Purple ink seeps into under his skin and into his blood into elegant designs
Purple hair, purple guns, purple beaches
He said he doesn’t like much but he likes the you smell like purple
Like a galaxy of violet bitten lips
Like the mosaic of the purple veins in his glassy eyes
He only shows up at night
Like the Purple powdered eye shadow on Elegant San Francisco drag queens
Warm fingers on cold purple pelvic bones
Like the bundles of lilacs thrown into beautiful purple baskets and given to ladies with
Withering purple fingers
Tracing purple bruise stains from his kissed collarbones
Until he’s close enough to drain the purple from inside you
Enough to overfill a single bath
With gallons of your sweet purple kool-aid
And your empty
White purple technicolor dreams turned black holes
And withering purple fingers turn black and dusted
While he pours a tall glass of your purple for some other girl
And you chase down shots of black
How exciting it was while it lasted, no?
At some point they will vomit in your mouth
And expect you to swallow
This is good
Ripping off a young scab
Peeling a green banana
Burning a tongue on hot soup
If you know your heart can fall into your stomach
Are you supposed to sit with your eyes closed in the dark
Walk backwards your whole life?
You cradle your knees in your chest with your back faced to your lover
in the back seat of a Prius
watching overweight owners walk their dogs past your window
There are some people you are too nice to
and because you have such monster lungs
you swallow more air
This is how to be happy, she tells me. This is how to breathe.
She spreads orange jam onto a warm scone and shoves it in her mouth,
Carefully wiping crumbs from the corners of her lips with a napkin.
I’m drinking tea that I can't afford and missing home. I say,
Why do my guts hurt?
She says, somos extranjeros.
This is how to do a squat, this is how to lunge.
I have a problem with sticking my ass where it doesn’t belong.
The next day my legs ache so hauntingly, I crash down onto the toilet seat.
We watch dogs run for ninety minutes.
We talk about food and the things we crave
We talk about sex.
A young boy in a yamaka climbs to the top of the structure,
A girl with a lunchbox swings.
A big dog uses the water fountain.
She tells me to walk until I feel better,
Don't stop walking.
Through the park and down the street, men adore her bouncy hair.
It’s july and her shoulders are bare.
It’s winter down here,
and people shout from cars.
My head is muddled with incomplete sentences and
Ideas I can't comprehend.
I’m forgetting words that I know, chasing them for days.
And so we walk Echev with our feet skimming
over puddles of the morning’s storm.
In the middle of a busy antique market
on a day as dim as feelings,
I smell her hair like sugar.
I’ll see you soon?
She had a smile that
Leaned back in its chair
Conceded in its knowledge
That behind it lay something
Capable of bettering
The both of you.
Cool eyes that
Matched your gaze with an
Easy comfort let you in on
The secret that you are
Not alone in your thoughts.
And her hair,
The room and the air with
Every move that it rarely made,
And her eyes,
Fixed on me in this
Particular moment of time.
Love, and relativity
i go to the saltwater garden
fed up on black food
chewing like a television dog
don’t mind me or the mud
or the bottles of blueberry wine
we’ve come to welcome you
to the factory victory
the conductor’s gone
step 5. leaves are verdant, crinkled ruffles blushing saffron and chipped, almonds
frozen. glimmering glass, and considers bright white driving slowly by, a relief.
step 4. words like fire, blistering, whimpers falls freely from throat, thin door, a veil
black on white on blue. sweet promises, dreams of engines, stolen breath, warmth.
step 3. december, pale frost lace, a generate rush, firm howl, neon sign flickers
chiming bells, feet tap worn wood. alert eyes, a pause; no impact, and turns away.
step 2. locker room, ice floors in late spring; a small mouse, curious, quivering human
chemicals line the shelves. warnings, no toxicity. no escape, no way out, just out of reach.
step 1. the flowers have died. smoldering lungs, inhale, exhale, muscles ache, tears and icicles
river slush, slowed puffs of air. beautiful mists, a last sight. silence, pure, eternal.
step 0. late summer, syrupy heat, sneers, so, so familiar, too much. says nothing
words echoing, these arrows point the knife. it traces skin, soft, to fall. scarlet ink.
i am lying to you.
Since before you arrived
they sheltered, somehow
the last two pears of late summer
behind emergency sardine tins
rice and barley at the back
of the tallest cupboard. The pears
you wouldn’t even eat with pure dark
chocolate ganache, sea salt and almond flakes
poached in honey and white wine
vanilla and ginger. Still too bitter.
The pears are, of course, bad. Blue
puckered skin and pools of sticky
fizzing flesh, alive with fruit flies,
nibs of two sunken stalks. I will eat them
both whole, one after the other, swallowed
without sugar or wine. I will wait
for fur to coat my insides, to rot
my stomach into ready earth.
I will not spit out the stalks
until something sprouts.
At night I change
With my light on
To make myself feel
Daring and I can’t decide
If going East
Will be a blood pressure
Cuff or a chance
To ditch the shores of this
Prehistoric sea and I’m gasping
For routine because if I can’t pass
For a shot at divinity then I must
Return these clothes
to the emperor, and I pity
myself, a ridiculous waste
of pity when rehab and chemo and clubs
in Florida are spitting
out people who used to be children.
There exists within the true silences When someone enters
something very loud, somewhere in the caves underground,
that is wanting cicada technobabble where the whistling is heaviest
(the sound of small masses rioting in the trees), somewhere underneath the bay,
or tunnel music, breaking the session
made of the hissings of metal and air, of our silent church
to stop it from ever reaching us. worshiping at the clamor,
our eyes follow them in cold unison.
There is a train driver somewhere far ahead
in a car that I will never see, No known mystics exist and
a stranger who holds my safety, we are probably alone,
and that of the others but water still remains, unnamed,
willing to enter the doors a beautiful, harsh and rushing god
and tolerate each other for a while, cutting into peninsulas, creating inlets.
whose bodies are close to mine, whose hands
cling to cold metal with clammy fingertips. We may not know the names
What warmth we breathe is communal air of the firm gods of the earth
that we brought from the train station that worshipers once found
together as a group. dwelling in sod and oak
Still, our minds live somewhere else. but sometimes
Where- a question one must never ask. we can still hear them
the realms of the mind in silent spaces singing
are sacrosanct in strange places.
Dry cleaner sushi joint
Jazz club liquor store
Homeless man watches white millennial walk her bike into his grandmother’s old house
Dispensary guard fondles gun
Corner store lady knows all the stories
Black owned white-attended
Heritage center closed for cleaning
Boarded up home family inside cooking
Real estate building up for lease
Broken glass swept under construction fence
A man approaches me for a picture pulls out some tired ones
Wants someone else to know his name and see him
Used my index finger to nail an x to end the itch of
a horsefly kiss
crossed hatched skin
I hear there’s one hundred flies where there’s one.