i said stop

god was preoccupied that night
playing jacks on the planet:
he bounced the moon again
sweeping up the stars so effortlessly

then the darkness began to swell
seeping through cracks of the blinds
oozing into the bedroom
and dripping from your mouth

didn’t you see me?
no, your teeth don’t work like eyes.
all you wanted was a five course meal
when fate starved your love life,
but there wasn’t a bone on me
made to be picked clean.

i’ve got a mouth too,
and it wasn’t made for a crow to peck.
no, not after i begged please, stop
to both a god and you.

and you’ll die an unceremonial death
laying pathetically on roadside pavement
from preying on the streets.

and if there was a god then,
i pray that he gets a pair of
ovaries and cochlear implants.

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the abyss

her legs swung over the precipice,
slender fingers held on to its crevices–
and below
a deep chasm bows
to greet her at the cloudy peak.

a hollow wind gave way to an echo of stone:

is this the end?
is this the end?

the chasm beckons against its walls,
tall in the ways she’s always felt small.

she liked her oatmeal plain
and loved the sound of trees and
pens on loose leaf.
beside gas receipts and plane tickets,
she kept coins in a size ten canister
labelled:
“for a change of scenery”

she never detested the pretty extroverts
whose sentences were second nature.
she was an extrovert on her own,
sometimes
smiling to strangers on the streets.

but she was painfully aware of how she walked,
and her face, well, just as awkward–
until she became a chameleon for comfort,
changing only to blend in.

perhaps my money would be better spent on makeup,
and my energy best spent on people?

this morning she ate the ends of a new bread-loaf,
coupled with a cup of black coffee
whose steam lapped the lens of her spectacles–
a small inconvenience as she read another political debacle.

she said thank you to the greying man behind the register,
whose gas station was his heirloom.
she became entranced with the rhythmic crunch
of rocks and bones underneath her toes.

and she sat there alone on the precipice,
equidistant
between the chasm floor and misty firmament,
seeking distance from a strange world–
her fingers were curled against
the ears and eyes that yearned no learning
and always grew privy to destroying.

perhaps i shall sit alone for all eternity.

so she laid down her back,
legs hanging loosely on the ledge,
and slept.

the meat butcher’s son

i fell in love with the meat butcher’s son
whose pale skin bruised my memory–
eternally clenched fists,
white knuckles tasting bitterness

his eyes glowed fluorescent blue, those
bulbs overlooking rows of raw meat

for a time i believed they shone for me,
a prime pick above a pile of choices–
beautifully marbled, not too fat,
and didn’t talk back

then my muscles yielded to his heirloom hammer
beating me into sweet, soft tenderness with
fingers plucking out whatever bone left inside
before searing me in sourness and fire

who could have blamed me
when all i wanted was his mouth to taste
and the entirety of myself consumed?

i fell in love with the meat butcher’s son
whose teeth were too soft to chew me, anyways–
i fed him yes sirs on a silver spoon instead
to shut his whining demands for a taller highchair.

lightning bugs

between small cupped hands,
out peered the lightning bug:

a tiny glass bulb breathes
luminescent with life;
its thin chitin armor
decorated delicately with crepe.

i returned to it a smile
as bright and starry eyed;
it sees me and glows once more,
and it turns to the others.

fleeting,
it flutters gently away–

fleeing,
not without a graze on the cheek–

so i watched it join the others
in a haphazard constellation,
all waltzing through the night
until the next summer sunset.

for tonight and the rest of my life

I ran through the dimly lit night with the familiar thumping at my neck, except this time I wasn’t running away. I ran to you, your car hidden behind my neighbor’s fence. The seat felt like a purr, and we slunk off before speeding into the night.

Somewhere between ordering food and watching a movie, we brushed our teeth together. The mirror I became familiar with over the past two weeks reflected a much older couple, one that seemed to have a mortgage to pay and shifts to attend. Perhaps I was far beyond my bedtime to make sense of the world, much less my own place in it, but there was the future gazing back at us hardly an arm’s length away.

I found my limbs and fingers tangled with yours under that sunset orange of your salt lamp. I remembered the times you grazed your fingertips on my face and crooned on about my skin like I was a star, like how I seemed so soft and how I seemed to glow. But that night you glowed even brighter with every pulse and breath I felt against my cheek. Your arms wrapped around me like tendrils of light, squeezing me into warmth in the cold evening. I fell asleep in the moon, on a crater made by the cradle of your body. There wasn’t a dream worth watching when I could’ve opened my eyes and done the same thing I did every other night with my eyes shut.

Waking up was a cloudy haze but I still believe the first thing you said was that you loved me, and the first thing I said was that I loved you too but with the words sleepily shuffled around. You still felt like a dream returning me to my house. The highways were empty, and you mentioned how quickly we reached them without all of the traffic. And I, in a naively romantic reverie, toyed with the idea that the universe was made to fit just the two of us.

here is a first date

Here you are sitting across from me. A cup of shaved ice flavored white with some “Jamaican rum” syrup (which tasted a little like stale Pina colada)  sat in front of you, melting into sticky sweetness like I was while watching you fish out a Jenga piece from the tower.  Your face was as steady as your hands, eyes and fingers concentrated. The tower nudged towards me but it never fell. I scowled with a smile. You smiled back in defiance. This was a game, and we were in love. I pulled a piece from a side of the tower because I always play to win. You, in all your clever gracefulness, slipped one out from another side. The tower balanced precariously on center pieces. We looked at each other with eyes that smirked and hearts racing to our necks. Almost too quickly the night turned six and murmured time for me to go. We left like the unhappy kids who sat jealously at the table beside us (except we were unhappy because we had to leave). No one won, but I sat next to you with your hand in mine and my hand in yours in the car. We kissed under the dull red glow of the stoplight, but for a brief moment your green shirt looked like the bright green of a “go” signal. We tasted like the botched flavors of alcoholic drinks turned into sugary candy, but you felt like warm effervescence sliding drunkenly into my stomach. There were butterflies there. They’ve gotten ahold of some nectar and they’re fluttering for more.

unrequited

your gossamer soul
casted, flying to
tuck me into a lucid dream–

now,
a wide-eyed somnambulist

has her fingers outstretched,
grasping for the color of your eyes
at the gauzy seams of
skies and seas.

your quicksilver blood
capricious, fleeting
further into her skin.

she lends her ears to recompense
for these tightly clenched fists
that ache for your calloused palms–

please wake up, my dearest:
the world does not belong to you.