Nightmares

Tonight I saw the full moon
And I too was full and bright

Put me in a room
With red light
So I can once again
Fall to sleep

And let me burn in my dreams
So I can walk shielded
In the day time

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Smokers

I swiped
the MasterCard through and through
The receipt waved in the air
of the beat up air conditioner
Flew out of my hand

Slipped out like
velvet skin of a wild thing
looking for a small space
to squeeze into

On the wall opposite
was an upside down crucifix
At the register a woman
who looked like she smelled
like Shepherd’s pie
I trusted her

She gave me my room key
Led me to my motel room
Opened the door for me
and switched on the lights

On the orange carpet
Were abandoned painting frames
And the walls covered
in rectangular stains
lighter than the walls

The woman made a tisk sound
as she edged away:
“Smokers.”

What should I do

When I was born
My father bought my mother
A single red rose
With a long stem
For which he was charged extra
And it lays pressed
After all these years
In a book by their bedside

What should I do now
With the white rose
You gave me
That I pressed,
in an empty journal,
whose brown stem sticks out
Like a prodding finger
In the sunlight
On this never used writer’s desk
Facing to guard all the light
of the high windows
Like a ship’s bow

White is for sick people, I said.

Home

The specter of the fat, black, woman medium
Voice high pitched
Serving thoughts back to you
on a beat

As though the history of a people
Survives in the belly
Of a woman
Safely protected by the walls of her house
Her intuition
Worthy of currency

Threesome

I am in power
because I am the one
walking behind the woman in front of me
on this side walk
I would be uncomfortable if I was her
I would be wondering if the person behind me
is staring at my ass
And I am
staring at her ass

The similarities between us
are ridiculous
We both have long, wavy, brown hair
We both have long legs
We are both skinny
We both have an average ass

In the slow traffic beside us
A guy in a black truck leans across
his steering wheel
He looks over his sunglasses
like he just saw a flamingo
walking the streets

I wonder which one of us
he’s checking out

Or is our double presence the miracle?

 

On Missed Calls

It was the summer
I dyed my hair bright orange
Something about your mom
thinking I was polite because
I took my shoes off the moment
we got in the house
But what I really mean is
I’ve been thinking about us not talking
Over the same thing again

At least half my thoughts
are about progress

Imagine I am on a deserted island
I am all alone
Until a plane crashes
and I wait to see, with anticipation
Who will make it out of the ocean despite injuries
Because I can’t swim
What is opportunity missed
to a skilled person?

The older I become
and try to look for new love
I should be wiser
But really I wonder more and more often
What I am allowed to ask for

PackingĀ 

The closet shook me
Like having slipped
Into an enclave

I imagine that instead
Of this white door
Is a chestnut spiral carving
Leading in a dance
Across which I lay my long fingers

Inside, past the ancient wood
Is the memory
Of my every dream
Shining

Instead I am standing
For now
Looking at things
I forgot I owned
And what is it
I say to no one
To own
And no one answers

I once believed there was a secret room

When you live in an ivied
rock of a house
and come out
only at night
to pour milk for the neighborhood cats
You’ll understand the uncanny
of the comfort of hotness
of summer air
that is suddenly interrupted
When just beyond the garden gate
you swear you see only darkness
and you’re out among thorny bushes
In a sundress; no bra; bare feet

I don’t leave my house
because I once believed
there was a secret room
in my great grandmother’s house
Situated darkly
far from the window’s peripheral
accessible through a door
built for a body rolled into a ball

And I knew
that all the jewelry was kept in this room
All old journals, all tossed attempts at art
The impossibly windowed room
was brighter than all the others in the house

Only there can I meet the stranger
that stalks my garden gate at night
Only there will I marry him

My friend’s brain

My friend’s brain
is a patted white movie theatre
and on the screen
is a constant projection
of a marijuana leaf

The one cell
that hasn’t abandoned her
takes form
as the projectionist
“I had to adapt
to survive.”

I got her
a double sided pipe
so she can smoke with her love

I still remember
the time she got stuck
in the cat door
and licked herself clean
until she passed out

A party to find my soulmate

A party to find my soulmate
I provide samples
Clear cups with my hair. Perfume
How I smell at different parts of the day
Videos of me pacing my room
Searching for a pen
at two in the morning

Mock letters to exes
Post break-up
It’s important to talk about

My regrets.
which are unoriginal
because it is universally acknowledged
that there is a crucial moment
when a person recognizes
in the beginning of it all
when they should have stopped
But hope keeps you

Here’s a picture I drew
(I’ve no photos I can take
from my mother)
of that one year
we went to three funerals
Is it like the movies?
Because I wear black to celebrate
To the eulogies I think I wore
a pair or red shoes
They shined in my mind

That is how a dreamer starts
I don’t mean I was surrounded by tragedy,
that I had to escape
I mean I was six
and didn’t understand it all
I was bored

At this point
I’m behind a podium
The office room I rented
is starting to smell like rubber
One guy in a grey suit
is checking his watch

They thought
it was a job posting