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

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.

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

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

season

his notes throw my brain
back to winter, cold and ice
he’s so good at that
everything freezing, everything leaving
rushing past me
going to places — I want to go
his keys spark my sleepy memories
my eyes explode with
those open fields and dying trees
my heart melts with burnt clouds
and those magical fading leaves