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.

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

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

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?

colère

poor little baby, you bit your tongue

chewing on all that hatred.

was it horrible? did it cut your throat

when you swallowed it down?

did it try to climb its way back up, and

make you run to the bathroom to find

an empty stall?

poor little baby, you broke your finger

pointing it and flipping them the bird

that was carrying all that ill will.

did it break free and flee?

perhaps fly away somewhere quiet to

rest on a snow-capped tree or

a glowing, warm palm.

poor little baby, you failed the test.

bogus

heard the blinds clank together
as if I’d have a visit from the voodoo man
but
I don’t even believe in him, I’d think
but
after a visit from the voodoo man
I surely would, I’d think
and afterwards tell him to pack up
all his trinkets, his tools of deceit,
his bottles of dark poison,
all his sparkling white elephants
leave me to close those blinds
and pray he leaves me far behind