Spinning

tight chest, juice pressed

from the fruit of my labor

and its rotting skin

 

do you remember

blades of grass under

small feet?

the world spinning by

on the merry-go-round?

we laughed and jumped

and felt our bones crack

for the first time.

it was never a thought

until we were motionless

 

the whirring world

carries on but with

less laughing and

more cracking of the whip.

 

nothing is broken

but something is always spinning

 

5-14-19

 

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Light

Stalking the sun,

it paints the dirt before me

like a reckless Pollock

 

The colors splatter

against the trees

and freckle my skin

 

Birds cry out for attention

and I give it to them

(you say I have a hard time saying no)

 

I have always chased the light

as if it’s something to be caught

 

But what difference does it make

if it steals my eyes

when I see how the world could be

and not how I have known it

 

5-7-19

Liberation

how many years have we been told

our eyes must sink like suns

behind the mountain men,

because warmth is an invitation

to strip the valley of its flowers

 

how many hours have we spent

covering our faces in flesh-toned tarps

to keep the rawhide in

and the tired out

 

how many times have we cradled

our sagging skin like babies,

damp from neglected tears

and swollen from the sting of

unattainable perfection

 

vanity is a word they made up

to excuse their expectations of

soft but firm

sweet but assertive

pure but provactive

wise but ageless

 

now when my eyes

are trapped in glass,

I liberate them with

a gap-toothed grin

and tell the world

it can’t have me

 

4-29-19

 

 

 

Moss

a million screaming voices

hang like moss in my throat

 

I want to hold you up

with the roughs of my tongue,

you’re in every word

that I can’t get out

 

instead, my mouth clicks

and quivers and I drown

myself in confusion

until I’m convinced

you’ll flee before I can cut

back the moss, swing out on a vine,

and say I love you

 

please stay

 

4-5-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He couldn’t

he couldn’t strip me

of my color,

though he wished

I wasn’t bright

 

he couldn’t keep me

hidden from curious eyes,

though he tried to bury my name

 

he couldn’t keep my spirit soaring

lower than his own,

though he tried to strap his shame

like weight on my wings

 

he couldn’t break me

like a horse

(I broke away)

 

4-4-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flint

when you drink from

the fountain of youth,

you steal it from the children

 

while you stock up on gold,

they’re drinking only silver

until their throats catch fire

and their brains smolder in ash

 

you’ve never been a giver

so they asked you to take

the heavy metals

 

they threw their hopes and dreams

at your feet like pennies in a wishing well

 

still you only felt the paper in your pocket,

not the beating of your heart

 

4-3-19

 

 

 

Glaciers

How could she not love you

 

the way you walk with your shoulders forward,

pushing glaciers north,

carving mountains behind you

 

the way you melt ice

with the grays of your eyes

and pool that water

in the blues

 

the way your laugh shakes your cheeks

and the ground beneath you

the way it sings in her heart

and mine

 

4-2-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

Human/Nature

Can you lick your own wounds

if someone else has your tongue?

 

The white oak breaches the clouds

from a field of tall grass,

its seed, once carried on the wind,

took root with little support

from the elements and peers

 

it guards its autonomy

with open space

and stays postured

for the valley storms

 

So why does it take a village

to pump your blood?

 

4-1-19

 

 

 

Settling In

I am baking in the earth’s crust,

burning out and settling in

 

The fabric of another life folds

like a patchwork quilt on the table before him

My fingers streak through his hair

and pave new pathways

he can feel, but can’t see

 

I sip him like hot coffee

in a cold car,

steam fogs the windshield

and I squint to find my place

I can’t see, but I feel him

in the back of my throat

and the pit of my stomach

 

burning up and settling in

 

3-18-19

 

 

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