and the curtains billow
with broken glass echoes and
Mendelssohn's bride waltzing
to better times
She becomes the rain,
and breaks her own heart as the sound
right through us.
a brief love poemyou are everything-
the lilt in the voice
of the songbird,
the pillow beneath my head.
you are the nights
i can't sleep
and when dawn comes
i still smile.
to Lot's wifedo not ever apologize for being anything
but what you are: human
all of us beautiful tragedies, nameless beasts
who would love only so much as to see through
our own destruction
and what god would be foolish enough
to think you to be any different?
a pillar of diamonds dancing in the blazing plains,
dying to leave a mark
High Tide“You look like a city girl,” he said when I walked into the airport in my hometown.
To this day I don’t know if I was faking.
“Get out of this town or get pregnant,” she said,
and I fled like a bird in the sightline of the first snow,
but it’s 10 AM on a Tuesday when I get the paper pharmacy packet,
and it’s 10 PM on a Sunday when I realize how empty the bottom of the world is.
He wants to live by the ocean. I already live between continents,
draping foam-capped waves around my shoulders,
scraping the sea bed for transpacific cables and reading
sonar vibrations against my skin like a heartbeat.
Walking the breakwater, a stone crescent moon holding back the tide,
talking to a young man with a fishing rod and a muted sigh
because neither of us found what we’re looking for
amid squawking gulls and the snap of rigging in the marina.
My father tells us how to find the space station as if we could search together,
but he asks if I can see the s
Sappho Merely ShruggedI was sixteen when I saw the garden for the first time. The flowers weren't exotic; the same kinds grew in the park across the street. There was just something about how the sunlight hit their petals that made me stop on the sidewalk. I spent a moment admiring a flower with curling leaves like the pages of old books, and I wondered how I'd never noticed the garden before.
A woman knelt between the rows of plants. She had dark hair that tumbled over one shoulder and sweat on the back of her neck. "What's your name?" I asked.
"Sappho," she said.
"I like your garden." I leaned against the fence as I watched her work. "The flowers in the park don't look so good this year. Did you do something different?"
Sappho merely shrugged.
I was too afraid to open the gate and go inside. Instead I went back to the park the next day. The flowers there were dim and faded, but at least I knew my way around.
I was eighteen when I almost touched one of Sappho's flowers for the first time. The night was c
to be a writerjump into the world headfirst
crack open your skull on the ocean
sink like a forgotten shipwreck in the belly of a herman whale
come up for air
stumble across the words of the story-- tell it again
lie to a loved one, a stranger, both of them
get away with it in a stolen limousine
write lists that you will never complete
hang them like goodbyes from anywhere they will stick
fall in love like a wrecking ball, destroy a whole city (pretend to)
have your ernest heart ridden with bulletholes, alone on a timber hillside
find god, realize he is just as lost as the rest of us
give him a kurt laugh and look elsewhere
grow an ego with hooves & horns & three eyeballs
feed it four times a day, sacrifice your children
cut yourself open and bleed, intestine and sentiment in sulfuric puddles
if not by your own hand, find someone who will do it for you
do not clean it up
create storybook characters, or at least a story for them to be in
compare everything to the bible
pick your teeth with similes
This is how much a body weighsThis is how much a body weighs. Measure in space allowed, not volume. There, in the culmination of an I—it does not exist. Within the idiosyncrasies of a gender, the I is stripped of its identity, and the space it occupies becomes constricting. Let me say: I am not a mutually exclusive being. The weight of my breasts is small only when I’m alone. Shifting fragments, a tectonic wholeness. The curve of a body lying in bed. My tongue arching as I mouth words to the silent dark. Here, in the balance between my teeth, the I is formed. It does not cling fixedly to any body. A weightlessness, perhaps,
too heavy for this world.
conversation piececonversation piece
“what we don’t want to say
is what keeps us awake at night”
someone scribbled, between teeny stars
and a pot smoking skull, on the wall
of a bathroom stall -
i have been meaning to tell you about
the ache; about how i hate postscriptums,
and confined spaces and goodbyes;
to talk of this urge to walk away,
before the dust settles - before -
the thinning ice we stand on fully melts.
instead, i have been telling you
that i no longer sleep at night.
Sophie, May 2014