Differences

She spreads her hands
toward the gray sky and
tells me to look closely
that I might see some
hope amidst the clouds–

perhaps in the sunlight
as it tries but fails to break
through and shine on us.

“I much prefer the dark,”
I tell her and disappear,
leaving only traces of myself
behind, small memories
she will struggle to recall.

Fire, Sun, Sadness

Fire, Sun, Sadness

Can sunshine be sad? she asks,
poised atop of a pillar of flame and
none the worse for it (amazing what
young people get away with these days).

I check the wreckage around me
and find the sun’s dire reflection
in the dents of twisted metal, spidering
tendrils of steel spread far and wide.

Sunshine is always sad to me, I say
and watch the flames dance around her,
filling me with dread but also envy,
knowing I could never face the fire as does.

Relocation

I’ve probably posted this one before…too lazy to check.

It was supposed to be a country move,
but it quickly became continental,
and the girl with the chess-game past
moved into a foreign town with glass walls
and dagger-teeth folks who told stories
by torchlight and prayed away their hunger.
“Will I die here?” the girl asked.
The man with blood-spotted hands replied,
“By and by, young lady, by and by.”

Where You’ll Find Me

I miss the controlled burn
of your stare, the clean, white
oval of your face, and the ease
with which you dismissed me,
lifetime after agonizing lifetime.
Should you ever wish for my
questionable company again,
look for me north by northwest,
dying, as always, under the Bodhi Tree.

Another Experiment Gone Wrong

Another Experiment Gone Wrong

Are you some kind of duke or baron? the forlorn man
in the tweedy jacket and wearing the sunset asks me.
Surely I don’t radiate royalty in my smacked-down
outfit and my hair twisting and shouting like a bad
dance move, my eyeballs gyrating independently
of each other, my tongue confessing crimes at break-
neck speed, my curlicue tail suddenly forked and red
just as the local authorities realize I’ve broken loose.
No, good sir, I’m just an another experiment gone wrong,
I say and lope toward the sinister house on the hill.

The Closed-Eyed Girl

It’s so unlike you to die, especially this way,
with gaudy beads in your hair and necklace
your father gave you before he lit off for lands
unknown, dooming your mother to selective muteness
and your sister to constant roaming similar
to his, but she always returned home, bruised,
full of quenched stars but steady.

We thought you had this, with your elegant
sunglasses and stylish purses that held all
your loneliness and left room for little else
except for rain clouds you pulled out sometimes
and flung into the sky, daring the weather
to contradict you, which it would never do.
Your cold rain always left me wanting more.

I stare down at you now, laid out, strangely
still, your face a poor, stiff Halloween mask,
and I watch your mother and sister huddle
close and paint black circles on their palms,
perhaps a family ritual I never knew about
since I know so little…and thought I knew
so much about the closed-eyed girl before me.

The Color of Your Sadness

There is a color to your sadness
but it flies away on a moan
that barely escapes your lips

and I am bereft of knowledge,
a child of a man, a morsel of a grain
of sand on a strand of angel hair,

as remote a chance as that seems,
treading where others fain to step,
my reward a bacchanal of emptiness.

The Girl with Chameleon Skin

First published in MockingHeart Review.

The Girl with Chameleon Skin

The girl with chameleon skin
knocked on my door.
I opened it and saw nothing
but hard morning light
distorting around a vaguely human,
pavement-colored shape.

I moved back and watched
her watery movement from exterior
to interior, her skin shifting to carpet
to hardwood. My mouth found hers
and she became my flesh. We moved,
slow as epochs, to the bed where she
melted into the sheets and became linen.

My tears dissolved into her
as though they had never been,
and she laughed, a bright sound
merging with the heaven beyond
the ceiling, beyond the tapered clouds,

where chameleon girls are seen
for who they are, not just imitations
of life under a sad man whose body
does not know the hazards of change.

 

I also wrote a short instrumental song to accompany the poem, which you can find here. 

I Caught Your Eye

This poem originally appeared in MockingHeart Review.

I caught your eye
as it floated away from you
that strange, purple evening.

Just an old parlor trick,
you said, smiling, plucking
your eye from my palm
and dunking it in whiskey
before screwing it back in place.

Later, as you slept, the soft
train of your snores rolling
across the bed, I watched
your eyes vibrate beneath their lids–
not REM, but telegraphed desires
to float again, to be free,
without anything getting in the way.

The Charred Mayor Meet Madam Exoskeleton

 

This poem appeared in a slightly different format in the journal Ordinary Madness (vol 1).

The Charred Mayor Meets Madam Exoskeleton

He wore a black suit to match his poor skin,
his neck crinkly and crispy around the collar,
and she strode into the room like a mechanized
weapon, clacking and clanking across the marble.

“How do you do?” wheezed the Charred Mayor,
taking Madam Exoskeleton’s rock-hard hand
and bringing it up to what was left of his lips.

“Charmed,” Madam Exoskeleton’s voice echoed
through the ridges and furrows of her gray face.
The two danced to LPs all night, blurring the line
between human and inhuman, shadow and carapace.