Thursday, May 21


I dream of a soft blanket wrapped around me, the snow falling on your city lighter than breath. I'm writing at a window, my window, wherever that will be, with my legs curled under me and my headphones on. There's hot chocolate on the stove (there's liqueur to mix in it) and the window is cracked just enough to feel the ice in the air, just enough for the smoke from my cigarette to slip out in spiraling clouds to join the blue light of dawn.

I dream of walking to work in the winter, of coffee shops encased in ice and the steam that unfurls from the cup in ghostly flags. It is the silence of a movie's opening credits and who knows, yet, where this story will go? It is the thrill of uncertainty that keeps me balanced, standing tall. Seated, wrapped in dreams and blankets, sweater swallowing me whole and my teacup balanced on my knee. A breath of foreshadowed winter that can touch me, even here.

I do not find it hard to imagine what other people want from me. I behave in a certain way in certain situations. I do not slip, in general. In specific, where you find me, it is different. I am on terra firma only when I know what is expected of me. At any other moment I might slip into the diction and hauteur of someone else's expectations, and disappoint.

I can argue, I can demand. I can sit demurely on the floor, knees canted to the side and skirt tucked around my thighs while I smoke a cigarette in the sunset. I can laugh and flirt and do many things without thinking about them, but I cannot, somehow, intuit what you want. There is some kind of block in play.

Do not give me leave to decide for myself what you want. Do not leave me without an operating manual for our conversations unless you want to see me gasp like a sea-creature hauled upward. Choking, inelegant, on the sudden lack of pressure. I will write these thoughts (maybe), but put on the spot I can no longer speak. Will I ever be able to say what I mean? I cannot ask you, not out loud. I could ask you with my fingers, trailing along your sides. I could ask with my eyes, silently fixed on yours. Tactile, assertive, never yielding, never mute. Except somehow, now, I am.

Perhaps I am caught in the web of your expectations no less than anyone else's. Perhaps I will find a voice in the spaces that exist without thought. It hasn't happened yet.

to be continued.

Tuesday, May 19


no nine-tailed fox, not now. only washi dissolving in ink and tears and rain. your lips are gone and the light that rang in your eyes like the nine thousand names of god has dashed against the rocks and shattered into nine times nine thousand indifferent fireflies.

that name was a silver bullet on a full-moon night, piercing cold, meant to wound until I folded out of your way like the paper crane, I whispered, I warned you, that simple fold that may be my true form. I cannot bar you from harm when I have no more stars to light my way. I used to know where I was going from here.

you are not who you were. I cannot be who I am. I will remember who I was, someday, and I will braid my hair into a coat. a chain. a noose, a sail. I will no longer look into the night sky, hoping for a way home. I have learned the futility of loss, the frailty to mourn, but I never regret. just give me time to stitch this up and regain my balance, to stop bleeding out on someone else's floor.

Friday, May 15

Fin de siècle

I wake in the day, blinking in the sun
dandelion-fuzzy, curls fizzing out of my head,
the blood falling from my face like milk-glass--
ecclesia non sitit sanguinem.

But I blush out of habit and out of reach,
the sucking sound of your lamprey mouth
so many miles away, your voice shimmering through
my dark waters. Your direct gaze.

Reaction in my skin puts out tendrils, a vine
and a catalyst, opals poised to burn, acid
in the acrid night, full moon smiling on the auto-da-fé
of my heart, staked down and set alight

without hesitation. A shiver in the wake of your smile.
A note vibrating in the darkness before the dawn. A knife that
sinks in, remote. I cannot repent. I cannot forget. I cannot relent.