Pieces

Piece #1: Girl

She hid it like a traveler hides cash.
The first piece tucked behind her molars
At 16 she hoped the dental surgeon
might mistake it for a little piece of wisdom
and cut it out, too.

Piece #2: Raped

She left one piece behind her right ear
just above the infinity symbol she got tattooed
drunk on her 21st birthday.
she didn’t like the symbolism sober.

Piece #3: By

One piece hung on the refrigerator in her apartment.
A drawing she did, age 5.
She held her parents hands, grinning
in a triangle dress
You can’t see bruises on stick-girl thighs.

Piece #4: Dad.

 

(This poem was inspired by an episode of House – inspiration comes in funny ways.) 

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Playing House

I’m used to being an adult in the sense that 9 months out of the year, I live at least sort of on my own, and am in charge of taking care of myself. But I’m not used to being accountable for anyone else – sure, when I’m at home I’ll run my brother to a friend’s house or pick him up from school if my parents ask me to, but it’s really just filling in the gaps of what my parents do so well.  Continue reading

Urban

Shoe laces knotted- double knotted – and thrown over the telephone wire

A trick I learned growing up in inner-city-somewhere but my friends tell me I’ve done it all 

Wrong, I left my feet in my shoes and my legs attached to my feet and now I’m

dangling from the humming wire, a modernized urban lynching. 

Full

i am full of
a sickening need to be a honest
a stomach full of festering
falsities that are nudging me to nausea

i am full of
single second memories and the startling conviction
that i rarely remember
what i was going to say

i am full of
reasons i never asked the men i
fucked to wear condoms
and now that means i have been long full
of other things

i am full of
a humbling hypochondria
that forces my hand into
pouring out soup cans and
checking my spastic heart

i am full of
uncapitalized letters and
comma splices,
of editing drunk and writing sober and
always being high

i am full of
perfectionism steeped in
a bitter sense of competition

i am full of
people i wanted to screw over but
let walk, like
the gracious southern girl I wasn’t
raised to be

i am full of
the girl i kissed in cemeteries because my
controls over her dangerous habits
finally tangled themselves into a noose
and i hung her in heroin

i am full of
too many things and i think i know
now why my Uncle wrote so
many poems when he was young

Cigarettes in Summer

I. Uncut guitar strings tremble like waves of sugar cane in August heat. Cocked hats and unfettered hips attain the same angle.

II. Lit cigarettes in the storm shelter. Smoke spinning in spider threats across the rafters, tangling addictive personalities in sickly brown filters and interlocked fingers.

III. Passerby don’t know – it’s just the beginning. Lungs receiving their first taste of tar, the chemical filth sticking to my sinuses and sending blood to bang its fists on the boards behind my eyes.

IV. From wool hats in summer to dancing, dangling cigs, perched seductively where lips converge. Warmed from the inside out, lighters darken the ends of noses as we seek out the last drag. Softly coated in melting lipstick, sweat clings to the tips of eyelashes.

V. The heat has overcome us.