None

The coarseness of our conversations 
sandpapered the table into a lean, 
flipping cups like moods, 
as dark as the coffee we don’t drink. 
Lovely how those types of gifts, 
fettered holiday presents, 
sit miserably on the countertop, 
and we battle to see 
which one will toss it first, 
flirting with the only 
attention we pay to one another, 
ground and pulverized. 

None

Bloodshot eyes on pale white sheets,
panting with vein paints, pressing as
hard as possible,
to break from its holding space,
like flesh-grubbers to freshness.
Paint me a sign of your own lucidity,
without baking the prized apple
in your skull, not as easy as pie.
Hungry enough to eat the whole thing,
and close enough to death to taste
lavender and invasive roots
on your rot. Feel these sheets
close around you for an automatic
autopsy before you lose all pigment
in your skinned life.

Step

None

Afraid of the step ladder,
step-dad, and stepping out
into the harsh reality
that relatives and relatively
weak individuals will break you.
The world was created to
throw a cog out of our cognitive basis,
to punish the people with problems
paramount, to make a girl afraid
of moving any direction
because we challenge the
forward.

Backpack

None

A rite of passage,
now writes so passive,
turns right as he passes
the struggling classroom
between thickets,
paper and pen already denied.
Growth in perspective,
revised from the proper methods
of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Home sick each day without a way
to pay for the bills that keep stacking.
Too young, in fact, to deny the acts
that keep his blood flowing.
Too trialed, bookbag, mild and flat,
holding everything but his thoughts.

Cheeks Plump

None

Cheeks plump with
a whistling anticipation,
waking the tea kettle,
buzzing feverishly
from exhaustive burning.
Sliding hand to the rag-laced
gripping point, knocking courteously
with the wrist,
pleased to meet you.
Filling ceramic cave
with hot springs from summer,
paired with the herbal remedies
of old. A pairing exquisite,
settling the mood of any
tension between bodies.