Mockery He Said We grabbed the sheets off our bed soiled in soil before laundry day. Speaking only in British accents picked for picnics like we could be other people.
A group of kites is called a mockery, he said.
Wisconsin When our hands were small enough to fall from monkey bars, you hated cheese. Called it ‘moon food’ and refused to wish upon stars because solar means from the same sky.
When we were seven, you taught me how to sew carrying the needle from my body to your own so we’d never be without each other. By ten, you asked for space. I wished upon stars like they had healing powers.
In the holes of our misread astrology, stars would look the same to both of us if only I could see them, instead, I think about Wisconsin and wonder if you think about me.
Tire(d) But right now you’d be filling car tires with expandable memories. Hot air that would peter out before the highway. People get stranded by lies like that.
I am a reflection closer than I appear and that’s the way you like me the way my mother raised her daughters to be optical illusions chiseling affection out of old car parts.
My mother is a motor they left running. wasted gasoline like honey running down a beehive she taught us to behave with the morsels she hid under her tongue
My father buys his cars used and ignores the upkeep he claims it’s someone else’s problem when the engine backfires.
A right turn on red he speeds only to get stopped by the same lights as the people who adjusted their mirrors and turned around to check on the backseat passengers
Our feet are deflated car tires try as we might there’s no getting away.
Nobody's Tomorrow Truth has made Time messier and harder to graph; life is not linear. I don't know why they call it a timeline.
Time has made Truth uglier but better at hiding it. They have ways to cover bags and bruises.
Truth has turned Time to a liar; webbed versions of its own story intertwined like hands. He's wearing someone else's wedding ring but You still feel beautiful.
Beauty turned Him to a Narcissist. He forgot how to read; how to tell a story. He learned to dance and drink tequila with a hangover. Tequila made You brazen. You whispered his secret in another man's ear and prayed it would get back to Her. You were a million people's yesterday but nobody's tomorrow.
SKELETON Exposition He turned into a quarter when she could barely rub two dimes together. Growing out the hair on his beard until her lips callused trying to kiss him.
Rising Action A set of keys, a new bathmat. Painting their kitchen. Throwing caution to compassion.
ClimaxBaseball rules do not apply. The third time she heard of his affairs, he cooked a dinner she could not eat and told her he would learn to do better.
Falling ActionShe stopped searching for happiness in the same place it was lost. Like they had once searched for his keys. His phone. A perfectly good waste of a Saturday.
ResolutionThey no longer buy green bananas, incapable of ripe commitment, but she still makes fruit salads and they never learn the rules of baseball.
SUICIDE BLONDE “You saw baby-eyed/ strangled innocents, I saw sacred ancient customs.” “The Rabbit Catcher”- Ted Hughes
dye your hair each mangled strand a net for the rabbit catcher: fate’s fickle friend
each mangled strand a net tangled in blood thirst fate’s fickle friend knows his way around a knife
tangled in blood thirst eyes wide, restless. For the man knows his way around a knife like I used to know you
eyes wide, restless for the man four a.m. cries, unruffled pillows I used to know you behind closed doors for
four a.m. cries, unruffled pillows we’re all trapped, waiting behind closed doors for suicide blonde
we’re all trapped, waiting for the rabbit catcher suicide blonde, dye your hair.
SECOND TO THE RIGHT
You've probably seen him in the curve of your lost-boy smile. Reflected in the overbite of your jaw, in the most honest of crocodile tears. You're hungry.
The sky was a great body once when children traced its freckles with their flight patterns. But, in time, stars dimmed into the forgetfulness of age spots. Trace them.
And skin, addicted to the softness of youth, would cover empty bodies with perpetual night. Waiting by open windows for the shadow of eyes with the brightness of a galaxy.
Yesterday, they filled your lifeline with aching bones and arthritis. Took demonized versions of cog and wheel. Mulled over a chest that used to glow with wished-upon stars.
No. Our tomorrows weren't meant to taste like the metallic clockwork of perpetual chimes in stomachs filled with darting hands. Of silver hands and staying up ‘til morning.
They wait like children repeating the cycle. Or else reincarnation finds them bare again. Tongues unable to determine whether they are speaking English or god.
So clap your hands darling. Let the sound of naked palms remind you that we are still alive. And, if these pulsations are not enough for you to believe in, wash your face in
fairy dust and let it put the life back in your cheeks. Reverse time. Refuse to grow up. Grow galaxies from the stars in your eyes. Never land.
I’ve chosen to forgive you like May flowers forgive their winter death sentence-- (although I can’t remember why)
After my feet grew callused from walking in your shoes I tore them off to realize they no longer curved with our infinite faults. I’ve chosen to forgive you
Mom says you hide your fear in the talk you turn toxic. As a child I built walls around your words, made them idols. Prayed to them. (although I don’t remember why)
These days, my small sycamore is branching out Though roots have formed too frail to carry our newfound friendship, I’ve chosen to forgive you
We can’t see the stars in all this smog--their wishes lost to old gods and when we buried Zeus, I knew it was raining somewhere (although I won’t remember why)
You stand higher than the New York City skyline, thin, like congested avenues but you never taught me to stand like that Oh, Daddy, I’ve chosen to forgive you (although I can’t remember why)
An artist told me, once, she sketched a grid when she didn’t know how to begin
I try to think up something griddy like- “Maybe I don’t love you anymore”
You’d call that another “morbid twist” like newspaper headlines, things that turn our hands black
Six words, bold, beginning, middle an ending
When they started another forest fire we only watched this time:
The green turned to dust before the people, less flammable than foliage
The soft parts of animals are rarely preserved as fossils we harden into sediment
With nothing to quantify love like evolution and carbon emissions