Wednesday, October 28, 2009

And the horizon


took too long to curve around itself
so you reached down to scratch 
"Always" into the sand.
You never were one for patience.
Or maybe I'm the one who isn't,
but we don't mind waiting
as long as it's with each other.

Sometimes we drink whiskey
like it's wine and I ask you 
to rub your fingers through my hair
and you do but not for long.
I don't mind though,
because of the way you kiss
the back of my neck, right at
the hair line as you take
your hands away.

On too many nights
we fall asleep on the couch
and the TV whispers
infomercials up our noses.
In the early light of the day
we move to your windowless
room with sore necks.
The dog rests her wet nose on your knee.
You hold me while I glimpse
you in a dream 
and you always walk the same.
Once you weren't smiling
but I woke to your breath on my back
and I knew what I'll always feel.

This love.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ignoring verses Ignorance

What doesn't bend, breaks.
I'm malleable like a flower
and you may think
you're sturdy like a tree
but life will cut you down.
I'll always rise through
the soil again in the spring.

You can laugh all you want,
I'll always bite my lip.
We're meant to
bleed, scab, heal
and bleed again.
Scars are not the joke,
you are.

My being is meant
for thoughts
and love making,
you're one to fight
and fuck
then fight again.

I'll pick the ripe grapes
off of my vine
to make sweet wine
while your delusion
envelops you
like a rotten pumpkin
with seeds destroying it's own soil.

I carry heavy anger for you,
so much so that I would forgive
those few I hate
just to make room for you.
But I'm not for that misery,
I would never, ever
want to keep your company.

I said it before
it even had a place to live:
Ignoring is harder to pull off
than ignorance.
So I'll keep my integrity
and you can sink down
in your stupidity.

And now I'm over it.

They knew what they feared (or they feared what they knew)

They came to eat.
They compensated.

They came to cry.
They stubbed their toes.

They came to sing.
They plucked violin strings
and chipped their nails.

They blew kisses,
some stuck fingers
down their throats.

They forgot to call,
stayed awake all night
with charcoal on their clothes.

They came to speak--
metaphors beat
them over their brains.
Cliches crashed into their thoughts
and hung what's left
on the wings of airplanes.

They came to prove
something or everything.
Eventually nothing?
Some lost their dreams
and watched
ice cream melt
under their desk lamps--
dripping into pools
around their pencils.

"And what about art?"
They asked over and over.

Over.

They came to scream
their names
and the lack of stars hurt
their windows. But
they forgot how stars
are still there,
even when unseen.
A silence became
their darkness
or lightness
or that tiny space between
where pain gropes
at their groins.

They came to become real
but all that's left is
the soap scum on the tiles
of a soiled bathroom.

Soiled.

They came. Can there be forgiveness?

They came to be
known
loved
accepted
envied.
To be.

And they came to learn a language
unknown to their tongues.

They came to contort their existence
and they stepped out
from the shadows
to be pushed behind
the bathroom stalls
where used tampons rest
on the toilet paper rolls.

They came because
they know the stench.


And maybe they left because
a certain amount of human empathy
is needed and
never felt
never seen
never opened up.

Open.

But it's now closed.

The book
is closed
the door,
the mind,
the fingers on their hands
are closed.

They came to transform
their foreign thoughts
into native words and,
quite understandably,
they left because
no one listened.



For my international students at Pratt, especially to the one who didn't give herself enough credit and I'm sorry for all the pressure and pain she felt, whatever it was deep down.