The heat in your chest,
is there heat in your chest?
What about your feet now?
And now your fingers?
Is there sensation?
Can you locate the feeling?
The future is wet feet
and the past is wet feet
and my knees sink
into my toes.

My body is recreating the past,
sewing its shedding skin
back onto itself;
shadowing a felt symmetry,
an inevitable eventuality,
a song I was born singing.

I gently pick at the stiff seams of yellowed leather,
the hardened sheets curling over skin more supple,
because determinism is dirt
and I want to wipe myself clean
but I can still feel and see it
caked in lines along
under layers of husk.

I utilize nervous habits:
biting nails,
splitting skin
to let the filth in.

What if the location is outside of the body?

I can locate the feeling.
I’m calm
and spacing out,
demonstrating death like a killdeer
to save the youngest part of myself.

Distracting you from the body.

I’m a sea cucumber
coughing up its guts,
a sleight of hand survival mechanism.

I’m considering the inky cap
who fruits and immediately starts to rot.

Can you locate the feeling in your body?

What I mean to say is that
Some bodies take advantage of disaster.

When the thunder strikes
and your heart calls out to the storm
where is the origin?
How old were you?
Who hurt you?

Then come back to yourself
to be unheld,
to be unholding
to make room
to fit your tiny body
in the palm
of your own hand.

Do you have enough food and water?
Have you had adequate sleep?

The universe does not care
and it is not sorry.

An indifferent planet
sounds like
the slow whisper of barnacles,
winter waves pounding the shore,
the hiss of seed pods splitting and spreading in the heat,
your anger as the underside of dignity
a dignified understory
in the wake of a fire.

My bones vibrate in anticipation,
sense a ghost,
and I get good grief.
We play in this space
ages apart
and constantly meet.


Exploratory Writing #1

To write to see what you find
To write mostly for yourself
I will sift through later with
a star speckled sieve
but for now let me be bloody and nonsensical
let me guide myself through internal passages
process the madness
telling me it’s not worth it to stick around
you suggest I write sober
about the need to write drunk
but sometimes the soberness
just leaves a lack of will
any desire at all
and the alcohol reminds me of the scents
the senses
the sensual world
that constellations are thoughts unsifted
pushing off the orthodoxy of astronomy
refusing to perform for humans
I like this nonsense
I like the defiance
the brattiness
the noncompliance to be named
I am dead and exploding light
You will only see me after I’m gone
And I want to write about too much
I don’t know how to apply scale
Everything is life/death/rebirth
all the time
all at once
I have to be careful or I’ll blow my ears out
I’ll blow my mind out
I’ll out myself
I’ll out myself
I’m out myself
I’m myself
And what do I do with that?

Slippery Fish

Everything seems terrible because it is
Similarly, everything seems beautiful
Because it is

We hold paradox as a lifeline
A bouquet without a fridge
A bitter barter against suffering
Between cracks, stars
Between stars, the vacuum of space
And the place I absorb malice
That I can’t respond to

I said I’m so angry we were all abandoned by the world
You said you sure hide it well
But you’ve never seen my intestines eating my stomach
And you’ve never seen cutlery chewing on my thighs
Just the way I spin metal to make chain
And the songs I sing to Chiron

If you pan out far enough
Anything can look perfect
Dig your fists into your eyes
Let the stars blur
And let that speak to the idea that
I am kind of a miracle and so are you
That you can be grateful and bitter at the same time
That you can be an orphan while a parent is still alive

All of the angry angles where these truths intersect
Leave soil heavy
Pushing out roots

At night I listen to the frogs in the field
And plead
Please don’t let me become my father
I want to know how to hold fear
When it is so tangled in other people
I want to know how to hold people
When they are so bound to fear

Indifference is the invention of sorrow
Or was that hope?
Is my armor a casket
A boat
Or both?

In the dark
I can’t see my hand in front of my face
But I can sense my cursive veins
Writing anthologies of reception

Reminders to Live

I pluck rocks
from the street
the valley and the beach
dense mineral clouds
comprised of guilt
that heighten attention
to danger

They sit
like a tiny mountain carcass
in the shape of my mother
in a basket on my back

There’s quartz fused to limestone
sandstone and basalt
and the weight
refuses moderation

I wonder if they will crush my spine
fuse ribbon veins
binding joints to muscle
compressed in cartilage

I wonder if the ground will open up
if the earth will inhale me and my burden
if the rocks will become pulled teeth
to put a palette to grief
and compost my weary body

I wonder if beach bones are mountain bones
are human bones meant to be crushed

I know a child can’t
parent their parents
or build a house with bones
that it’s hard enough
to hold yourself
or keep a reliable home

I know that safety is not a place
fear is not an exit
that I will never sidestep tragedy
by building walls with worry

So tell my mother
I loved her
but I have to
put this burden down
before misery devours me

And tell the child
that sits at the bottom
of my throat
these rocks are bricks
but this isn’t my load


I want to give you precisely what you need
but what does that mean about my
beginnings and endings
and your endings and beginnings
and the obscured spaces where your
beginnings become my endings
Our faces blurred by smudged charcoal
driving out the stained yellow manes of our undoing

What happens when my sweat tastes your sweat
What happens when my skin breathes your breath
When we are sitting up
facing and folding into each others bodies
like two hands
two tender fists cradling a waxing bone map of coincidences
and miraculous recoveries

I am not used to sobriety
Not while naked and slight
But I am pleased to find
that when our eyes meet
there is still a place I am unmade
that hasn’t solidified from an architects pen
that hasn’t atrophied from mitigation

It seems contrary but
I am getting used to slowing
to initiating
to breaking and breathing room
sweetened spoil from the glacier of compact grief and germ and joy

I count time by the light of the motion of the moon
And the succession of shadows on the mountains
and I am still learning that
people are also just pieces of process
In an unending place