macrame girl

look at hands touch the jaw too often
how fingers are always knitted
together with shoestrings or hair.

look at the torso built
of knots, a macrame girl:
what a week at the bottom of a purse
will do to anyone.

look at how the body becomes
a wall hanging: bits of string
dangling from a sprig of oak
like dry earth worms.


anxiety in good company

i begin at the cuticle.
at first, skin clings –
grown comfortable
snug against muscle.

my fingers work hard.
with nails and knuckles
and eventually it begins
to loosen.

it peels back.
muscle meets air
breaths like a bottle
of wine.

it takes a long time.
the skin over joints
wrinkles like empty
sausage casings.

i get to the wrist.
tear the skin like
tape, but no sound.
i leave my hands
in my lap.

muscle-bare and wet
i start just below
the chin. the white
of the jaw bone
shines like eggshell.



Sweater Weather

His smell stays on me how feeling wool
clings to your cheeks.

Smell the inside of my wrist:
the cigarettes he gave up, the way
inside both our throats always healing,
wood chips in my lashes.

Smell the back of my knees:
sheets selected for thread count, too high
to see grief woven in, he washes
his hands with dish soap.

A weed tinged welcome,
breath patterns spread like
crystalline rash across glass,

the vape sounds like ice cubes clinking
ice against teeth taste after dinner drinks
drinks go down like sawdust


a new place to be stored when you sleep:
space that makes skin taught,
air-broken flesh shade of stop sign,

you do not stop.
I am kept inside bathtub drain
when you eat, chin familiarizes with knee caps,
toes with glutes fingers to shoulder blades
chest thighs introduce yourselves –
like a paper crane creased to stiffness.

once you left me sitting stove-top
pink-soft skin needing days of licking.

There are six drawers beneath counters,
insulation spills into your closet shelf,
leaves me glittered with glass.
Your thumb smears shards above my eyes.

A number can always be cut in half.
you say, one body should be no
different, feeding me
down the neck of your beer.



I am not used to feeling so soft beneath him. 

Let me make this clear: I do not have a body touchable with the eyes. I have a chest to chest body, a thick thighs body that bends too little too far, a body that is more water than earth. 

A body that gives under pressure from the fingertips but is stiff against the palm of the hand. 

Sometimes it is hard to remember there are bones in here, brittle things that never give (even beneath his mouth).

Ways to See

there are ways to see him that do not involve his hands.
the soft bones in his wrists, the invitation of his veins.
The sharp points of his grin, the way continual
expansion feels inevitable, but the vaults in his cheeks
pick up the slack.
The cusps of the toes he rises to, catching
the note he’s aiming for between his teeth,
falling back on the haunches of the breeze.
There are ways to hear him without imagining him naked,
but not many.
The tension of skin over bone or a flesh painted skeleton
with dried heaps of acrylics in eye sockets.
The space that connects his thighs and pelvis
where I imagine my nose would fit well.
I am again imagining him naked.
There are ways to feel his body without the use of my hands.
when i kick him beneath the conference room table
i can feel his bareness.
when i lick his condensed sweat off the walls
of the hallway, i am reminded of
unsweetened coffee and melting plastic.