Love, Assorted

Some people write you poems – love poems
that could burn a house down in your chest –
they leave you breathless, leave you longing,
and then they just leave, so fast you could taste
dust in your mouth. Some people linger like a
fog, want to stay friends, want to come over
when they feel lonely. Some people forget
to wash the dirty dishes in the sink, forget to
buy milk, forget your birthday and the way
you used to laugh. Some people wake up at night
to tuck the blanket under your chin. Some people
love to exclaim, look what I have done for you!
Some people kiss to turn you inside out,
to adore every secret corner. They kiss
as if your lips were home, haven, the place
that they want to stay forever. Some people
kiss so they could go somewhere else, eyes
open, hands fumbling with your blouse buttons.
Some people can’t say I love you until
they’ve studied your past, the exes you’ve
dated, the mistakes you’ve made. God knows
there must be a war raging inside their soul.
Some people chase wild things, hunt them at night
for thrills, and stumble back to your bed at
five a.m., smelling of cheap booze and
strangers. Some people want to bake all kinds
of bread for you, stay home with you, cuddles
and warm socks, hot cocoa on the couch.
Some love is the fire that warms you through and
through, and you will never grow cold again.
Some love is the gum that gets stuck underneath
your shoes. Makes you walk unevenly for miles.
Becomes nasty. Becomes quite impossible to get rid of.

Unwoven

When I was young, I once found
a loose thread
on a brand new sweater.
Not knowing what it did, I pulled on it,
and I kept on pulling,
and pulling,
until I found out.

Every time your fingers dance on my skin, kindling
every fiber of my body into a wildfire,
I think about that loose thread and what it did.

I think about how that beautiful sweater
slowly shrivelled into nothing,

a pile of messy yarn.

sometimes

her lover makes her feel
like a schoolgirl
on fire drill days.

excited, heart pounding, running
through emergency exit, skipping down
countless flights of stairs, breathless, intoxicated, a rush, so much
fear and despair, and then

she turns around and walks back
into the building, safely in one piece,
no smoke, no burn, no damage. love
does not hurt, her lover says, but

sometimes
very late at night she
secretly wishes to be engulfed
in a real fire.

Prey

Well, if you must know –

my thighs still burned
from the bite of your charm, these teeth
marks under my skins – did you have to
pounce on me with such force?

Don’t come any closer. I think you should
stop looking at me the way that you do. Those
soft brown eyes are luring me to
play your dangerous game. I know
you want me, the whole Serengeti
knows you want me, oh
stop that growling, as if you are
the only one burning up here.

Why did I stop running? I guess
I should have kept running. Away from you. Somehow
you’ve cornered me into the mouth
of your cave, the lion’s den, you clever beast.
The night is falling deep, and over on that tall fig tree,
there is a very old owl, looking at us. Amused.
If you come any closer, I will run. I will. I will.

I might.

Do you know
that the rolling plains are whispering naughty
little ideas into my ears? Are these the sort
of ideas that you have all along. Tell me how long
are we going to stand here staring
right into each others’ eyes? Is it
my move now? Why does the wind
insist on blowing right at this moment through
your mane? Your perfect beautiful dusky red mane. I mean,
how am I supposed to resist all of this? How am I
supposed to resist…you? You are a disaster; you are
an earthquake; you are everything I crave
but shouldn’t. My knees are getting weak. It is getting late. Even
that old nosy owl has flown home, so why don’t you just
come here, you beautiful danger, take me back
to your dark cave. Show me disasters; show me
earthquakes; show me everything I crave but shouldn’t –
terrible, delicious, regrettable, feverish things…

Oh
did you hear that?
The sound of my surrender
has driven the whole jungle wild.

Sister Moon

Mother, mother,
what have you done with my sister,
the other burnt charcoal white moon
from the same pear-shaped room
where I flew out like a bald bird
singing O love love be all mine.

Her life would have been mine;
her first cry would have woken the mother
in an iceberg, let alone you; her songbird
twittering of notes calling me sister sister
would have echoed through my bedroom;
if only the night queen loved her baby moon.

But mother, your night never needed a moon.
It was lit up by bottles and cries that weren’t mine.
I went into the wood, into the witch’s hutch-room
of black air, blacker than all of your hair, mother!
There I lay awake holding the soft form of a sister
who had gone to sleep like a sweet milk bird

nested inside all this love, my tiny bluebird
of a sister, my otherwise happiness, a full moon
melting into sixteen candles, pink-rose face of my sister
blooming into yours, and I denied everything to be mine –
all your trembling bells and stubborn curls, dear mother.
You laughed and said I was the blueprint of the room

where you’d lie down to die someday, a coffin room
from which you couldn’t escape. A caged bird
forever singing blues and lullabies, O mother,
you were the canoe that sunk under a waxing moon.
But the crescent of your face fell into place with mine;
your freckles tacked to my nose like love, like my sister

never leaving the nook in your shoulder. My ghost of a sister,
a longing with elbows and knees, tiptoed from my room
to yours every starless night. This game of mine
couldn’t save me from sadness, just like a bird
couldn’t take off from your canoe under the moon
without wings; without the bells of a mother.

My happiness, your absence, my sad white paper bird
gone into a world stained by the light of an eclipsed moon.
We’ve both been so alone in our blue rooms, haven’t we, mother?

 

Originally published on December 28th, 2015 on my old blog. 

The Centerpiece

They have come to watch me unfold,
sweaty dinner guests with gold lorgnettes.
I, a tigress imprisoned by a glass cage,
devour their lambs and spit red poetry.

Over the soup course they eye me closely in smokes,
horny widowers with stubby little cigarettes,
I, a dahlia rising out of the giant vase,
pluck their hairs and assemble sad history.

After wine they gossip through my earlobes,
bored mothers with their stuffed marionettes.
I, a blue moon squatting in a loveless cave,
kill the bats and begin a new story.

 

Originally published on December 21st, 2015 on my old blog.