the gutter is clean, but underneath
the streams are more full than they’ve been for three weeks
light from the street lamp bounces up
at your feet from the ground
punches your silhouette down
reflects off your knuckle-bound keys
at home you ran in high heels
scratched at your face between meals
tapped at the sink for two hours
waited for the water to wear a hole
the car speeding past is screaming your name,
you could’ve sworn. you could swear you felt
a fly leave your mouth. you fix your lips
praying there’s nothing on the other side
of the black glass. don’t make eye contact
with anyone you pass. you look for signs of life
and let your body seek heat
a neon sign in the distance tells you to eat
water cascading over the long line turns white on the rocks, turns angry and floods. water bubbling up from somewhere, unsourced they told you: we threw dye down there and nothing red washed up, we sent objects and wires down there and nothing came back, and no-one picked up. repeating, repeating, don’t die down there. surgical tape, leap of faith, white like a face losing blood.
the best part in Man of Steel was when the bad guys got turned into giant ice dildos and me and my friend both turned to each other at the same time like “eyyyyyyyoooooooooo”
after high windows
people talk of it too much or not enough, judge a little or a lot when any is too much. doing what you want is what the red tape keeps getting cut for, the public leans towards both putting out and shutting up. and surely that’s true love;
keeping or being what you want to, not saying or saying what you want to, endless possibilities. living the life that you thought you might at twelve, worrying or envying where these twelve-year-olds might be in forty years. such sweetness, to be on the internet in the darkness
once you realise the search engines will always think you’re pregnant, once you realise that companies sell sex with super shipping, once you understand that everyone here feels that something’s missing. a feather from a bird. letters from a word. but there it is:
the world becoming smaller, and loneliness remaining. another church is converted into a house, and contains more love, between more people. the world connects and people screw through a mobile phone, a new computer. but we still have rooms; contours in the dark, and beyond all this the satellites we send our signals through. and we want nothing more, and to be nowhere else, and the atmosphere fades to endless black from blue.
bought myself flowers and peanut butter whittakers and pottery supplies just in case it’s my last night on earth~
I called my cat anxious when I felt her bare belly,
soft pink skin with a baby’s fur, white hair
still on her tongue, swallowing. eyes wide,
gleaming. shuffling back to high places, cleaning
again, again. these days she seems stronger,
fur thicker, living lower, eating slower. now I wonder:
when my skin will thicken, my hair grow quicker,
where I can shuffle back to, wrists thin, fingers thinner.
nails on my scalp like leaves with a rake,
I’ll wear gloves if it helps, if that’s what this takes,
if that’s all it takes. now I wonder if nobody knew, if nobody felt
this skin. if nobody saw the fur on my tongue,
the shine in my eyes, the act being done,
if nobody pointed. such wonder and doubt.
finger and thumb. anxious and numb.
breaking off and pulling out.
bad news is a burden and words can feel worse than a kick to the gut or two palms on the sternum that feel the ribs crack but can’t stop or discern when they’re breaking the news, if they’re helping or hurting. the words that you hate might ring on in your head in the morning or swim through the smoke when you’re dead on your feet, when your past keeps on passing you, haunting or hunting you, still it might seem semi-sweet: getting killed getting caught still invites some relief.
so slip out of your shoes, cover mirrors with cloth, hold the stones in your hands and chew down on the moss, brittle bones on the beach can be found or forgot. drowning words out takes time, and sometimes it’s enough to push down and to pray that they simply give up; you press to the bottom, they float to the top. but sometimes it’s not.
forget the sounds, hold them under the water
and wait for the kicking to stop.