& I think I’m going to be O.K.

I tell my mind to think

& keep thinking that this is O.K.

I drink OJ at my kitchen counter

Legs dangling, hovering over tiles

& I think everything will be fine

Fine, a fine, nice, O.K. day

& I wonder if that is what I will say

when they come up to me and ask me

R U O.K. ?

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I blamed my body

For all the things it couldn’t say

For being so inadequate

That it hurt to look away

I blamed the body

Because it contained the soul

It ought to have protected it

As a shell is supposed to do

I blame my body

For all the things my brain made ok

For allowing a poisonous creature

To control me

I blame the body

For all the ways it failed

For being so damn righteous

And not an ounce secure

I will blame my body

For the way it reminds me

Of all the ways I couldn’t heal my soul

For all the scars

I will blame the body

For the trail of iron it wielded to

For the way it endured

All that my soul could not

Epically,

unfathomably,

unceremoniously

We blame the body

For so very much

I knew it—he was dangerous going into it

I knew rationally

Fathomed the consequences

But acted, nonetheless, impassively to them

I thought I’d get hurt

I think from the start I always thought I’d be hurt

But it’s hard to remember these things in the moment

It’s hard to remember that when he’s there and you’re there

And there really isn’t anything else there but the space the two of our bodies are occupying between us

If that makes sense

You see, we weren’t like anything

We just were

We were terribly charged by opposition

And we forgot everything when together and everything forgot us

And that’s hard when you occupy a timelessness with another human who’s aware of this timelessness

Because you create in it things only the two of you can recognize

That was us.

And that’s the best way I can describe it.

tales from indie bookstores

It took me a while to realize

That the books in this store were meant to be as they were

Uneven and mismatched

And when I realized that

I had to leave the store

But first I had to mess up the shelves I’d fixed

And that, friends, is what I imagine an inferno of my hell to be

My heart in your hands

Felt like a mini tangerine

You used your teeth to bite into me

And my scent bit back

And you pulled apart my soul

My layers, which protected my soul

You tore them off and fell from your fingers

And when every piece was gone

You took it and held it and let it be destroyed

I wish faith was easier

I wish I could connivence myself to feel

To feel what I used

To believe in the words

To believe I could move mountains

That faith was that strong

It’s like a shadow limb

I look down and the arm is lopped off still

I look up and I feel where it ought to be

But there’s a disconnect with it and I

And it’s been that way for a while

Somehow I feel like that priest who lost faith and disappeared

How does someone just lose something that was so real

How does one build a life so completely detached from all the things that had once been so important

How does one listen to the songs one used to find peace within

Because all the words that had meaning don’t

And she can see it, the faithful

Like staring too long at the sun

Everything ached

Fingertips bound

Nail beds needled down

Everything was smoke

And you could see it move

Twisting without wind

Hurling itself toward windows

Mirrorless glass shards that sprung from their bindings

They drove home

Straight into her heart

Until she was alone

And love was naughty but a dream

Crafted by a cruel overseer

The clockmaker who never invested time

The man who never left the curtain to answer questions