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sonnet 130truth is,
i could live without you.
i could live without your face, your hair
but lines i dragged out fingers would dry and crumble:
wires and rust-chunks;
words' depth absent.
i could sleep without you every night,
but what bare scraps of rest unfurl today would evaporate tomorrow;
Morpheus could go before you in dreams,
but every particolor swirl of breath
would lack the vividness of yours.
i could live without your thoughts, yes,
but my own would be the worse for it.
i could live without you,
but i wouldn't enjoy it much.
other people's heartbreakfifteen year old father,
and he can't uncrumple the dollar bills for the automatic teller machine
where the bamboo walls
girls veiled in smoke,
thin-strap tank tops
the click and hiss of a soda can
she miscarries in the basement on a hot summer night,
the dregs of her uncle's offspring draining from her in hemorrhagic spurts,
her fingers bruising on the unsheeted mattress
mom and pop wake to a phone call from the county coroner
he is blue from the lake water and green from the nausea
and grandma knits afghans, over
he's sorry he doesn't talk to you any more, that he's let the wolf in his chest stir and rise from the long winter sleep
behind everything he breathes a sense of remorse
under everything he exhales guilt--
he's little fingernails scraping up the insides of his lungs like the insides of a pumpkin on halloween
he's cigarette smoke between cracked lips
he's the coldest desert dweller you've ever seen,
the shadow of a dune,
a long-limbed, white-skinned
two fifths of vodka for the crowd
a pair of crystalline relationships evolving:
the one descending and the other rising
things are going to come to a head
I can't do anything for your third suicidal crisis but sit and tell you you're beautiful from far away
I can't do nothing for you
climbing my own ladder, I can't do--
youand you were so rational,
so fucking rational
all you wanted to be was remarkable
and all you were was limbic,
the blood in your veins like kerosene,
like two-year fermented cider
[those are hipbones, for those of you who aren't medically inc-
playing the games
and the games
and the smoke
you were all skin
easter sundayone rises and another falls.
one thousand nine hundred and eighty-five resurrections since the birth of christ
and self-centered anxiety in a copernican universe,
heliocentric panic disorder
& it was knuckles
and i couldn't look you in the eye
you write a lot of letters to god for an atheist.
got a thing
for women in white dresses,
legs broken and
like the knot
of a dead man's
to question realityreal men do this, people say,
real men do that
and all I'd like to know is
who says I am real? who says who's real?
am I defined by the length of my hair or the length of my cock?
by the colors I wear, the actions I take--
am I a chromosome?
am I how I was brought up? am I the name on my birth certificate?
am I my body or the chemicals it produces?
what makes me real? who gives that right?
who hatestell me please what drove you so far,
because i see no other explanation
a thousand tiny eyes,
tell me please why you'll only speak in morse code
do you like the look of the dots on the page?
do you like the tap of the contact on the plate?
do you like the squish and crackle of arachnids dying?
do you just like the fire?
fall morningscigarette in hand
he said something about October,
smoke and breath mingling with the fog,
scarf wrapped thick around his throat,
but you didn't really hear
past his cold red-tipped fingers
slick and silent secret-keepers,
leaves sheened with yesterday's rain,
wax-coated gemstones rolled out
the product of your genetic anomaly,
the gods dashing themselves against the rocks
[he still doesn't know what happened to your mother]
you were tattoos all the way up
vines twining around your arms like dark green barbed wire,
martyr's ink hair shirt
and your toes went numb in your too-small
laces dipped in
hotels and whorehousesgirls
a voice says, 'ciao bella'.
butterflies on cards, the lot of them
vague beige, walls falling in their minds
seeds of the skyline growing
in the heat of the night
and the television hookers
sweating on the screen
behind blue eyeshello there chest-ache
it ain't been that long, has it?
hello night terrors about love and togetherness and the softest sweetest calves
hello sexual desire
hello spiders beneath my Kleenex fingers
(and goodbye, too)
hello anxious, hello confusion,
hello blossoms of red in my underwear
it's not really been that long at all.
the cost-benefit ratio of our loveop-
opacity of your mind
it's up and it's
i don't know if i see mania stuttering between the tracks
dioxides and deoxyribonucleotides,
base sugar phosphate
a lisp in the backs of my teeth where the braces used to be,
and god my thinking is so black and white
my thinking is not a monochrome picture today,
it's a binary code
one zero one zero one zero one
on and off and on and off
and it's up
and it's up
don't stop, pleasedead
did you know you're comatose?
fresh fruit brain rotting to deathly peaches, apple worms
concussion is easy when you're newborn, pliable
now, not so much
you ate every single everything bagel in the box,
even the holes.
the desk chairlittle backwards
you fell into me, lord,
you fell onto me and my long-fingered last-ditch chance at succession
the matte plastic face i'd been keeping for just this moment held,
held less a few cracks around the edges and eyebrows
a carelessly dropped spoon
finals weekas it grows,
ascending to nowhere
we lay our bodies on the shopping center couch,
cleaning our rooms with our minds
pulling a Mary Poppins,
talking to our birds,
but without the energy
only partially perfect
overthinkingwhat if I needed that cash
what if I need to run away some day,
pull my socks on and run out the door
what if I'm in a strange city by myself and I need to get a room in a hotel,
probably in the basement
what if consumerism leaves me empty and my belongings are worth nothing
what if the American economy crashes
what if North Korea, against all odds, manages to produce a nuclear weapon
what if I die before I get free shipping
st ritahe was Jesus--
he kept coming back
I was the Virgin Mary--
no one would fuck me
you were Saint Rita--
betrothed against your will, wed with twin sons, full of faith, escaping by luck
bleeding for fifteen years
teaching escape when luck is scarce and conjuring roses without black magic
and I lived on a street named after you in Marrero, Louisiana
in an eggshell blue house with a picket fence and two black Jeeps,
bent and broken
and you were my one, my only,
my clarifying blow to the head
you were the one who said 'go'
and the one who found me the keys to that 1984 Cherokee
and the one who pulled me through the door when his hand
and yeahwe broke ourselves on the edge of dawn,
bottles and bottles and a small smoking pile of cigarette ash
you said sleep is for the weak
you said a lot of things are for the weak.
the girl in the boy's underwear told you were being selfish
and she told you to get a grip
maybe it was a bit mean,
but i think she had a point
What Am I? Lingering in that photo...
In that simple shot (still, I feel the bullet there)
I look, and I see a woman.
I am not a woman.
I have never worked for a lifestyle,
given birth for an allowance
I have never truly loved a man.
I am not a woman.
I do not have the means to
to wake, feel the calling..(oh, it calls, but I do not answer)
and move, move, move
until I reach a place of
I am not a woman.
Sometimes, I still take the
of my childhood and
place it on shoulders of
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More