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

deem

the evil ones, especially, love beauty

look at you, think a thought

then look away, but stare again

run fast baby girl, cause

it’s not too far behind you

like all our happy memories

kicking up that dust of the past

making our hearts ache, cause

they just couldn’t last and

my brain is stuck on these sorrows

I’m so fearful they they’ll sojourn

for all my tomorrows

the evil ones just love our beauty

could we persuade it, possibly

so that the good in it would take form

cast

Do you remember that place where the trees were tall, and the ground was soft? Everywhere you looked – your eyes were stained with moss. The wind was your white noise, and it hid all the screams from those bad boys. They took all the purple flowers and tore them up, then laughed and ran away. But you walked the other way when they punched you with closed man-sized fists. You are so good at what you do. 

And when the oldest one told you to, “JUST GO KILL YOURSELF!” — you couldn’t help but respond, “why would you say that!”  Only to remember that dream you had where you stopped yourself from swallowing all those small white pills. You never knew your eyes could fill with tears so fast. The oldest boy smiled, and you knew you had failed. He then proceeded to chase you while chanting, “I’m going to stab you with a knife.” You blocked all the hits of his colored pencil, cause at this — you are very skilled. 

And all the while remembering that Forest of the Too Tall Trees and wishing you had never seen those pitiful boys filled with bad thoughts and rage. For you’ve grown tired of how they latch on to you, how they revolve around you like you are their fucking lifesaver. So tired of being a lifesaver. Here, now— I remember that green. God, how I want to get lost in that moss. Taste the sunshine on my lips and be blinded. Do you remember that place?