all pupil

he pulls a gun from the closet
as if it were another household
tool. it is as long as my arm. he wedges
one end into his shoulder, the other
looks like an eye, all pupil. it is a staring
contest. he says bang laughs lowers
the barrel walks into the kitchen.
i can see the thing leaning against
the cabinets while he pours three
fingers of whiskey into the hole
he must have beneath his tongue.
i do not blink.


summer camp

the younger girls giggle and write “gay” in marker down their arms.
when the sharpie letters start to fade, they draw pictures
of girls kissing girls on each other’s backs, use the term
“raging lesbian” to describe their barely pubescent bodies.

the older girls talk about touching themselves,
about how sometimes in summer a body is already
so slick it seems impossible not to, about the way they trim
their nails. about how it is hardest to keep your hands
off yourself. the younger girls listen with their mouths open.

(Old poem) / Write More?

I found a very rambling version of this poem while reading through my journal from February/March-ish. I think I never really edited it and put it up because I ended up stealing from it for a bunch of different poems – there were several parts that I like, which I ended up recycling into other things. So I never put up the original. But when I found it today I thought I might as well!

Also – I have been not great at writing poetry for the past few months. I just haven’t been focusing on it as much as I want to be. I was thinking of starting up the “poem every day” thing again – especially since I’m going to be a camp counselor for two weeks starting Saturday, which should give me plenty of observational material to work with, if nothing else.

*ahem* okay, here’s the poem:

he moved in beneath my eyelids 8 days ago –
i could have picked any part of me to use for this metaphor.
his residency beneath my fingernails (a weak
explanation for the lack of chewing – I am growing
him room to set up his bed frame),
a nest in the pocket of my cheek (count his parts
like watermelon seeds, taste him before i wake up).

i could explain the terms of tenancy – see the lease
in the bones of my back.
i could have said he inhabits the hourglass between breasts,
how he hesitates to touch me but doesn’t wait
to make a home out of a woman.

when do you ask an overstayed guest
to start paying rent?


i pretend it is only his body that did it.
only his body that flattened her,
ironed her thighs wrinkle-free,
sliced her down the middle, a mortician’s cut.
his own hips: tracing the smooth wave
of a hasty suture.

only his guitar calloused fingers digging
making little circles inside her
like a child searching
through a pile of buttons.

only his mouth pressing down over her eyes
so that she could not even tell she is awake,
but she hopes she is not.

i pretend that it will still feel safe
to laugh around him, to find his
shoulder blades with my hands mid-hug.

i imagine folding his white
body like a dishtowel.