"I’m 26. I live in Olympia. I just self-published my first poetry book in January."
I used to watch you
Shimmer under sunlight,
So sure you would not grow
Hot in my hands.
Arrogant and ever certain
You would not scorch me.
I must laugh, though bitter is the taste
Of watching summer children marvel at your flame-tips,
For they know not your design.
It is with sigh that I anticipate
Your impending destruction.
It is now, at high noon,
(With not a shadow in which to hide,
With not a sheen of romance or teenage incandescence
Or small hour haze in shades of blonde and honeydew)
That I encounter my silly complicity in your rampage.
I must laugh, or I may curse into midnight,
For our mothers were right.
Behind their taut and colourless mouths,
Beside their obstinance and unforgiving faith,
Yes, they had been right.
The Black Nothing
I fear the intangible darkness that slips through my fingers
Like seawater in the night.
I reach out for what I believe stretches onward
Yet each time I bend towards it, I lurch
Into the void.
I feel her knuckles tasting my skin —
The edge of my cheekbone,
The downy hair at the back of my neck.
I rise for her, sway into her,
Clumsy but curious to know what she smells like
Behind her ears and between her breasts.
I rock and I stagger like a boat on the back
Of the black ocean —
Hips surging and reclining
I keel. The Dark departs, still and again.
She sprinkles her blouses
And the tendrils of her hair with
A fragrance for which I long.
Ever errant, she is a temptress.
Within the folds of her shadowed cache
I know not what awaits.
My stuttering curiosity
Nooses and heaves me
Toward the edge of the earth’s face.
Too many hours were wasted whilst I hurled stones.
How long my naive ear would peer
Just above her lips, desperate to know
Just how cavernous she really is.
I grew ravenous,
Impatient, and enraged.
I was slow to accept that she perhaps had no end,
That her essence would me forever evade.
The Black Nothing
is an inflating tomorrow
In which I care not to swim,
For I see not what poses in her catacombs.
There is nothing left to say about you
Besides the inconvenient truth
That love was not enough to cure my stale illness,
My blithe, to congeal our syrupy attraction.
We ebb like the tide
But I may have been the shore,
Fixed in place for generations,
So predictable, my grandchildren
(if I had wanted them)
Would sink their tiny toes inside me.
Each time you leave, I am reminded of your design
And all I have to show for your separate presences
Is the soft touch and silky wetness at my edges.
Love is not enough to keep the water close,
So knows the moon in Pisces.
Hours will pass and the sun will stand
And I will harden, so hot and sharp
The hoards will scamper to escape
My places you have not yet embraced.
I pushed myself down the Five,
Unable to make big decisions.
Halloween settled with a brand new
Kitten at your heels and in your plants.
I wore a dress I could not afford
For all of twenty minutes with your
Hands on me in your candied canopy.
You tore it off me like a spiderweb.
I was heartbroken, only I had not known it.
I hate asking you to hold me,
Not because I hate you holding me,
But because I hate me for needing it,
For not being strong enough,
For not having arms long enough to
Tuck in my anguish tight and safe
Behind my ribs.
I just know you will hold these
Things against me tomorrow.