If I can’t lift my feet off the gravel,
I will dive headfirst into tarred roads,
chasing every cloud tethered to a puddle,
what’s one cracked skull, I have other bones
–this is not a metaphor.
I am tired of the weight of meaning,
of: this leaping toad is me,
I am the toad
and the moon is every possible thing I have ever loved
and the persistent buzz of the fly is the herding call
for all of my failures since the moment I slid out of the womb,
which rumble back from distant, foggy pastures into painful high definition
dragging me right with them
into the pit of endless despair.
Maybe if I talk to myself loud enough
I can drown out the high-pitched keening
from under my bed.
‘This is not a metaphor’ I tell myself
when I accidentally send the last blob of toothpaste down the drain,
already ten minutes late.
sling chicken bones into the parched night,
an offering in return for the promise of rain
(–pass it off as successful witchcraft when it rains 4 days in a row, nearly 2 months later)
You tell your friends I am still in love with you,
and I let you because it seems like you need that and it doesn’t hurt me.
A boy trips over air and I tell him I love him
unburdened of meaning
–and then the girl who sits beside me,
and the ruffled crow overhead as I walk home–
I don’t know much about astrology
but maybe Pluto’s in retrograde.
or was it Uranus?
either way, I fling all my affections onto whatever cosmic rock is willing to take them.
Buried and planted seem like polar opposites
even though they’re more or less the same thing.
–and I thought I was the first one to ever think of that
but I saw a picture yesterday that basically said the same thing,
So. are we all ambitious colonizers
bumbling their way into exotic lands
claiming to ‘discover’ them before afflicting the natives of debilitating disease?
It isn’t comforting to be reminded
that things don’t just happen and then dissipate.
it’s all right here in pockets that I’ve given up trying to empty.
sand clings to things
and I cannot tell what grains I gathered at 12
and what at 19
I went to the beach and I will have gone to the beach for all eternity.
if I hold my breath for long enough underwater
I won’t ever have to come up
but I can pretend well enough that my lungs crave the touch of air too much
for me to stay here forever
(–most days anyway.
on others, I stay away from the water)
I’m afraid we must cease our dalliances
for I have joined catholic school and am to become a nun
I used to think I could be a fortune teller
Tea-leaves were the preferred medium;
I didn’t like tea, however.
mum got me a set of stories from the stall next to the restaurant
whose name I can never remember
(it sounds like rose petals and kebabs, a hint of green)
I read about Musa (a.s) and thought perhaps tea could work the same way.
I hadn’t understood what sets magic and miracle apart
(faith, I think. I could be wrong)
For the longest time, I was afraid of getting into the pool.
the slightest of ripples was a potential miracle.
Imagine getting paid to look at the stars.
(imagine getting paid to heal people)
This is my last year of feeling.
I’m afraid I’ll grow up and nothing will ever be beautiful again.
Perhaps I could grow to be a lighthouse:
always in possession of the safe way home;
but only the ships know of monsters;
there is no value to a home I never leave.
I have moulded the fat that hangs from my arm
for maximum aerodynamic efficiency,
I could dive off a cliff and nothing could ever temper my velocity
(nothing would ever try to, I don’t think)
I don’t think I bruise easy
though you wouldn’t agree if you were to look at my forearms or hips or legs
I think it’s just:
every time I think I’m walking through doors (or walls or tall, metal benches)
I’m simply walking into them.
(where would I be if I were to keep count of every hurt)
On nights less gracious than most
I tell people you were born of fire
I am all the bitter brew I need to keep awake till dawn.
(clay hearts break easy)
Happy poetry month! This might not seem like it, but I wrote this over the course of the past month and I don’t think I have anything more to add to it. Also, the image is a sketch from a few months ago. That’s it. Thank you for your attention.