like smoke, she rises

she stands bare skinned in the bathroom 
stretch marks sketched along her hip bones 
cracks begin to settle in the depths of her skin 
and still you mirror every part of her she has come to despise

like a tattoo inked on the forearm of a lover
now a distant memory 
etched in the crevasses of her palm 

you once held her hand,
and the heavens trembled beneath her feet 
her pulsating heart
still bleeding blue 

in clenched fists
unbecoming of her worth
you begged to touch the sun in her face 
only for her to shrink herself into bite-sized pieces  

small enough for you to digest the brilliance of her beauty
yet too magnanimous in its magnitude for you to absorb and nourish 
your insatiable hunger

to prove her love,
she cascades desire at the mouth of the river bank
whispers mysterious into the wind
hallucinates dreams into the fullest crescent moon
and manifests light at the tapered bottom of a blackened sky 

still you recoil under the weight of your own smallness 
as she patiently waits
to taste sweet with you

light ablaze the tear soaked love notes folded between 
the nape of her neck 
and your front teeth 

a message your carrier pigeon heart 
didn’t know how 
to deliver

when her halo broke,
she carved the two halves into horns 

and the cosmos,
in all its expansive infinity aligned
so that she could breathe life back 
into the hellish abode of her very existence 

but beloved finally learned to read the signs 
no longer believed in the illusion of a world conspiring against her

for every dark and lifeless night,
she marveled in awe-filled wonder
as the moon and her stars colluded in brilliance 
to radiate her genius

and in her lonely,
absent of the leering, unsettled, critical gaze of an outsider within
she comforted the parts of herself 
no one else dared or knew how to touch 

asked questions which bled her into a corpse
of past lovers
and into the looming shadows 
of the ghosts of yesteryears 

and one by one 
strawberry coloured birthmarks formed 
along the dips and fractures 
of her tired bones 

between her navel
and the roundness of 
her breast

with her fingers, 
the goosebumped, blue-veined constellations 
along her torso 

connecting the dots 
as seamless and natural 
as the sun and her flowers in spring 

building a home within 
still haunted by the torment of 
a 100 years of solitude

she learned to master the stillness
of which bore the faint whispers of 
her murmuring heart

reminding her to breathe softly
at once surrendering the thoughts
that weighed heavily on her crown

as they fell one after another

like a spilled glass of white wine 
dousing the burning blaze in her eyes 
the raging forest fires in her belly

a quiet sigh washes over her
filling her intoxicated paper bag lungs  

the smoke dancing all around her

mar 2020

an open letter

to all the men i’ve ever 
or have yet to love

when the earth’s spring 
reminds you
to be soft


your body is not 
a casket 
for pain 
to be buried in.

nov 2021

the child within

you’ve been here before 
the child within
never forget

the child within

hurt was here
long before we were
to collect the names
of every stranger

whose ever taken our
kindness for

will you come and play with me?
ride the waves
until they settle my little beating
bones of milk and honey

be gentle,
my heart still hides wounds
that never bleed

time doesn’t heal all
but it gives us comfort
to think it does
don’t we?

why else would we
praise the rain
when it pours

in puddles that carry waters made of tears

hoping that tomorrow
will carry the weight
of an encyclopedia of a broken heart

relieve the burden of its
volumes upon volumes
onto solid ground

lay flowers on sidewalks
that bear witness to
the pain

shed skins
tossed into the wind
with spirits
and ghosts of our recent past

that testisfy
to the joy

of night skies
and shooting starts
that steal kisses at midnight

and the love

wading in typhoons
of butterflies and roses

you’ve been here before
the child within
never forgets

the child within

to heal,
you will cry
a lot

until neptune
washes away your sorrows
in holy waters

that baptize
the blood curdling screams
in the abyss
of apollo’s fire

you will laugh
until you have crow’s feet
for eyes

and the song of achilles
drum up

love was here
long before we were
to look into the eyes
of every loved one

whose ever held our
leading us back to

coming home
to oneself
is like finally having
the homecoming
you were never allowed to have

you stand at the intersect
of what was
what could have been

and you realize that
you will break

but oh,
you will mend
the hearts touched by
crimson kings
and demons

because you are here
you have arrived
slinging arrows and bolts
from the thrones of queens

you are here
the child within
never forgets

the child within in
will thank you

the child within


they. always. remember.

nov 2021

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