Listen to the palpitating of this horse / heart and I will answer in the language // underneath this skin.
The boys have never seen him, don’t believe he’s real, but the girls all whisper about the latest boogeyman, the Deer Lord they see outside their bedroom windows at night; the deer who wears a human skull over his own face.
I don’t own a cheese grater. capitalism makes this okay.
Once, I offered pieces of myself to every man—my hands, my coins, my words—
I’m instantly reminded of why I skipped the last few of these—the room is all hot breath and squeezed shoulders, and I have two giants in front of me blocking my view. One wears a blue topcloth with the words Garbage to Curb carefully painted across the back, staring me in the face.
For the hole inside you, never filled: a stolen bag of cherries. Spit the pits into your hands and go to sleep with stained palms against your hard, round stomach, pretending you can feel kicking feet.
The paths are unmarked, the trees wary of strangers. But I keep dried fish on hand, honeysuckle, ropes and knives, for the rare occasion of company.
A sister’s dry palm in my left, a sister’s wet palm in my right, the winter wind there on my throat; we sang the songs only learned at midnight, when the ordinary and the secular slept.
Imagine her saying, as she settles, “Good God, Ben, my constant pessimist. Give it a rest. I’m not here to fry.” And imagine a pebble loosened from the clifftop, falling. Impacting her skull. There would be damage.
In my history, I was the prettiest girl in town who was seduced by the summer eclipse or the hellion who stole the keys of Daddy’s 1958 Impala
There’s nothing quite so sinister as a hot wind on a California night.
You bump into White Boy on a parched, irreverent Wednesday morning, power-walking your way to line up for the three hour commute at 6 AM, and too loud he announces, I am in love with your country.
Last week I / courted the moon from a stop sign.
I found you bitty in a snap pea, plucked you out and swallowed you whole, / rivered your body through my insides and grew it quietly. What bad men? we say.
I'll give you until midnight, she said, and I could tell she meant it. She opened her eyes wide so that her mascaraed lashes stood out like the rays of small black suns.
the kind that stinks like shit & empties you. to say i can’t, for whatever reason, take this shit, but for days now have felt like i need to.
You’re not the one in the bathtub with screams stuffed like wet rags down her throat, the girl who eats herself inside out with silence, who so desperately needs some help right about now but does not want to be a bother.
You decide I’m going to shoot myself out of a cannon this coming Sunday. “How romantic,” you coo, even though it was your idea in the first place.
I eat paintings the way a woman eats bibles — in the back corners of used book stores, the cracked leather and faux gilt burn her