november

 

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halcyon days, or before the knife became something holy

 

if we could,
we would go back to the days
before the home fell apart.

before the father lost his teeth 
in a bar fight and 
the brother took the lake 
as a lover and
the sister grew more 
than you ever could.

before the two-toned truths
of the hands,
the careful, the careless,
the ways you’ve gotten
to know both intimately.

before the highway to nowhere,
and the headlights like the sun
and the bodies like road maps
you still can’t read.

before the autumn heart hardened,
a brush with death 
something welcome,
like the mother’s crooked teeth
grey with age.

before the feet fled
to the point of flight
and all that mattered was the escape.

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let us pray

 

for all the times 
we could have 
fallen in love,
but didn’t

for every chance 
of forgiveness
we confused with weakness

for the softness
of the body, hated. 

for the wrists
now untouched and
hardened

for all the light
that never found us

for every adoration
that festered underneath
the tongue

for all the hands
that tremble.

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ghostly bodies & other memories we want to forget

 

ghost girl—
not haunting
the inside of the eyelid
but trying to remember
the body before it wasted away.

the body, fragmented
every vein in the hand 
a river flowing south,
deeper than you could
ever imagine.
the crooked elbows
bent into a safe place
for a lover’s head. 
the neck, hollowed,
hungry, kissed once
and forgotten.
knees knocking
in a new rhythm
that the mouth 
can’t put words to.
the feet poised,
toe dug into the ground,
ready to run
and run
and run.

somewhere, 
the ghost girl remembers 
what it means to touch.

somewhere,
she’s wishing she could forget.

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highways & other places we keep from our mothers

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a study in atrophy

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escape routes & other things our mothers give us

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three months later

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silence & other things i can give myself

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the night and what comes with it

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a love story

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a tree grows in the body

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love in the time of anxiety

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in which i write another poem about you

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a small poem for a big love

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reflections

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love poems & other unholy memories

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picture of atlas as a twelve year old girl, cowering

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before the ghost girl was a ghost girl

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hands still, eyes wandering

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in the name of the mother, the daughter, and the holy ghosts

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still life with the father and daughter

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a portrait of the mother with her head in her hands

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when the poet runs out of poems

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when the ghosts come early and stay late

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about the author

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~

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