I carried yours like a river that might run dry or drown me and I didn’t know which to hope for.
This hand the mouth of god
when he first looked for a name to give you,
a name that only the skin can speak.
The first time you said my name
I wanted to cup my hands before you
and gather the syllables, that r
you didn’t know how to roll
but blessed with your teeth anyway.
What it means to call someone by their name,
how it solidifies their existence.
A prayer for rain (hands again)
or that shortness of breath
at night on a narrow bench.
I carried yours like a river
that might run dry or drown me
and I didn’t know which to hope for.
I stuff white hyacinths in the dictionary between “lilac” and “lightning”
To open a door, you must want to leave.
A here, a there. You must want.
I stuff white hyacinths in the dictionary
between “lilac” and “lightning,”
the wet body of spring curling the pages
until it is not a body
but just the word for it. We all die
but the hope is to die of living. The last door
you must slam hard enough
to make the sidewalk hum
the way your blood hummed
the first time you walked into the sea.
A door is just a question you have to ask
even when you are scared of the answer.
In San Sebastián they pour the txacoli
from high up until it foams in the glass.
Sea, grapes, the word for longing.
Use both hands and don’t look back.
Bring me the sunset in a cup.
[sand dollars have no heart]
Forcing forget on a Saturday
In September is how you arrive at the sea
To address the time of day would mean
To reveal how time spends
Sand dollars have no heart.
Ask the doctor to get it in writing
Faxed to the nearest machine:
Sand Dollars Have No Heart.
Are people the skeletons of the lives
They create? Is your location determined?
By physical capability or
You are where you are from the wash up?
Men: please do not touch me.
Women: please do not touch me.
I say fuck my words cos I describe pain
Like a child. Organisms of the sea
Cannot be repulsed by chipped toenail polish
My feet are in
Low tide has the feeling of a contemporary poem
Walking in shallow oceans with suede sandals.
Skeleton picking is a brave new hobby like
Gathering what’s left of things fallen while you bathe.
In bed with myself,
Terror leaves no part unkissed.
A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Corey Arnold
Water cuts the earth in private, although
anyone who wants to see it happen
can go down the river in a tin canoe
and camp among the tamarisk.
I’d like to do to you what the Colorado River
did to the Grand Canyon.
that’s what really bothers you isn’t it? the one night stand.
man fucks woman. subject: man. verb: fucks. object: woman.
woman fucks man. subject: woman. object: man.
that’s not so comfortable for you is it?
—stella gibson in “the fall” talking to some dude.
Hot, brown. Hard where mother said they’d be soft. The movement of ignoring. I’d take anything out of you. Cos it was you. You prepared them for me. You prepared me for you. It wasn’t their warmth. You took them soft and made them strong for me. At least you tried. What I touch would not be the same without your work. How could you have done this for me? Stainless dirty unworthy. Used. And yet you go down, come up with gifts of a kind I have never imagined. No one has ever thought to prepare something lovely for me. I read that somewhere it’s called love. Here it’s called heat. I want to do the work. Let me hold you. Let me help you. You prepared me; let me carry everything made from your metal.
prompt: write the love story between a toaster & fork
To fall asleep, you have to begin by falling.
Practice being in love with the horizon
(another fall), the way it comes at you from every direction
but never allows you to touch.
Try to imitate it: mouth swallowing sun
without emotion, arms reaching for
the unreachable. Like when you were little
and barefoot on the swing, pigtails tangled in the vine,
how you laughed at the wings
in your stomach. Or later
when you pressed your lips
to every door you walked through, for months,
so you can remember where you’ve been.
Daughter of carpenters. Sprinkle your thoughts
like you would season a dish hours before
the guests arrive. Lick your thumb after
until you are hungry.
Close your eyes not to hide but to find.
Can you taste the dark on your tongue?
Fall now. Fall like you don’t know that pain exists.