balasana (child’s pose)

she carries it in her hips:

an emotion

a longing the length unfurled
of the lined rings in sequoias

she carries it
with his intent
(sometimes
without permission)
in between

and through her lovers,
she carries it further
(sometimes her lover,
she carries it, too)
and resists that it sag down
or topple out

she notices it
when walking,
stubborn and obese
by the way others call out
and stalk or gaze
and fade away

sometimes she drags it
through
the largest widening
making room for
another in pain

she carries it
in a baby’s cry,
feels it against
her babe’s thighs

she carries it
whether she is called
mom or jane or
any self-given name

and it only rests
knees to chest
in the privacy
of the couch corner
or the bathroom sink

it funnels
to the crease of the paused book
when she’s done
being a woman for the day

when she can release
it,
shrinking slender into
the not-so-heavy
flanks of a girl

even alone,
what a woman carries
is not only hers

but of everyone she loved
and looked at
that day, that year
in all times, both
in fruitful deliverings
and arrivals unheard

just a drop

I lose myself
in wonder

in the build-up, in anticipation
in the not-quite-there-but-almost
in the under-pressure-frantic-maybe

what parts
what (or who) do I aim to lose?

I shiver on dancefloors, grazing skin
of strangers, I’m a thief of sensation

I soak my thighs in my own salt,
feigning self-love in vain but with grace

my ego withers on long walks, stretching
the length of tissue between head and heart

I lose myself in moving while
skimming remnants of you floating like foam on crests
and avoiding the desire — broken glass, bottle caps — that dwells (hides) below
if I bleed here, it will sting so I
keep tip-toed and hollow-bellied
instilling fear in feeling of depths I cannot see

I lose myself
in all I want
– he never loved you, Jo, but at least he was honest –
as not to lose myself
in your sea

monogram

the angry kettle rumbles,
a jealous competitor of the most recent storm.
if you don’t stop him, he’ll see no reason
to cool his temper,
but either will find a medium
be it to scorch your tongue
or rain all day long
so you can’t leave your corner.

you enjoy the steam elevating
from a ceramic cup or
it rises from the ears
to the sky,
the strands of the delicately aged pensivity
vaporized to clouds.

you remember when you didn’t hold tight
enough
to a balloon,
naïve to objects
coming and going
without a maker
conducting the tidy course of transgression:

there’s so much deceit
in art,
and they say
art imitates life,
and humans are part of nature
and they say there’s no path to truth –
and they say.

it just doesn’t seem fair,
does it?

you have to sit and wait
for the boil
while your essence dissipates,
the minerals settle,
and there’s no straining through
a mass as it fades.

you sip gingerly
or you gulp it down
risking burns of degrees,
knowing, at least you have the freezing rain
to soak you in your own foolishness.

the traveling apothecary

i want to be in love with a renaissance man
gears and machetes included.
he’s a polygon with all the wrong
angles, and his math is crack,
and he knows i need it
all his solvents and solutions.

i want to love a transgressor,
an escapist running from the hound
he trained himself. his limits
are unbound and he laps
unquenchably the elixir of elation.
— and i thirst it so.

i want it most
to be
forever enthralled
with the hair
rising up
my back.

i want love with the apothecary,
so i can sleep with the bottles
when he’s out of town.
lavender, valerian, euphoria —
the things i need one day
slam me to my knees the next.

at night he leaves his lab
hypnotized by the moon
and waits:

he thinks i’m in bed
sound stoned asleep
when it’s me howling
beckoning him
to neglect his work. he returns
to an empty flask,
but
at least he’ll have
my want for love.