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everything; something; nothing

To those who have not yet
learned to sit across the carpet,
legs blandly splayed,
with the singe of antiseptic on a wound

wait. Guilt, when scrubbed thorough
and clean, whittles down to
a pearl of fear,

one that rolls down the throat
once you know how to
swallow without attempting to chew.

To those who pace forth
despite the shame placed on
their shoulders like luggage—

wait. I will be there soon.
I run with my back stiff straight;
I will catch up to you.

I lay history flat across the table,
its legs and arms pinned tight & wide,

dissect it with unlearned fingers,
prod about with a child’s gaze.

Chunks of flesh
fling themselves away, as if
on a summer’s day;
specks rest in my hair
and take refuge on
my wrists. That is how

it is: to treat your past with a doctor’s hands
without gloves, indifferent
to mistakes.

Are mistakes
rooted in indecision truly
mistakes? (Is the
sun still the sun
after it sinks?)

September laughs
as if to fill the gaps
in all our
stories ; no wonder
why her jaws
are never shut and our
mouths are
blessed with echoes


corpse-hymns: are u brazilian?


The balm in Gilead to the herd of us: a flick
of the switch and the lights return. The two flip-sides
of the same one coin: I embed myself, quick,

into the soot at my feet. This condition: brainsick:
spinning like a once-dancer with no rhyme in her stride.
I build myself upon this premise, brick by brick,

only to find the mortar crumble. Oh, this lick
of overwhelm, heavy as the tongue of every nib,
trudges along the shore, carries me thick

on its shoulders. My two feet, parted, leave
a trail behind of many lines. Disturbed the scheme

of every verse, and forgot the essence I came
here with. Oh, run the teeth of a comb through

me: both heads and tails, both candle and wick:
both lost and won,
both host and gone.
Tangled like hands on the devil’s walking stick.

A day soaked
in brine;

a lazy olive
on my tongue.

I pit its
bite its

Call it bitter;

call it mine.

I find that I can only let myself
be guided by tight-lipped troubadours,
whose footprints reek of urgency
and chatter speaks of a romance

with a rose’s stem clenched between
its teeth. Only hunger
leads me this way:
a leash to my wrist, a sash to my sway.

All objects stand dressed in metaphor: clothed by my gaze, nude only momentarily, only when foreign. The translucent clingwrap film of my imagination presses its body tight against the city. [I am exhausted by it. I find my stench sifting from every surface.]

queen of looking & feeling like shit 
and making a spectacle of it

queen of looking & feeling like shit
and making a spectacle of it

[Suppose one day, I forgive my father
and claim possession of my skin;]

I will writhe in hell with Persephone,
her fingers
in my mouth. Our hips
inventing the winter solstice.

I will ask the man with filthy hands and no face
to roll the past out
of the knots in my back. Guiding him
I would end the spell with a smirk.
To each our own.


[Suppose one day, I forgive my father
and claim possession of my skin:]

then, I would abandon the boxes
and untame the wolf in me,

butcher the verse
and let its vermilion
the page,

spit the words
through a jaw split open,

let them
decorate the page
like betelnut specks

on white walls.


Suppose one day, I forgive my father
and claim possession of my skin:

all that I own
will cease to subsist
in the way

that it does:
instead of negating
the palpable,
it will

morph into it.

The teeth of
all gears
will mesh into
one another

I will run

soiled feet on concrete; oh meet me,
somewhen, across the street— your
teeth against my teeth. it will rain
then, in folds and pleats, and I will
accept defeat in fleats; oh, meet me,
somewhen, across the street— your
meat against my meat.