Smells Like Teen Syrup

When the suds ran red against my forefinger and thumb
I dropped the sponge and inspected the dishes
for any crimson stains
before I rinsed my hands and tended
to my cut. I remembered
how many times I had stood at this sink
with a sponge in one hand, a knife
gripped in the other, its silver steel
in the fluorescent light
like a moonbeam, a dreamscape
a promise for releaselet the blood
drain like dirty water
let it swirl and puddle
toward its inevitable end
How many times
did I pull away the knife
set it aside, soapy and smirking
at my own weakness, fearing
the pain, the tear, the scars
I’d have to hide. Was it shame
that became my shield?


a remembrance of things past

Sometimes I remember
what it was like to smile
to feel the sunlight on my skin
that warmth, was it your hand
on mine that made me simmer
inside, made the worms create
cocoons to emerge as butterflies

Sometimes I remember
how it felt to feel the rain
splatter on my lips, quench
the thirst of arid summers
feel the specks of sand
clump between my toes
like a second flesh, to see
rainbows cut across the sky
a tapestry of endless colors

Sometimes I remember
the echoes of your voice
and mine, that laughter
after a well-told joke
a casual smile, splashing
rain, was it your laughter
from the lungs, from the stomach
to my unbeating, broken heart

Almost a Year in a Day

It’s coming a year since then
those days almost 365 before when
I crawled into death and found myself again
But it won’t end there—
it never will.
Then it’ll be a year since I started counseling
and a year since I got out
in May—a year since LeaderShape
when I learned the importance of vision
when I made a new family and learned how to see
a year after D.C.—I met two senators
in just as many days
and decided I want their desks to be mine.
It’ll be a year since we reconnected
since we jokingly said we should get married
but meant it all too seriously
a year since we fell in love unwillingly
since we finally admitted “I love you”
nearly another year after we met
and then, my god, it’ll be two years to the day
February 11, 2013
two years and I’m still sitting in my seat
waiting for class to begin
seeing straight to my death
and signing my obituary
afraid what I’ll feel like a year to the day
afraid what I’ll feel like in ten.

Wordlust and Synecdoche

Everyone exists in their own world
and we only overlap at the ends
The handheld seconds

captured in speech
in belief

A connection twofold and wondrous


Let me inside you
I’m already there
waiting for the circuit to close
waiting for the future–your arms

to unfold

waiting for reconnection
natural selection
the effervescent, evanescent


of meeting you
inside me

Excerpted from Spoken Word Syndrome