to talk to you (poem #19)

No one has been careful with me.

Not even me.

I can talk for ten hours and realize that I’ve said nothing.

That everything is an excuse, 

and you’re just listening 

and counting paint until I shut up. 

I am five feet 2 inches tall but I am also absolutely insignificant in the key of A,—

There is darkness in the sun.

Strobe kisses inside my eyes catch me by the throat.

Where do I regurgitate back this dearest darkness?



Where do you go when all I see is light?

When all I taste are blues and greens?

Where do I grow and trample?

Where does all the growth go when I feel subterranean?

How do I fall in love with my twisted grove?

How do I happy my way out of insomnia?

Where is my conveyor belt? 

My deficiency?

I feel movement in my belly, a world of unfed mouths.

Why am I starving—for attention, for love and adoration?

For empty disappointments and misunderstandings?

When do I sleep?

When do I forgive?


a painful availability (poem #18)

we always talk in metaphor, 

romanticizing what we don’t have words for.

pretending that a picture can say more

 than what our mouths can pour.

I’m cynical in thinking, that love is inexplicable, 

a despicable romantic, worthy of the wait.

I speak this way but all that’s ever saved me is breath and love, and diligence.

there are no other substitutes or vitamins as culprits for how healthy I’ve become.

in spite of broken bones I walk on stilts pretending I can hover over every misconception that has ever opened up itself as a lover or a friend.


Come (poem #17)

If you get close enough, you’ll smell my masturbation mixed with sandalwood.

You’ll smell years of regret and sweetness in the cracks.

If you get close enough, I’ll leave and separate the view you have of me and eat it.

I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, it feels like living,

but it fell from somewhere else.

I am decapitated and screaming, I am bloodless/aching,

But mostly, I am ceremony.

Hear me pray your thoughts back to communion.

I’m not even Catholic, but I feel the two thousand years of ruination of what should’ve been a simple book of funny explanations. 

You’re only here and gone, what’s in-between is…

—it belongs to all the things you’ve bought.

The house.

Your friends. 

Your drugs.

Your gaping mouth.

The cigarettes.

Your worth in clothes and sex.

No one will remember your pussy if they can’t even remember your name. 

I say this lovingly because you are a sacrifice.

A smile stretched out, 

no one is pink when they’re held by the throat.

No one perspires by candlelight, they melt.

No one burns in urgency, they thaw in rest.

Escape into mediocrity.


there is plenty of food in this country (poem #16)

we will starve

& the animals will rejoice in this.

they will live, 

and watch us peck ourselves sick.

they’ll sit idly,

listening to our aching bellies weep—

empty of slaughter,

and ask,

“how’s it feel?”


miasma (poem #15)

I never knew how to breathe before you.

I only knew how to inhale 

and exhale without purpose, without thought.

I always spoke as an assault.

I have swayed when my heart worried,

came right back to the tide, and the breeze—

I am not a romantic, 

I am a brute, 


I have never loved correctly. 

I have done what most cowards do, 

become a mute. 

In my breath now,

I catch purpose, 

I leap in sorrow 

and the universe

soughs in approval.  


keeps him humble (poem #14)

In Los Angeles, 

they call drizzles, storms.

The storms,

 are usually people in line 

for a honeybaked ham during Easter.

But really, it’s all days and every Holiday.

People love being around each other, if only to ignore.

I get a smile now and again, usually at work

from married men carrying a newborn, while

mom is off trying to find something sexy to read.

Meanwhile, he tells me how much he’s enjoying

being a dad, as if I am in need of a father.

Does he see my deficiency?

I puff up, show my smile and chipped teeth—

shoulders heavy.

Hands outstretched, I’m unclenched,

knives in my laugh—

he feels this, laughs nervously, 

like rats do, 

his wife

a precious lonely tired thing I cradle in my arms of books.

I recommend all kinds, make him pay, she apologizes

and I say—

he loves you, right?

he agrees and folds away.


sweet memory of soil (poem #13)

My grandma died on April 9th.

Not sure of the year.

All I know is that a death rattle is real,

and that when a body begins to die, 

it eats itself.

Each time I’d visit, 

she’d turn more and more into a corpse.

Her cataracts turned her brown eyes

into a milky gelatin.

She never ate much, 

we always worried 

when she’d leave 

half her plate

of food, 

“you need to eat,” we’d say—

“I’m full,” she’d answer

Stomach cancer ate her small intestine.

She withered as thin as a wafer.

I’d watch her rub her belly 

each night 

before she’d go to bed.

The day before she died, she

called me over to her—

told me to get as close 

as I could stand it.

She was blind by then.

She said sometimes, 

small lines would form the shape

of something

like a head, 

or a smile

inside her eyes.

She wrapped her cold fingers on my warm face, 

kept them there and cried,

begged for my forgiveness

told me I was beautiful.

“I’ll wait for you,” she said.

I nodded in her hands.


replaced and replaced (poem #12)

i was pregnant once, maybe thrice.

i think most women carry children in them,

even if they’ve never fucked.

these children scream, 

chaotic wails in the craters of their teeth,

in the cleft of their eyes.

yes, i realize i say this all the time.

men get pregnant too, 

only their children resemble fists.

the women then, 

with their mouths and teeth and eyes, 

erect a church to baptize all these children in. 

they sing hymns as they carry all the weight of insufficiency.

they murmur hate in the key of misery.

haven’t you heard that self-sabotage is a conspiracy?

none of this is real.

you were never here.


like the smell of a corpse flower (poem #11)

[the fascination with Satan in the 90’s
is how fascinated I am 
with how easy it will be
to forget 
celebrities if we are to keep these masks on our faces indefinitely, or will we?]

it also reminds me how grateful I am
for the ability to envy beauty 
yet remain completely unattractive, —I mean unattached.

imagine all the people it would take to fill the void inside a beautiful gaping body?
imagine how desperate we all feel collectively at this moment?
imagine all the things we’d be doing if none of this would’ve happened?
imagine how stupid we’d look?
imagine how stupid we’ve been?


a certain possession of freedom (poem #10)

I crave a suckling mouth on my breast some months
I crave the attention I could only imagine a child gives
At my age, there are other things I should be craving
Like a good dentist
A savings account
A phone full of pictures in some country where no one looks like me
But, when I get this strange pull to finally
Why my mother failed so miserably at loving me
I remember her advice to me

stay free