My Original Work

Death Song
Mom’s heart is as still as his body.  She speaks when it comes back alone,
learns that a feather will never again tickle or incite laughter in her son’s severed spine.  
He carries with him many screams—both inside of himself and in his hands.
Flashes, like the sky changing, into orange and red, will never let him rest.  

Stories of friends, once told while whistling,
become pieces he has to leave behind.
Somewhere they disintegrate.

Cradling home, he arrives whole, but mostly numb.   
His wounds are audible and stretching. 
Mom hears them in the sound of his voice,
sees them in the way his eyes sink and sag into surrender.

Infected life decrescendos and deteriorates.
He asks the unthinkable of her.  Begs her like an agonizing animal—struck and fallen—slowly dying.

The hours drag on while the light flickers all the while. 
The world is at a vigil and in this room it is his.   

There is no darkness like this one—wishing she could buy him a new pair of shoes,
wishing the objects in his room would change the way she can’t seem to.

Now she is everywhere—holding signs, leading marches, and gathering crowds. 
Why did she have to sing him to sleep forever to know?
The feeling is a black widow that keeps coming back. 

As her voice travels do others hear her death song?  It began as a lullaby.
Does everyone have to take their own turn singing?
To hear their own cracked notes in crying octaves?  
Are there more like her?  Millions. 
If everyone does not rise up in a different song,
will there be more like her?  Millions.

Scorpion on the Border
The scorpion shuffles down into the divide.
Mom’s face presses against cold metal.
Pieces of her son’s hair spill through.

Metal rusts as it rains inside her,
something eternal that will never scab over.
Like visitation in a prison,
it is time to share her home with memory.

Every night he lays his head down,
listening to the clack clack, to the rattle, wishing it was her.
The scorpion crawls back and forth. 
There is no one to say I’m sorry.

Imagining she could cloak her status,
imagining time could weave extensions for the heart.
Wishing the scorpion would sting this fence to death. 

Her heartache is like the snap of a bone,
like a semi-automatic wail. 
Wishing her hair could grow into long braids,
unbreakable ropes so that he could always reach her.

Alone, only years to her grave.
He wants to stand by her side. 
He should be a pallbearer, and not some stranger.  

Separation resounds, an unforgettable echo.
The scorpion rocks him to sleep. 

My Breasts are Two Turntables
I am before, I am again, I transcend,
hum omens that tell of times with newfound rhymes,
futures foreign to my being, worlds unseen. 

I live in you and through you, I don’t belong to even me, I let God transcend my being. 

I am two turntables that move between moans,
as the beats of your body and the beatbox of your mouth,
know my spirit’s pulse. 

I come like samples mixed in your songs
where every song represents a twitch of my body.
I bump my head to the flow of beats
the way my legs move beneath sheets.

You walk milestones within the milliseconds within me.
Time erased.  The sun misplaced. 
The nighttime is our time, to find rhythms trapped beneath galaxies,
I find them within, the way God communicates to us in the form of melodic hymns. 

Shifting, my hands descend
then wrap around and cradle your songs,
just like the omens said,
just like the omens said.

In some subtle space, you are my lover.
This is our solar system, these are our orbits,
and we can move to the presence of our own God.

Our Dying Relationship
I talk from inside a circus tent.
I create worms from sunrises
and then grave dig for more.
I cough up stripes
because I separate candy cane lines.

I shut you with refrigerator door slams.
The floorboards talk out our noise every time I walk
but not even their high pitched replays of us get me to listen.

I stretch my words like limousines
and drop them like cantaloupes that fall from trees.
You feel them the way I chop air
when my tongue snaps.

I make us a high rise with an alphabet
except you can’t breathe there
because I build it from a language I make up.
It is stuck in tongue twisters
and fertilizes anonymity between us.

Can I find new letters to love you with?
Can I build us an arboretum?
Will something dawn on me in the silences?
Can I remove the moss from outside our window?

I build a snowman in our living room
that carries a blueprint of a new home for us.
All that remains is a puddle
as the snowman melts and mutes our floorboards
atop torn paper edges that hoped for a beginning. 

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