daughter

if an angel were with skin, this is the skin she’d be in

and it gladdens my heart that he was there

with his red plaid falling in love with you

when you were tired of running

you thought we’d be abandoned

but, look at us dear, we’re still standing

I admire your spirit, your laughter

your view on this entire situation gone mad

the way you send prayers to stop me feeling sad

so sad, which confirms my thinking

that if an angel were with skin

it’s your skin she’d be in

l’oiseau

after it tempted me with its stalky teasers

showing me its many scarlet hats

I saw her camouflaged behind the leaves

dull brown hiding her ruddy brown

with her head looking down

I heard her call out a song to distract me

then watched her fly away

broke my heart she didn’t want to stay

led

brown tipped moth led the way 

past the swamp, the marsh, the murk.

away from the swarm of ink

waiting to envelop me.

it led the way past the squished 

garnet worms beneath my 

cardboard sneakers, me 

whispering sorry

past the house with the 

flamingos in their pool, 

past the party, the envy, the fools. 

brown tipped moth led the way 

and I followed, inhaling its dust 

past the chatter, the damage, the lies. 

away from this flock of fear 

and

away from thinking there

must be better than here. 

uncomfortably

I felt the friction like a cat’s tongue

hesitating to taste what’s on my finger 

cooed sweet baby words in its ear 

to get him to linger 

drove under the dopey gray clouds

so tired from the day 

and told big happy lies to myself 

begging the sunshine to stay 

rather

I want to tell you a story about a girl and the sea 

but no matter how I begin it 

I end up talking about him and me 

and I’m brought back to that February day

where it ended – my time spent alone with him 

and yet he cries cause he misses it 

and every harmonic makes me think of death 

how he punched until I had no breath left 

and how much energy it took to whimper the word 

STOP

I’d rather talk about how I held my breath watching

you disappear into the waves

 talk about how you plucked the ivory treasures from the floor

those endless sandy walks finding the sea glass you adore 

marvel that you really are so brave 

 instead of feeling like he’s marching me to my grave

I want to tell you a story about a girl and the sea 

but no matter how I begin it

I always end up talking about him and me 

 

sudden

it wasn’t the look of confusion you saw in her eyes

it was the look of fear

for even the cattle know when death is coming for them

much like those hyenas at my door again

coming to torment me, even though

I left them a feast at the table

patrol about and contort their ravaged mouths

causing me to flee, much like when I run

from him when he turns savage

but this time I remain, to open the door

to his frantic moans and pained eyes

whisper to calm my heart while his brain loses control

seize him into my mending arms until his terror has passed

then kick the hyenas aside

to walk my son back to his dreams

 

stay

I don’t have long to spend with you – but we have those spirits

passing through our house again.  I feel them, he feels them.

I’d think you’d feel them if you were open to it.

I don’t need to tell you that last week was rough.  

I saw red and heard the bees in my ears –

my world went numb again, but he doesn’t care, 

and I’m left blue and scared.

I don’t have long to tell you – I’m grateful that you’re here.

you let me run out, even in the dark of night,

 when I see his pale face and hear his sighs.  

you help me ignore all the frogs as I try to drive down the street,

watch them bounce off my wheels, but I don’t stop.

I keep on going, keep on remaining

much like the shadows that play in our house,

and I’m gently reminded that those souls must be

welcomed here.  they have lived Sufferer’s torment more, 

they are tired of living in fear.

shower

you’ll never know what secret thoughts I think,

entertain; as my eyes match my fogged up

window.  catch myself against the side to

keep from falling; falling from all my damn

sobbing.  secret thoughts to make this hell end.

awful thoughts, selfish thoughts.  the banana

leaves try earnestly to shake me from my

disturbing trance.  those distant violins

try to keep me awake.  they beg me to

follow their sorrow, but they have no clue

what’s in store for my crazy tomorrows.

you’ll never know what secret thoughts I think;

dark thoughts that would make you run, make you sink.

leaving

dreamt my life was leaving last night.

panic threw itself on top on me – crushing my breath.

soul escaped my fingertips, fled from my

O shaped mouth; much like what he likes to draw,

minus the teeth, minus the red.

dreamt my life left me; flat like a sheet, empty like a shell.

it was tired of being anemic and pale.

motionless, I watched it walk away.

tried to scream, plead for it to come back,

but my cold mouth froze up, still shaped like an O.

felt the wind rush over me one last time.

instantly made me regret that I had to go.