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.

spring cleaning

it was the winter of sex and tomato soup:
the only two things a good body needs
to remember how to wake up each day.

the soup was watery and hot, burned
the tongue to rawness, softness
in preparation for its other pastime.

there were fewer men than months,
but not by a lot. tomatoes are a spring fruit.
eat one from a neighbors garden,

sprinkle with salt. throw away the uneaten
cans of soup. vow to never go back.

First date in three parts

Naked in front of the mirror, white
dimpled body caught
blank in lamplight.
eyes like telescopes
inspect every seam.

I am close to adding my vomit
to the gunk that holds
the sidewalk together. Instead,
I nibble at the end of my tongue
pulling off tastebuds like stickers.

It is no longer about me.
Blue corduroy over curve
of his legs, like he’s always holding
an apple between his knees.


Cambodia swallowed him like a pill
washed with water saturated in salt.
he mixed with sticky Khmer noodles,
Amok and curried vegetables hot as equator sun –
some days it is hard to keep him down.

a jungle-country, he teaches children english
(his poet tongue surely curling like smoke)
dropping seed like fruit trees until survival
seeps from his pregnant woman’s breasts.

knees bent beneath palm wine, claims
alcohol beneath his skin makes the heat bearable.
will the child have veins already split
from sun or pills, can breast milk feed
a family of three?


(Day 17): Rewrite a fairy tale

Quick preface: A while ago I mentioned that I was going to be a fiction class, instead of in a poetry class this semester. Well, I quickly realized poetry is where it’s at, and I had to do whatever amount of schedule rearranging necessary in order to get into a poetry workshop. So I’m in a poetry workshop. This was written today (the day before it is due…oops) for my poetry class. This week’s prompt was to, in some way, rewrite or add onto a fairy tale. I chose to do a “realistic” rewrite of sleeping beauty. Sorry, it’s a little gross.

Only sleep for the beautiful

two weeks asleep and the skin
has begun to part on leg-backs like
little toothless mouths leaking
onto satin sheets.

three months asleep and now made of mouths:
gummy oozing things that suck the sheets
close, as if for warmth.

six months asleep and thigh muscles begin
to dissolve like sugar, hot and sticky
mattress stains, shades of scarlet.

two years ‘neath gossamer garments,
dress draped barren over bones-
the heart only has to forget once or twice.
body dark like an oil spill.