cloud forest

my baby taught me what’s good about being alone:
the magnetic pull of grace—

wisteria, cafe molido, sky laced with western gulls
every morning with the windows gaping
spores of spring sneaking up flesh sleeves
brushed tin percolator brim boiling to the
temperature, despite the altitude, of my own
heightened senses right now
swinging clocks and quiet trees at work
we learned how to break time when we challenged the sound barrier
but i just want to enjoy right now this moment
to salivate a memory

right now, how do i get back to that place
must i faint at the fringes
(is there no other way?)
must i always need like rock’n’roll
cups of steam, herb-stained teeth
slithering into a black dress in the essential mountain fog
mistaken for someone else only for the night
candle burning between me and a serious man
downed our drinks and steeped our bodies in the harbor
thick tannin made for muddy water
we couldn’t sludge out of—

(that was years ago.)

right now, i toe-grip the sand near world’s end
alone
but not lonely,
thinking how you’d enjoy the view.

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grime

I washed myself
   bedhead, shoulders, knees, and toes
with one bar of soap
   stripped of my oils and essence
fevers and dreams
  bareboned, blind, and innocent

I scoured out the love from my arteries
   to make room for selective memory
I hired my nerves as arsonists
   and felt the fire clean from within
I tried on many synonyms for heart
   though none quite fit

I washed myself
  and watched your sweat and scent
  run down my legs to the drain
I rinsed your color,
   and I watched you fade

just to know what it feels like
to be the grime
rid from you