let these words linger
on the lips
soft kisses
left by forgotten lovers
fingertips caressed
across the cheek
now claws
opening wounds
that will never heal
slivers of blood
that scar my face
and cast shadows
across my smile
let these words linger
let them wither and die
do not speak
utter silence
bubbles on your tongue
spill like syllables
and spit
on your pillow


Lucy Sings the Blues

For Celena. Always magical.

There was an old courthouse where I slept
on a bench beneath the apple trees
that lined the great stone paths
to meet our king
who sat highest in the court
the Judge of Judges
reporting on the sins of men
and the adulterous women.

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Sculpted Lightning

or, The Beautiful Sameness of Normalcy

Original photograph by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos via Wikipedia, “Lightning”

Not like vinegar touches the tongue
or the futile efforts to mow down cement
make the sidewalk bloom with daffodils and daisies
let the summer unfold in whispers and sideways glances
let the heat undulate above the asphalt
paths that lead us to park benches draped in shade
and supernovas launched from baseball fields
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There’s a dead bug behind the bathroom door.

Normally I wouldn’t care, but this isn’t an ordinary bug. It likes to watch people as they come inside, sidle up to the sink, and wash their hands. The sick bastard can’t take a joke, won’t move away or answer when you yell at him to stop. He just goes on watching. Staring.

Oh, you use foam soap, he’ll say. Aren’t you fancy.

Or maybe he’ll roll his eyes as you come in with white smears across your hand, rubbing together your forefinger and thumb like you were holding a piece of gum. Again, he’ll say. Didn’t you just wash that stuff off just minutes ago?

Don’t even bother trying to debate that funky stain on your shirt, that one that looks like a can of red spray paint exploded as you held it. He won’t believe a thing you say. Not a single word.

That’s right, just wash your hands. Let all that red stuff drain down the sink. Don’t forget the foam soap. Oh, so fancy. So fucking fancy.

But that’s alright. You probably know I’m lying about the bug.

Pro Life

I just sat down in the library after getting sunburned at the protest and I saw these girls nearby who had been outside. I tried to read but all I could hear was her whispering: He told her, “I cum every day, is that genocide?” and she said, “That’s so disrespectful, how could you say that?” So he said real slowly, “I ejaculate semen every day.” We’re all laughing now, and they know I’m listening—but I look back at my book and they keep talking: And then she tells us abuse is better than abortion, and I’ve been abused before, so I ask, “Have you ever been abused?” and she says, “Have you ever been aborted?” and I’m like, what the fuck, how do you even respond to that?