night spell

Every night I light a candle
and sit it on the window sill.
perhaps I burn an offering of a cigarette,
maybe sing an incantation of a band you hate.
I picture every face in the world
but your own.
all of this so I can sleep,
so that you know you cannot enter tonight
through my window
or through my dreams

in the soft honey light of morning,
the exposed underbelly scales of the koi
created a strange sensation in my stomach,
a weakness at the delicacy and translucency of the white flesh. 
the tail was gone now, taken by someone,
and all that was left was the submerged head and unseeing eyes,
sleeping among the lily pads and moss.
and other koi, living ribbons in water,
softly ate the body of their companion, 
all the young like coy moving shadows against their forefather’s skin. 
unapologetically, they look at me and say,
"we must get all we can."
I do not begrudge them this meal 
for I am as hungry as they are for my world,
and I would devour it whole, underbelly and all,
if I could manage it. 

something there is

I’m aching with needing something,
soul bruised in a thick, sad way. 
my hands are submerged in 
dripping moonlight and my throat
is whispering lies and then closing.
I can’t find my way back to tears
anymore, though I can find the path
to the need of them. 
I miss something, desperately. 
but I can’t tell you what that something is. 

was it you or the city that was burning?
your hungry eyes that were sleeping or the waves?
I cannot release you, though I should,
though my bones would then meet a fine decay.
darling, softly sing to the night
(not to my deaf and searching ears)
there is a burning that goes farther that
this yearning, which lives in my mouth. 
is it better to burn than to last?
is it better to burn?


water clung to the fine spun web
like sleep clings to a young one’s eyes.
tender, already, is cool dawn but
emerging from the woods
like new shoots through march snows,
your small feet and bare head seem old. 
the world waits, with bated breath,
for the sun to creep over the horizon.
you too, are stilled and quiet like a storm.
dear one, (deer one) how small are your
spindle honed legs, how tremulous your eyes. 
almost as if they too were spun from a spider’s
dreaming, as if they to are paused on a silver line. 

I’m worried that you’ll find out
that the girl you are in love with
is polluted with pills and pains.
I can’t make emotion on my own
and I don’t manage well even
with the help of orange bottles.
if our minds are nothing but
neurotransmitters and chemicals
and if you love my mind,
then you love a creation 
of a pharmaceutical company
in Washington, where rain
pounds the roof of the manufacturing
plant every goddamn day.
you’ll hold this body in sunshine,
and you might kiss this skin
but I’m not there. 
Darling, I am not there. 

uncommon prayers

the rushes by the river
can fade into a monotonous 
while the wind presses through them.
listen closely. 
each blade sings the song 
that only it can make.
often I make the mistake of assuming
that a shared status as humans
means we share minds
as we share breath.
sleeping wilderness,
teach me how to be alone,
show me there is tenderness in space.
I’m not sure I can live
as grasses do,
a single voice in a fervor
of groaning sound.  

I am sleeping without dreaming,
and the rhythm of my breath
is not real to my quiet mind.
I think I disappear into the sea of unbeing
in the darkest canyons of night.
I am a body, I am not a soul. 

oh lovely one, I had thought I would be free of you by now,
that nothing but the moon might ache (after all this time).
I had hoped that the whirling dust might settle 
when dampened by cold spring rains,
so that dawn would be clearer than before you.
cleaner air, emptier plains and a heart that sings 
instead of murmuring “no.”
there is serenity in the void,
there is contentment in space. 
But I am not granted the grace of lonely things.
this is devoured by sweet lips and gaping jaws,
and instead you remain gazing upon me like a burning orb,
omnipotent and omni-cruel. 
my sweetheart in the dark, I am ready 
to crawl back to you now.
if this is freedom, take it.
if this is love, free me. 

She is a lake beneath language,
is a sleep talker’s promise.
She is honey in heavy water,
is not my shadow but the moon’s.
Her breaths are sleeping whispers of summer,
the promise of a sunlit form.
And by her command, I urge
tiny, rusted tin ships
to the rocks in a spring squall
with no protest at all

Anonymous asked: Some of the most beautiful things I have ever read are the words you've put together and I think it's really cool that since you're not famous or anything I can send you a message to tell you that and I can know that you read it

this is such a sweet message. like, such a lovely message. Thank you so much. 

I am god on the Sistine ceiling 
reaching out to touch a far reaching star,
so I seek that sharp cheek
so I search that sylvan eye.
and the tragedy of adam and his father
(who will never meet, imprisoned in paint)
seems sharper here,
where I cannot feel your loved face 

I do not care for the body, I love the timid soul, the blushing, shrinking soul…
— Emily Dickinson (letter to Abiah Root 01.02.1851)

I swear I wore your kiss for a year, 
lingering like perfume on cotton sheets
and I swear if you listened closely you’d have heard
your name in my exhaling breath, 
like a choir of soft sound.
and I swore I’d never lose these things
swore I’d bury them in my chest,
but I’m a happy liar now
and I think that’s alright

those heavy papered, waxy covered
you gave me,
(for my secrets, you said)
sit like shedding rose petals 
in a dying summer sun. 
I cannot bring myself to mark their 
beautiful pages,
or even look at the edenic cover.
you don’t deserve my thoughts
on the pages you gave me.
you don’t deserve the grace of the written word.