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
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
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.
When the smell of a new roast
and the itch of grey cotton against my shoulders
stir a tranquility
equivalent to that from
like a poem held captive between 4 and closing,
where syntax is found inside
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.
A chair sits
its cushion and legs casting
a patient shadow in the space to its right.
where feet do not rap the floor,
and legs do not grow restless,
and body cannot
towards a more comfortable position.
But a tickle silently tremors its base,
waiting for tired legs to find themselves
to plunge into cushion
and quench two desires.
Legs inch by
bent at the knee, where a wobble is detected
pleading for momentary rest –
but a paper is due in an hour,
cannot allow her to sit
for even just a moment.
It takes time for the
tea to heat up.
Until it does,
don’t pay mind to the outside sounds,
screaming, spitting, spewing, obscenities that could
crumble mothers’ hearts like
lavender-lemon pies, fumbled between fingertips that
finally learned the meaning of
Only about a minute more.
Maybe mixed with honey and brown sugar,
and to eat, something warm and sweeter yet,
you will remember that outside sounds
stay put on the
other side of the window.
that the perfect magistrate
would judge him like a Kantian
and punish him like a Utilitarian;
Maybe then the world wouldn’t be so fucked up.
Maybe then the cosmos would shuffle into line,
and karma would sync up with consequence
and justice would act as an engineer to the defective
concocted headlines that could
entertain the most boring of
Sunday Times readers.
Have you heard?
There are pictures.
That heartless fuck.
He should be shot.
guilt deprives him of rest
when his eyes shutter closed,
his tears could irrigate
a field of new life,
a thousand golden roses and tulips to atone for
Maybe monsters only exist in fiction.
India ink harpoons its way into fabric
Strung around alabaster bone,
Staining an olive cloth with polychromic significance,
Injecting an artist’s rendering of alternative beauty
Between the stitches
Of an otherwise ordinary material.
And the canvas draped down the side of my neck
Bends toward the needle
Stationed between veteran fingers,
Tissue yearning to quicken the rate of absorption,
Faster, so that
This masterpiece can be displayed in exhibition
For the ordinary world to consider.
Blank – clear
That conventional parents threaded
And time blemished into ordinary imperfection,
Will irrevocably bear witness to
The colors, the fluidity,
The extraordinary vibrancy that is and will always be
Indicative of me.
I saw my friend a couple bubbles to the upper left
Rising faster than the rest of us,
A few fluid ounces higher than at which I float right now,
With a skyline view of the rapidly decreasing culture of
And I mourn her morbid fate,
And I mourn the loss of a friend,
And I mourn this prodigious, unpredicted holocaust
In which we found ourselves.
See, there are two ways this could have gone down.
Seal is cracked, cap released, a few unfortunate bubbles sacrificed to the air above, and consumption is immediate, allowing us to fulfill our destiny as beings of carbonation.
Seal is cracked, cap released, and open bottle is left stranded, without a roof above its head.
And not a few of us are sacrificed,
But all are killed by means of
And your negligence to your beverage.
Do not remind me of my imminent mortality.
Do not remind me of my apparent lifelessness.
Do not remind me of the nine quarters you scraped up to
Earn my possession.
Allow me to do what I was meant to do,
And get to gulping.
Before all of us bubbles are gone,
And you will pour our remains down the sink.
Because no one wants to drink a stale drink.
Skepticism drips like rotten milk perspired between my fingers,
Dripping, melting into the pool of this concoction;
A makeshift mix of miscellaneous things,
This recipe that will soon be the mask I will lather on my lips,
A liquid filter,
A cream-based shield
To protect myself from my words.
It catches “BE YOURSELF” before soundwaves are formed,
Absorbs abnormality before its distorted rays
Reach the ears of its recipient,
Before judgements are made
That will crust and crack and shatter the other shields
I have labored to construct.
And then there’s the silence.
The quiet that, for the duration of one moment,
My lips dissect into layers
By virtue of being still.
A layer of lavender relief for the destruction I have evaded;
A layer of chilli-pepper tension for the silence that will soon be
Mushroomed from existence;
A layer of paralyzing, peppermint awareness of
The ground that hums beneath my feet,
Singing, with pride, the words I had not allowed my lips to form.
And here we are,
Trapped for the duration of one moment,
Between layers of silence
That are more honest than our lips will ever be.