false

Everything he told me was a lie.
The bits about the winter, his past,
his apparitions.
Even that story of him skating
fearfully on the ice
Before he blacked out to
Dream about her.
Lost and crying in Heaven.
Everything he told me was a lie.

vanishing

I don’t want to be that girl
who gives everything
everything she has and hasn’t
over and over until
it’s years and years later
with everything dwindling
down to a few somethings
I don’t want to be that bird
who gives away her last somethings
somethings she has and hasn’t
every day and day until
it’s ages and ages later
with somethings scrambling
down to nothing
I don’t want to be that desperate soul
who even tries to give nothing
nothings she has and hasn’t
over and over until
she reaches forever and a day
with nothings trembling
down to anything
I don’t want to be that girl

fleeting

by the time he pulled the bird
out of his pocket
its damp wings were the color
of melted butter
it was gasping, pecking ferociously
its canary spirit flapping away

after the time he pulled the canary
out of his pocket
the soldiers wept for
the absence of its sound
reason lacking, trying unavailingly
to keep any happiness from floating away

finite

may God bless all the delicate
creatures that will hold your hand
in their impossibly strong grips
and shed glimmering tears
as you admit you’re afraid to
take your last breath
place their long sweet-smelling
manes over your eyes
so that your last thoughts
are of beauty before you die

guilty

you can’t recognize that happiness
you wore twelve years ago
your eyes so full of stupid hope
before it hit you, before he hit you
now you have to force the
gold into your brown
darken that kohl to match your fading hair
listen to post’s “blame it on me”
invite that pervert in
to taste your dried up lipstick
make you look away to blush
and wait for the flames to hit

dwell

I wondered why he painted the
house the color of blood
blackened the windows except
the one on the upper left side
made the door look like a mouth
so it could devour us one by one
swallow us into the ground
to choke on the dirt, beg to breathe
pray and pray for the evil to leave

I wondered why he painted the
house that awful color of red
his brain just starting to misbehave
his dark thoughts claiming him
taking us down with him
to bear the scars, the trauma
and dream of blood
choke on it even, beg to breathe
pray and pray for the evil to leave

keep

they pulled you out of the water
pale and grey
wind blowing on your blue dress
still clinging to your skin
your eyes stained with sadness
so mad to be saved
the cruel rope still embracing you
I ran to you and knelt
tears fell like stones
crushing my heart
each eager to remind me that
this love is not for the faint of heart