petty excuses have piled up

over overuse,

they made sense at the time,

ringing around

and bound into this wooden crutch

held tight under my armpit.

it’s splintering under my weight

it has been


i hadn’t measured

how much,

and now my shoulder is

beginning to bruise a nasty brownish blue-

even my body knows

i need to trust my legs

and just


Bottled Gardens

imagine the elegant suffocation

the poignancy in crouched limbs,


stemmed necks intertwining

in curious proximity,


where personal space is

a feature of political correctness


deemed unnecessary and exhaustive

in such a progressive flower pot.


greens curls around greens,

and flowers lie lazily across each other’s petals


because in such an overpopulated bottle

they are one in the same


breathing each other’s air

sharing their share of communal sunlight

growing off of each other

growing bigger but they learn to live


life, it seems, learns to thrive

better in a glass bottle


than in open air outside



i nestle my toes beneath a quilt of powdered rock

and i am remembering;

feel a cool breeze rustle the hairs on my burnt neck

and remembering;

arch my back and bathe my ears in the wind, this pregnant silence,

minutes and years in labor, but silence played while the clock was made,

and the silence helps me remember;


this patch of land is virgin to Apple –

at least the apple which i’ve grown to prefer –

bears no hut stocked with Starbucks cups

no Netflix to latch onto my gaze and drain my attention

no books to teleport, no telephones or televisions

just the memory


what I thought had mattered



that sculpts the age into my eyes, art

organizes my thoughts into poetry

ascribes meaning to my scars –

talia, definitely talia, stranded, remembering;


and if i can remember my fourth grade school play

and trace my mother’s smile in the sand

then i can stand being stranded without most other things


To Realize I Don’t Write About Love

and then test my skepticism with a Love poem

like Shahid’s refugee tasting debris of Belief on his tongue


if Love, /ləv/, is anything

other than

a cultural object systematically sculpted by a social world

to sell Twilight alongside Faulkner,

if Love precedes Hallmark and candied almonds

and a false motive for growing old,

if Love does more than romanticize Senior Prom

I promise I will write about Love.


let me try it.


if I get those tingly fingertips

and the swarm of butterflies in my crotch

if it stays for more than a week

I will write about Love.


writing a poem

We shake hands in accordance of priority, you and I,

(academic, professional, of relative importance)

and time slips into an ellipsis

as we paint words between us.


priorities seem irrelevant

as emotion befriends word

(allow one to define the other),

innovation sculpted in the throat

and hung in rows of blank sheets under the shade cast by


the roof of our mouths.

They rip by our words,

and cough colors,

splattered into space around our lips,

art crouches to fit between artists…


the music does not pacify my shaking hands,
the tea does not sooth the tremors in my chest,
moving in opposition to silent thoughts –
the metallic taste of loss,
pool beside the walls of my mouth,
form waves against a silent tongue.

your screenplay lays

coffined in its purple folder

on my bookshelf


art forms

a painting glaring

with animated hatred

from your side of the room




it’s been a couple centuries

and a handful of seconds

since we’ve seen daylight




when three tiny lines

are not nearly enough to

sculpt you into words

Body Temple

Keep count;
how many bricks must creak loose from this temple
before these hands begin a massacre

and crumble it to debris?
The inching threat of this slaughter,
crescendo rumbling from the palm,

anticipation for chaos to revoke chaos
has infected the fingers, parasitic,
consuming to the nail, inevitable, in a

steady countdown.

I’m trapped in a room where my baby dies

and I feel the weight of it in my hands,

brush my thumb against the smooth side

and curved point,

where dull marks bleed onto my skin.


Trapped in a room

constrained by time,

with a paper half marked up,

and my baby fading in my fingers.


No time to question

if the grade is

worth the sacrifice.

Stockholm Syndrome

When the smell of a new roast

and the itch of grey cotton against my shoulders

stir a tranquility

equivalent to that from

lavender incense.



ironic, obscured,

like a poem held captive between 4 and closing,

where syntax is found inside

something prolific,

like fine coffee grinds

or an early paycheck.


The decaf burns my skin as I

pour an 8 oz to go

and it spills over the side –

I don’t mind all that much.