2010s · Poetry

Suffocation Is Anxiety’s Friend

she says
I have paper bags in my throat
she says
I am coughing up light
she says
mother is recycled pulp
she says
he filled them with his shredded drafts
she says
paper-cuts are her father’s tongue
she says
she speaks around them, crumpled masses growing acid soft
she says
sleep was the first lover who left
she says
mother is glue-handle secure
she says
she’ll swallow stones to make them pass
she says
bags will either suffocate or fuel brighter flames
she says
salt-pulp are her father’s hands resting on her shoulders
she says
she’ll wrap her mouth in brown silence
she says
coughing aches her ribcage
she says
I am emptying light

First published in Incandescent Mind: Issue Two.

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2010s · Poetry

Reset the Clock

They shut off the power
in my place today
and I wonder
what’s the point
of resetting the clock
on my microwave.
I think the internet
should have a sign that reads:
It’s been _____ days since
the last innocent life
has been murdered
in cold blood
standing in the street,
lying on the ground,
sitting in a jail cell,
strapped in a seatbelt,
pressed under the knee
of a cop begging mercy,
begging for mother,
begging spare my children,
holding hands up
high in the air, reaching
for the same God
we are all supposed to be under,
right hand crossing hearts,
pledging allegiance
to the United
States of America
still afraid of its own blackness.

First published in Resist and Shout (Lucid Moose Lit).

2010s · Conversations with Gravel · Poetry

Damsel

I will never be damsel enough
to be claimed victory by savior
the way he swoops down
in her destroyed
sword out and crowned
I am without tower
without step-mother plotting
I need lover like home
not savior
not prince
I need lover like foundation
under bare feet

First published in work to a calm.