Friday, April 25, 2014


Huh. I just remembered
that when we finally kissed for the first time, it was easter
exactly ten years ago.

It's a lovely piece of jewelry,
I'll give that to you,
I was surprised.
Just what I would've wanted,
and it looks lovely on her -
a rock as big as the lump
rising in my throat.

Age 13, champagne leanings.
Age 15, five-hour phone calls.
17: a candlelit kiss on Good Friday.
18: a marriage proposal on my birthday (Christmas),
"So... when are we going to Vegas?" (That had always been the plan.)

They keep coming...
stolen moments on car hoods
silent treatments
and all the goddamned songs.
Age 21: fooling around in the closet of your childhood bedroom
down the hall from where
I kissed you as a kid. I interrupted you
blasting Elton John on vinyl
painting the bathroom for your mom.
I remember there being a lot of spit
but it didn't seem weird or gross. It was just you.
As though I'd kissed you every day of my life, and would.
Fuck, I remember it all:
from the sweatshirt you wore your entire sophomore year of college
to the tassels on your dress shoes
at your eighth grade graduation.

My heart might never feel as full
as it became every time you appeared.

I'm so happy to see you settle in,
but I can't help this feeling like
everyone else is running
and I'm just walking in place.
"Are we ever going to sleep together?"
I asked the last of the several times you broke my heart.
"I don't know. Maybe someday,"
and the last thing I remember about that night
was chain-smoking in my hallway
professing profusely that "no one will ever love you like I do."
And you sitting there looking sad and ashamed until
I drank enough to black out.
How embarrassing.

I'm settling in too -
seeing someone I think I'll be with a while.
To be honest, I don't think he'll ever ask me to---
but then again,
I've always been one to wait.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Business As Usual.

My dearest,

"I wish that we could talk about it, but there, that's the problem..."

When you were alive I would mask this using our inside language. But now it's just for me, I suppose, so we may speak plainly.

I'm happy you don't come to me, in a way. If I felt any lingering presence of you, it would be hard to swallow, but because I don't, I know you're really gone.

You were the only personification of anything spiritual in my life. So, physically, it seems fine that I don't feel afraid of seeing your reflection in my mirror, of nestling against a ghost in my bed. If you were here, isn't that where you'd be?

My soul is tormented, though. As though... as if it were a physical entity, it had been partially scooped out. Some part of me is just not here anymore- it went with you.

What had you done? How do they not know? Why have you not come to me in a dream at least and explained yourself? Wasn't that our place?

I have hundreds, maybe thousands, of questions for you now. I have a hundred regrets.

You called me six days before you died:
Hey it's me, um, I was just hoping that maybe one of these days when I called, or if you ever felt like calling, that maybe we could, you know, talk like the good friends that I hope we are... I just miss catching up... So...I know you're busy, so... there's like...I'd like... so... If you get a chance... catch up... hope... it's... hope it's not...
Halfway through the message, your voice cuts out.

And I'll never, ever, get to ask you what I missed.

It's funny, listening to your voice... it's like 5 years ago. It's like Orange.

I'm so glad I didn't go to class all those times that I was hanging out with you instead. That is not one of the hundred regrets.

I will continue to try to not have regrets about our past, y'know, before the last couple times I saw you. The only things I will feel okay about regretting are the recent traumas.

I miss not having those clothes of mine you wore anymore. I'm so mad there aren't more pictures of us. I hate sounding like a broken record when I try to "talk" to my friends about losing you, like I'm more trying to explain our relationship than my loss.

I guess I don't have your other voicemails because I got a new phone a couple months ago. So I hate getting the last one wet.

I hate that you never came to Austin. I hate that I dissuaded you from visiting. I hate the way I decorated my living space, with reminders of you, but more than that, when I took everything down and put them into one place as a vigil for you, the empty spaces reminded me more that you were gone.

I hate that you will never know my children, if I ever have any, and that they will not know you. That my future partner(s) will never know you or worry about you or worry about us together.

Of course, I hate that I distanced myself from you to spare myself of pain, suffering, and heartache, only to receive all those things despite my distance, and in addition, missing you, and all your beauty, and all both had to offer me in the interim.

I hate that we left so many things undreamed.

I hate that I don't remember more. I hate myself in the polar opposite way in which you loved me. Your love should fill me and help me persist, but I'm not there yet. I hope I can be sometime.

I, I, I, I hate there isn't, and hasn't been, and wasn't more you in my vocabulary.

I hate thinking, "no one understands." Because you did. And now that you aren't here, I'm just not sure that I'll ever be as close to whole as I was with you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

my baby's in the morgue tonight
my baby's in the morgue
are her ears full of the fun i made?
is her throat all swoll'n with scorn?
are her eyes covered by the ferryman's fare,
which now must need be worn?
my baby's in the morgue tonight
my baby's in the morgue

my baby's in the ground today
my baby's in the ground
the latin prayer with which i'll send her away*
is the one by which her i found
although i'll still be walkin 'round
at her side i shall always stay
even though she's the only one put in the ground today
oh god, my baby's in the ground

(and the strangeness and strain every recent time we parted
never was derived from my wishing we had never started
there's a silent emptiness now that i never felt before
wish i could lift my voice to you but i don't feel you here anymore
my sweet tristan off to neverland, but how did you forget to steer?
how could you have just left me here?
i can't believe you left me here...)

my baby's in the sky tonight
my baby's in the sky
and i shan't see our Cross'd Stars
should I begin to cry
and so, with unwetted eye,
i'll heave an unending sigh
toward my baby in the sky tonight
forever in the sky

ad te suspiramus,
gementes et flentes in
hac lacrymarum valle
eia ergo advocata nostra
illos tuos misercordes oculos
ad nos converte

(To thee do we cry
weeping and mourning in
this valley of tears
turn then, our advocate
thine eyes of mercy
toward us)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Certains jours... on se sent tres seul.

I wrote about it once, how as a girl just stepping to the precipice of adolescence I found myself walking behind the others down Av Kléber... I suppose we were going toward L'Arc de Triomphe- either coming back from or toward an afternoon perusing Champs Elysées. Trying to enjoy myself, I took in the city smells, the dirt between each old brick, water stains, moss, maybe, too, and felt so at home in a place so far from where I was from, and seemingly even more so, now, while the rest of my familial party walked boldly up front, in disgust of the European dirt and scum of the street. I liked it.

Feeling strained and sort of alienated, as I almost always did during those years of my youth, I, without words, sighed and asked for some sort of sign. Then, before I knew it was happening, there were tiny papers everywhere all along the sidewalk, handbill-sized, that I'm sure the rest of my party stepped upon, kicked through there, but I stopped and knelt down to read what was written upon them.

In lovely cursive, I believe in a red felt-tip, was written crisply and then photocopied on white paper, "Certains jours... on se sent très seul."

I haven't much to complain about, really, and, tonight, hunched over and defeated, I tried to remember that. Looking up at the half moon, not a crescent tonight, I thought, "You're okay. Your dog is alive and happy. You have people that love you. You make art and only that... for now." Although I admit, a moment before I hoped with each passing car I might be stung by some stray bullet, through my heart, hopefully, but my shoulder or some limb would do. Just a little blood to remind me of my mortality. Instill a little panic, maybe, any kind of affirmation of life.

Just then I heard a child screaming from the house a few lots over from us. In the lot to the right of us our landlord is about to set up another double-wide, just like ours, and rent it to some more white kids, probably, and "bring the value of the neighborhood up" a smidge. There's a structure next to that that must be a duplex, or at least, a few little units under one big roof. At first the child seemed upset (a trip and fall, a short moment of silence, and then the big payoff? as kids are wont to do) but then there were some sounds I found familiar. Doors slamming, an angry parent screaming, "get over here," and whipping noises. A wooden spoon or a belt maybe? A hairbrush is what some prefer, as I've seen from my own experience. Whatever's nearby, I guess. I know my caretakers at least put a little thought into it, usually made it a spectacle or ceremony of it for my brother to behold and for me to set the example.

And here I was on the flip... did I just become a bystander from my own past? Am I just a neighbor now, unknowing the context, praying the child would be okay?

I think about you, and even more lately since you've reached out. I wonder what it might be like if we were to meet again for coffee, or a drink, like we did the last Christmas Eve I was in Los Angeles. Make small talk before the big reminiscing with which our night would eventually end. "What's the craziest thing you've done since?" My imaginary you might ask. My imaginary me answers, "What does it matter? It's all one heartbreak after another."

Once we met, I was terrified. I was able to breeze through less serious connections, but you were different. And you were far away, and it would actually take, well, work, to be close to you. You didn't want to just admire me and... I didn't want you to just admire me. There were going to be serious decisions, serious consequences if I acted on the feelings I had. I don't regret any of them now, but, at the time, I pushed you away at first because I was afraid of being loved, of having something I knew I deserved but had no proof that I did. On the night I tried to break it off, months before we dove in headfirst, you were devastated, and rightfully. Later, once we made sense of it and I faced "us," you showed me what you had written about it, and said something about how I was like a doll in a window you passed... wanting me so much more because you could not have me... "but it [was] so much more visceral than that."

How could either of us have known? How could I have told you that once you made me yours, that once you really got a hold of me, my little broken doll bits would crumble in your hands, that my spineless little doll body wouldn't be able to support my huge beautiful head? You did your best. You kept me together for a while anyway.

The wounds didn't show so much in my face then-

While I regularly lament that we found each other at the wrong time, I think now how impossible it would be. You got down to the bottom of me while the wounds were still fresh, before almost a decade of my experimenting and numbing out, before I had these years to harden.

And by hearing the kid next door and not feeling much, by not flinching at the sounds that might horrify others, I know that my time in the kiln is not near done... that I am still a small girl that doesn't know what she's worth.

And I know that, although there are certain days that I feel very alone, there are days when you're thinking of me, despite that I am just a crumbling doll you once wanted to possess. That's worth more than a parisian street cluttered with signs, worth more than a half-moon, worth more than a few pages you wrote forever ago, even... that that is my biggest affirmation of life, right there.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

If I recall correctly i think the interior lights of Los Angeles buses are lower at this time of night. I don't remember being able to see my reflection quite so well while peering onto Sunset Boulevard's sidewalks. Making out the difference now is just as difficult as trying to distinguish pedestrians faces. Everytime I look out onto the Colorado as we glide over the Congress bridge I just think of my murky hometown aqueduct. its beds decorated by the brazen artisans of its counterculture, bespeckled with colorful language in decipherable letters. The city's superficiality always challenged by the quiet subtle uprising of its resistors.


It's so terribly astonishing
how your every inch remains to me
(or at least the "you" you used to be),
when the more obvious idiosyncrasies
of lovers lost more recently
were forgotten almost immediately,

I can't recall my last love's fingers,
but yours? A perfect image.
I can't recall my last love's kiss,
although yours was more timid.
I can't relive my last love's sighs,
but yours, still, how they sear!
An ever-widening distance between us lies,
yet somehow you still feel near.

Is it that that distance, always our curséd blessing,
why I still find myself my love confessing?

or is there truth in the adage that made us wander-
absence truly makes the heart grow fonder?

I'll seek not, nor deliver an apology,
but how did you ever become so much a part of me?

For Dame Death, on Her Birthday.

(June 17, 2011)

Not the first, and not the last-
O, gilded glimmering burst of dying ember
frightfully flitting, to light my path-
thus I'll burn once more just to remember.
A truer friend, you might've been,
but love me more? A one could never.
To see the Life within my dying face,
and to wed the two of me together.
The beauty of it was the deadliest.
The dual-sided dopaminergic Deliverance
always fueled the never-would-be-sated
fiery seat of my ambivalence.
Most dolorous of doting fervour
trembling to trespass the Gates of night
before we'd find our dew-kissed cheeks
tough and taut before dawn's wretched light.

But now that my psychadelic Swirling Falls have passed,
and the summers have singed the weeds that grew,
I've resolved to tenderness over what transpired,
and denounced the pains I thought I knew.

Now that our grimoire is shut and sealed,
tossed into the icy Styx our rueful tome,
I wish I could have conceived our sentience;
I wish we'll all still find our home;

I wish that I may still find pardon,
though I'll hold out a little longer;
that you were more than a Cross'd Star to light my way;
and that I could have been a little stronger.