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

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.

dare

you were swimming with the sharks, Love

did you feel them when you were up above?

you minded your business and they minded theirs

lifeguard left his station but you didn’t care

you were swimming with the sharks, Love

how did all that danger feel?

not much different than your everyday?

you really are so brave, Love

inexplicable

I wonder if the freaks of the shattered

doors will get lost

now that the holes are fixed

I doubt they’ll cheer and clap

as we rid them of their destruction

but

I like the way the bright color

adorns the walls in this space

as I wonder how long your peaceful

calm will stay in this place

impossible

they were running wild near the edge of a cliff

and they asked you to rip your heart out

which you gladly did but then they told you

to push one of them off the brink

push, you weakling, push

would it be your young blonde with the lovely smile

or your red-headed child with eyes of light?

you put your heart back in and begged them to

take it again 

they looked at you like those hollow

beings that haunt you during the day

without saying a word, without a second glance

cause you’d had enough of their nonsense

said a silent prayer and took flight

like falling snow

leaving whispers of forgiveness

that your children would never know

over

on this day of raindrops on our lips

and

wishing on vanishing rainbows 

you told me you were happy it was gone 

cause it demanded too much attention

but its departure left me useless 

and 

I’ll  miss the purple clouds 

and the pelicans floating

between 

the horizon and the nodding sun

and 

I’ll miss this feeling 

that I don’t want to leave 

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. 

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