to suck the poison out

you must wrap your mouth over the wound

encircle your lips around the broken skin,

pull hard –

and feel the sting as you nearly swallow

and poison yourself all over again

this is the hard work of un-doing –

creating a space for healing

oft requires a taste of your own medicine.



i saw your ghost the other day

i might have missed you, you blended in so!

and i smiled;

because you are beautiful. 

and i wondered if,

perhaps we both have halos now.

when you begin to wander across my mind –

as you are wont to do, from time to time,

i will send you love and

i will send you light

for i have found the old ways must be made new,

and being kind makes the heart hurt less

than being cruel.

i smiled because your ghost was beautiful

and to send you love and light,

so that all of it,

the glorious whole,

would kiss your soul

as i was wont to do.

if a tree in a forest

forgives itself,

with no one else around to hear it 

does it still count?

i, my darling, have spread myself too thin,

wandered perhaps too far.

i know, i know.

saying yes to everything tends to take its toll.

i found myself surprised, however – 

it has been many years

since we were strangers. 


i have poured my soul into your open hands.

i have watched it run through your fingers like water

colors changing like gasoline

and you quenched my fire and my flame with

your soft spoken words into my hair.

(we have lived lifetimes in airports)

i wish you could know the quiet beauty of seattle tonight,

we would walk in tandem to Kerry park,

our shoes would be wet like concrete,

and perhaps i would wear your clothes

(they always did look better on me)

we would sit, and i would want to smoke

(but i never really smoke – i would just want the aesthetic)

you would understand this and offer me nothing

except the distance between our shoulders

and i would feel my heart knitting to yours.

in this post-collegiate haze that we are navigating

one thing burns bright –

I have my brother’s love.

empty bowl

We are inexorably linked, you see

sacred in our sharedness.

Sending tendrils of thoughts into the deep elsewhere;

across the sea,

into space,

in the hushed foam of beaches we once knew.

Somehow, somehow, when I think of you –

I know you are thinking of me.

Knowledge unexplainable that I hold in my very blood,

this unmatched synchronicity.

Today I felt you

so acutely,

your heart thrumming inside my chest

like a second pulse.

The muscle memory of your embrace

and the scent of your skin against my cheek.

This is not the first time,

nor will it be the last.

And sometimes, just sometimes

I let your memory take over

and inhabit the space that you have carved inside of me.

You are my empty bowl,

which I continually have to fill.


The plan was to play hard to get, that’s right-

I wasn’t just gonna go given’ myself away

I’m no easy catch,

can you really see me in fishnets?


I always find myself slippin’ out the holes, swimmin’ back out to sea.

I’d never been anybody’s sushi roll.

But she, has lips like wasabi,

my eyes water every time we kiss,

makes me wish we had a porch swing and a little home.

Makes me wish I could right wrongs, instead of poems.

The heart is a bullet that’s terrified of blood.

Love is a windshield wiper in a hurricane; nothing is ever clear.

You mistake her name for the moon, mistake porchlights for the stars and sometimes,

They are.

Her constalliations lead me home, ten thousand shades of open.

And if there’s one thing in this world I’ve ever known for sure is that this girl is gonna crush me like a small bug.

Leave me so frickin’ broken there’ll be body bags beneath my eyes from nights I cried so hard the stars died,

But I’m like, go ahead,

I’m all yours.

I would kiss you in the middle of the ocean during a lightning storm ‘cause I’d rather be left for dead than left to wonder what thunder sounds like.

I’m not lookin’ for someone who can save me.

Liferafts might keep you afloat but they rarely get you anywhere and I’ve got places I wanna go,

So break me in two, peel back my rib cage and cover every page of my heart with love poems

you will burn someday.

The most fertile lands were built by the hands of volcanoes,

and I wanna know what grows beneath the drone of Hallmark and roses,

I want your goodbye to feel like explosives,

Your lips, a burning building without fire escapes,

Your hips, the gates of hell if I know if heaven exists,

But this will do just fine,

I wanna feel you like lifelines on the palms of Jesus when the nails went through.

Is that really, really creepy?

Just in case it is, let me also say I want you sleepy-eyed in the morning,

Waking at my side like a warm summer sky born from so much softness the horizon cries every time nightfall comes to take you.

Let me also say I wanna make you sandwhiches,

And soup,

And peanut butter cookies,

Though, the truth is peanut butter is actually really bad for you ‘cause they grow peanuts in old cotton fields to clean the toxins out of the soil,

But hey, you like peanut butter and I like you.

Let me also say I’ve never seen anything more gorgeous than you were that night.

The moon, bending through the window blinds, I told time by the light casting shadows across your face while you told me this story,

“My grandparents were married for 63 years. On the day my grandfather died he laid in bed and said nothing but “love, love, love love” then he puckered his lips and kissed my grandmother for the last time.”

Love, love, love, love is like sunshine:

Sometimes you have to get burned to know you were there.

I wanna know that I’m here, every single part of me,

My heart, open as the river’s eyes the first time it sees the ocean,

My god, look at those waves!

Listen to that thundering tide!

Can you imagine anything more frightening?

Can you imagine anything,





– Andrea Gibson.

the branches are full and these orchards are heavy

– poem by Anis Mojgani

gentlemen have you forgotten your god?

He weeps out loud
waiting for our dreams to grow like ears
while you are making ghosts out of people
making ghosts from your torah
your koran
your bibles

we have shaved our books down
swallowed them
so that the word of God
might flow through us
but the pages just sit in our bellies
speaking to us in dull murmurs as we sleep
we wonder what to do
make me understand

we wish to become one with our Lord
we hear the voices and think we know what they say
is the word of God
i hear this i heard this correctly

so we rise and try to translate this word
with the work
with the heart
we search the bed
through thighs
the blanket the leg the needle twist
fuck and the fuck you
curse of the moon
to find our Lord
and listen more proper-like
but our ears are too small
for our hearts to understand the humming of these sentences inside of us

we are trying to decipher the bang buck braille of Your silent throat Lord
but the voices grow and grow just as fuzzy
so we stand and go to the kitchen
and pick up knives to cut these voices out from inside
we stab ourselves
i must hear You
cutting the flap of our skins
the words twist on the floor of our homes
mixing their sounds with our blood
they drown
but it does not stop
i must hear you
we hear the same songs singing in the stomachs of others
so we grab more knives to cut those out
but there are more and more stomachs
—we need
bigger knives
we need soldiers tanks and missiles
but we still cannot make out the words
we need dead mothers
and children raped from searching
the hospitals are full and overflowing
from us trying to cut our God from our gut
with the blade the pipe
the fingernail twist of the drug
pushed and poked through the arm to the belly
to throw Him up
in the bang of the scream
we find our savior
the shell in the chamber
is a quiet plea to a distant God
asking for us to be remembered by Him
through the tire tread
through the smoke of the tank
the crunch of the skull
through the babies we bury beneath us
we empty their tiny limbs to see if a scrap of our Lord still lingered
somewhere inside there
we clutch throats pistols and palms in the same two handed clasp of prayer
staring into the mirror
we see crypts
fondling the marble of our hearts like they were mausoleums
we are ghosts hungry
for something bigger then what our mouths are kissing

let me see You
let me see You Lord
i have balanced in the middle of the question
black as my eye
beaten by Your hymn
i am holding still

go ahead
you gentle

men of God
you tender sinners

take your rifles
raise to my gut and fire on

hear the song more clearly
it does not sing what you wish it did

it is too big for us to see a letter of it
so do not even try

cut Him from me

i wish to drape His face with my kisses
and finally sleep softly