Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Last Sunday I went to a funeral

Last Sunday I went to a funeral.
Q had died in her chair,
looking out her window.
Father Keith gave the eulogy.
He said, "I knew her for many years. She loved to sit
by that window, waiting
for the day to pass.
He paused, then said, "It is with amazing grace
that we may last the length of days.
For this we should give thanks."

Does he know
the insufferable ways in which days
go on and on?

I will give no thanks
to the length of days
I endured.

I will lay face down
deep in dirt and weep
for the 13 Sundays that have passed
without me.

There is a woman waiting.
There is a woman wanting.
She died with that waiting.

if you must be silent

Love, do not call to me.
Do not say to me the feelings that vex your heart at night
when you miss me most
half asleep and half drunk,
only when light breaks make silence your armor,
and sentiments harden like laid bricks baked in the sun.

If you must be silent, be silent
all the days.
Be more silent than night.
More than a muted cry.
Aimless wandering.
Hurt gone numb.

Love, if you must
be silent.

Monday, November 7, 2016

I imagine telling you

"The house was quiet and the world was calm."
The poem reads.
I read and think, it is.


Tonight I wear your bangles to bed.
I wanted to glue them on the wall, make roses or bubbles
and watch them float but instead
I put them on and stretch my arms, feel lightness in their soft tinkling, as if
sounds can conjure up love as it
fills up the space next to me.
I imagine you
tied my hands to your hands,
like the book I'd torn apart
then bound the pages again,
and put them all in a box

I imagine telling you about Luis Rivera.
I imagine saying, I went on a date with Luis Rivera,
we hung out in his apartment, ate tacos, and listened to death metal music.

I imagine telling you, days later, I went on another date with Luis Rivera. This time we drank
shots of tequila, I stuff my hands inside his back pockets while he slid his hands up my legs.
His hands were soft.

I imagine telling you, weeks later, that for such soft hands Luis Rivera could really play the guitar.

I imagine telling you, months later, that we went on walks through the woods, it's fall here
and the trees are
We sat in coffee shops on Sunday mornings.
I showed him how to roll his undershirts to save space
while he told me about his anxieties and the medications he's tried,
their side effects, why it takes him so long to cum, and his worries
about being fat.

I imagine telling you, I have not heard him sing until now. He's good.
I imagine telling you, Luis Rivera is good.
And if I am lucky, I imagine I would also tell you,
I have learned to love Luis Rivera.

I imagine telling Luis Rivera about you.
I imagine saying, I left him my heart--he doesn't want it
because he doesn't know what to do with it. I left it there for him
on the hills of Oakland,
under the brush of an unmarked bush.
I haven't been back to get it.

I haven't imagined what Luis Rivera would say.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Listen, remember

Listen, remember that night
we didn't fuck because
goodbye was too sad and we didn't know
how to fuck sadly. Instead
we sang lullabies off key
and giggled.

It was stupid.


Not for you

I miss you--
this is not for you to read.
Neither is I love you.
These words are for me
and the morning,
to whisper in my bed
where I refuse
to get up,
but the sun keeps on
sending heat up my legs
my belly
my breasts--
I feel it breathing
across my collar bones-
I open my eyes to scold the light.
I wont acquiesce.
I will not
let quiet bully me.
I miss you, I repeat,
not for you to read
but for me to whisper with morning
in my bed.


Monday, August 8, 2016

Goodbye 3 Love letter to the bougainvillea vine


In April I first saw you,
you've just begun to bloom
red blossoms.
I fell in love with that early Oakland morning
between the green doors and white garden gate
you waited, as if you have always been waiting
for me. My excitement grew
with you against the wall,
it began to take up space.
I pulled petals from the vine,
kept them hidden in my books,
pieces of you everywhere-
life is beautiful and gracious

And now I am gone.
I won't be back.
I won't caress you
in front of those green doors
behind that white garden gate.
I won't kiss your fiery flowers
or taken breathless under your tendril grip,
 stand for hours as you climb with the Oakland sun
stroking my back.
I am gone.
I did not say goodbye.
I'm sorry, beautiful tensile bougainvillea vine.

Goodbye 2 sadness is a sedative


Sadness is a sedative,
like the hot afternoon sun of your somnolent childhood-
remember that languorous  lullaby?
a sleep aid
for those restless thoughts that won't lie down,
it will help you sleep,
no need to answer
no need to speak
no need to open
no need to close
no need of words
no need for touch
even your own
just stuporous slumber
until it's done.
Doesn't that sound nice
then emptiness will cease to be
a word,
you, and, or, I.

Goodbye 1



When I don't have us to protect me
from myself
When you have taken your arms away
I feel on my chest the weight
of your absence
This is grief.

Monday, June 13, 2016

I put myself

-for R.

I put myself there with you,
between pauses on still surface, 
where sky and water hold each other.

I put myself there in the mornings
on that bed where you lie,
where I pressed our bodies close
until we couldn't tell which is sky and which is water.
You kissed me and looked outside--
morning seems pale, you said, 
as if it hadn't seen much sleep.
Lucky morning, I said.

I want to smell the sweet late night whiskey on your breath,

taste your face,
like the sun rising from between my legs,
your nose and lips wet in the glistening of my dew.

I put myself in that house, naked 
by the door-windows,
their parted curtains open
to a carpet of bruised camellias. 

I put myself on that balcony reaching towards the dogwood tree.

In the spring it will bloom 
pink curvy blossoms 
for us to kiss. 

I put myself by that garden gate,

on that stone path to that bougainvillea vine. 

I want to fuck by that bougainvillea vine.
So I put myself on a bed of translucent petals,
crawling to gather them in, because I love them,
and you, in all my naked beauty, could not resist.
I won't let you resist.

I put myself with your body-

your eyes, your lips, your fingers-
my body in your body- 
my eyes in your eyes my lips on your lips my fingers
where your fingers have been my mouth my face my pussy your cock - 
I put myself in that emptiness without you, 
my darling.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Day and night

I survived the day.
Now, the night.

These misrecognitions keep on happening

Misrecognition #1
The body as love.
I saw the body by itself
and thought it was love,
but years later, I found
Pain is not just visceral,
and the body only
is lonely. Pain came back.

Misrecognition #2
This time the body was dismissed.
Instead I waited for words
and the bodies of texts.
Love was a book--
many books, and my body was one--
opened and flipped through--
perused. Pain grew large.

Misrecognition #3
I dismissed both the body and the book.
I touched without reading,
but my body knew. it recognized
absence, and it rebelled. Pain was somatic--dull and constant.
all I could do was keep my mouth open until
Pain can hear itself deep within
pauses between breaths.

Misrecognition #4
The body is sculpted (in fact, it sculpts itself.)

Misrecognition #5
To know, you cannot feel. (in fact, to feel is ancient knowledge that came before thought; it is old as love is old and does not doubt itself.)

This is the truth:
Pain is itself desirable.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This night

Darkness hides its face
in cigarette smoke and wind.

At the station
the dog and I sit, waiting;
the dog yawns
and I open my mouth--
we swallow the night.