They said “consider the mountains” and I considered them
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Your sharp edges were not your fault
But that didn’t stop you cutting us with them;
Your sting–more bee than wasp,
An attack of self-evisceration–
Pulling out your own entrails even as you wounded us;

I hung back, afraid of the anaphylactic shock of you.

I pried apart the shells of my ribs for you and let you into my soft oyster center
But these pearls were never intended to be bullets for you to shoot me with.

this is how you save yourself 1-24-13

it rains down on you it thunders over you it pours into you
this is how God opens his hands on you this is how you are soaked to the bone
you’re under the bushes you’re under the trees you’re under the eaves
this is how you hide from the darkness this is how you save yourself

and this is where we find you in a knot in a nest
this is where we find you in a hollow a tangle this is how you hide
how you escape the deluge this is how you save yourself

love story

her peachpink seashell cheeks don’t look as bright as they did this morning
and her mascara’s smudged which she so carefully applied
leaning over the sink until the edge pressed a damp line into her shirt

she was late for work today but the coffee was good

the man in the elevator who smiled at her when she didn’t see had perfect teeth
(his mother tells him he should be an actor
because mothers always have a dream for their handsome sons)

he’s not smiling as he stands on the sidewalk outside the office building
while a woman holds a microphone in his face

(his face is meant for the camera)

his mother, who always tells him he should be an actor
pauses in the folding of the laundry
as her handsome son tells the lady with the microphone

about how he had smiled at the woman in the elevator
(because he was happy to be alive,
and happy to be in the elevator with a beautiful woman who was gazing into her coffee cup)

and no, she didn’t seem particularly upset, just meditative
–or reflective,
maybe reflective was the word he was looking for–
as if she was working out some minor puzzle in the bottom of her coffee cup

she’s the puzzle now, this twist of limbs
found on the sidewalk by the man with the perfect teeth

whose mother sighs at his face on the television
because she always knew he was destined for greatness

Dream Cycle 1

I dreamed I wrote this poem.
I dreamed my way down the grassy twisted path to where the water lapped against the edges of the graves.
I dreamed my name on all the headstones.

In my dream you gave me your heart in a jar to keep.
In my dream I broke it.
In my dream there was a light just around the corner of the path
And there was broken glass just around the corner of the path
And your heart rolled down past the headstones into the water

And when it hit it didn’t splash.