2010s · Poetry · The Unnamed Algorithm

Unnamed

Write about important things
things that move me
things that crush me

Write about hurricanes
and avalanches
the earthquakes of my soul

It’s the grit beneath
my fingernails
it’s the cartilage in
my vertebrae

I am driven to expose it
to pull it out
hold it up
to the light

I am only the messenger
of all the beauty
underneath the common face
beauty in the unheard voice

I hear it
I draw the letters
to form the words
to give it name

First published in Hedgerow: A Journal of Small Poems.

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2010s · Poetry

Why I Can’t Kill Daddy Longlegs Hiding in My Shower Curtain

Because I know he is home-seeking and hungry.
Because I see the fragility of eight legs holding tight to porcelain.
Because I once needed to be scooped up from drowning
showers to sunlit window panes.Because when I was nine, I had to break into our motel room on
a Friday night after church.Because my mom forgot to pick me up, but I knew she was just
sleeping inside.Because I didn’t have a key and I was sure she’d be right back.
Because the windows were slats of louvered glass, I could pull
them apart and lay them gently on the asphalt driveway.Because I was small, could slide between three removed slats, and
land on a mattressed floor.Because I’d rather sleep alone in a tiny motel room with navy-blue
carpeted halls leading to the tenants’ communal bathroom.
Because calling my father
was not an alternative.Because I knew my mother would come home soon even after I fell
asleep under a curtain of blankets.Because I knew if I was quiet I could be safe enough.
Because I couldn’t have driven myself home from church or climbed
up the window alone.Because someone had to scoop me up to push me through it.

 

First published in Gutters & Alleyways: Perspective on Poverty and Struggle.