She knocked on my door and my irises were still at half-mast when I blinked into the blurry lights. I slowly focused on the movement of her lips but was incapable of hearing the sounds. My fingers scrubbed at my lids, begging them to listen. I nod my head in thought as if there was some thought in there, but all there is is sunrises I’ve seen for the past seven days and the desire to find solace under the fleece covers that had seen so little of me lately.
He said I left a trail of scarlet petals in his sheets
He claims to have followed it
But he keeps finding weeds and decides to pluck those instead
Dandelions are not flowers
Just bad seeds
I refuse to wilt from a green thumb that leaves my bulb black
His calloused hands tugged through her unruly waves in a manner that spelled out love, only his mouth didn’t move an inch. The purple paintings he left on her neck screamed something a lot like lust, but also a lot like marked territory, a lot like permanence.
She gazes into the mirror brushing her own hair. Raking through the unforgiving curls without mercy. She pinches the skin below her chin attempting to recreate the plum kisses that faded far too long ago.
I am an assortment of insecurity
and flaws that litter my skin
like stars littering the sky
but i do not come close
to being as beautiful as that.
I cannot leave the house without
feeling a strain against my bones
holding me back into hiding.
I am filled with uncertainty that
drowns me like water until
I can no longer breathe.
Why can’t i be happy with the way
my body looks?
there’s a dip in my drive way that rain pools in
it reminds me of the curve of your smile
words caught in between your teeth
a tree in my neighbour’s yard grew for twenty years and stopped
it towers over me
I used to take pictures of it in the rain
I have no idea why I ever stopped
my house doesn’t feel like a home without you
the body of it is empty
the negative space in between my ribs aches
I haven’t played the piano in my living room for weeks
and I can’t without you humming along
I bruised my knees falling for you on asphalt
I bled rose petals
always “we kiss
but love you not”
leaves fell from my eyes like tears
decomposed in the garden
growing from my ribs
something in your smile like sunlight
buds on a tree
clipped and wilting in water
if you pick a flower it will die
it doesn’t matter how pretty it looks in your centrepiece
May blushes like my mother,
soft and pink – a broken
horse. Her dresses on the
clothesline wave docile
and timid, like white flags
in the muted breeze.
May blushes like my mother’s
fever: quiet and milk-warm.
She woke me in the middle
of the night, asking for
water, not leaving the bed,
letting the hoarse syllables
loose in the hallway like terrible
birds. Instead, listen to the creek
behind our house, how it murmurs
in the summer, growing louder
as it thins until, finally, it dries
with an arid gasp.
She smells of the rotting apple cores
in the kitchen sink, rich with dying
sweetness. The proverbial image
of a mother-to-be whittling out her
insides – rotting. Eyes like peach pits,
the shadows underneath dark enough
to sleep in. Hand her the card, watch
her watery peach-pit eyes, let something
like guilt, or love, cloud my throat
with a placid lacquer.
My father spends Sunday afternoons
spitting shells of sunflower seeds
out onto our front porch: quietly mangled,
splintered hollow by two front teeth,
rolled underneath tongues like lost
baby teeth. Watch them be turned over
and abandoned by crows. Watch them
be swept underneath the limbs of this
house, into the mulch. Watch her sleep
there after she dies–
atop those ruptured