lips purse and plume with promise

I see you

…please continue

expensive funerals

Now I know why I’m a poet,
sickness always leaves the mouth

last

sickness as in—a condition to expel
nausea that doesn’t want a home in me

it wants the world to see
it for what it’s hidden/

hidden as in-kept secret

a sickness of secrets
a coughing
a sloughing
a trophy

for courage to spill it
regardless who tastes it/

courage as in a backbone
as in valor
a valuable

as in worthy,
an heirloom//

pain leaves the body
fizzes out
drinks of itself
delivers itself

to another host
who might possess
the strength to
drink of this sickness

as in,

a condition to expel/

death part

this is a manifest,

in its primal definition 

manifest (adj.)

late 14c., “clearly revealed to the eye or the understanding, open to view or comprehension,” from Old French manifest “evident, palpable,” (12c.), or directly from Latin manifestus “plainly apprehensible, clear, apparent, evident;” of offenses, “proved by direct evidence;” of offenders, “caught in the act,” probably from manus “hand.”

yes,

not a manifesto, 

but a manifest

to the cadaver of my abuser,

because like they once lived 

they also died, 

and I got to see it in my lifetime,

a big blur happened when my father announced it under his breath,

I often believe he killed him 

fantasized the how,

but no, 

my father is a good Mormon, 

recovering alcoholic, 

a man who rarely wore shoes in his youth,

his feet are twisted like tree roots, 

he moves and sways like trees do too,

a dancer, 

he taught me to pretend I could fly, 

reminded that the ground beneath me sweltered

that life was meant to be danced the whole way,

but,

the coldness always seeped through him, 

and the warmness never stayed,

so I relied on warmth from other hands,

regardless of where they landed/

this is a manifest,

in its antiquated definition,

manifest (adj.)

late 14c., “to spread” (one’s fame), “to show plainly,” (adj.) or else from Latin manifestare “to discover, disclose, betray.” Meaning “to display by actions.”

yes,

not a manifesto, 

but a manifest

to the men I should’ve never fucked,

to the men I should’ve never stayed with and the women that I pushed away

it’s always hard to see mistakes as they are happening, 

it’s always hard to do the right thing because you could always say it was part of the process

I still often danced around commitment, 

because usually, 

it came with absence

and dancing always helped keep one foot in, 

and one foot out,

now, 

I’m 

     a 

          l 

         i  

n                

                 g

mourning Jupiter

massive King

girth of 11 Earths

a mass of 317/

you are all numbers

67 moons/

thunderous mother

patron father/

in our 24 hours/ 

you have made 3 transits

had the sun rise and the moon set

thrice,

while we slept/

copper scrutiny/

you peek from your sequenced cage,

your constant storm is a hum of relief,

easing into melancholy/

you are 12,000 degrees Celsius,

you are a million California fires and just one look from my mother/

I chew your bitter in my mouth

expulse the mediocre/

instead incorporate

a spice impenetrable

gunpowder moon of sparse religions

you create a God of everything that can’t be touched

I will miss the softness of my equilibrium/

the softness of my restlessness

a strange growth has appeared behind my ears

I’ve sprouted wings

I’ve changed but yet tomorrow

is Sunday,

and then the week begins again,

over and over and over

yet everything inside me/

rearranged

a silent migration,

idle in its potency/

Watercolor portrait by John Collins
http://www.johnfromgrayslake.com

Halloween 2019 —an excess

I dreamt of you and me eating

You choking

Vomiting

You starting a fight

With a woman

Who began

Yelling at me

For being with you

& how she knows your type

How you like them ugly

To stay safe

She knows your type

I loosen my grip

She knows your kind

She reminds me

How ugly I am

And that you’re with me

To feel safe

To remind yourself you’re kind too

I wake up

Then we’re walking home

But you run into the ocean

Yelling

“ I love the ocean too—“

I see you through clouds

I run too

But stop halfway

I open my eyes,

Again, we’re eating

You turn around and tell me

“That woman is attractive.”

I wonder why you’d hurt me this way

You turn again,

Say it again—

“Why?”

I ask

“But didn’t emphasize the question

You say

“Because she looks faithful and you don’t.

I want to be like your poetry.”

I eat my food

Chewing it till it turned to liquid.