[9/30] end (iii)


words like entrail nebulae–buying

time and waking in the sky–sputtering out the thoughts

and grips on the plane seat handle, bump-death & all

gyroscopic drops from earth-ceiling, upside below &

scared of eye, scared of mirror, scared to blink between

heart beat on tuesday, fear of machines, fear of gym workout too long

& heart rate & fear from passing out on a track

legs still sprawling, spinning forward & clogging

lanes with air in the hand-runner that picked you up

you could finally imagine it fully, a


impermanent thing.



Photo via BerlinArtparasites by @nessikythian

[a name]

i was asked before and / could not speak it, the mouth struggling to name / the motor giving voice to gut-engines, to the tremble / in back of throat-muffler, machine-neck sanctum of flesh and blood, / guarding from the light in through the windows, the alabaster shield of blindness / in the temple, skins of water and the dying below my feet–/ name it / the loss, the defilement, the breakings into the sound of noon,/  the piercing cry–name it– I could not find / a place to call home anymore if asked on a map–name it–for the spaces / written into my mind and blue textbooks shouting ‘we, the people’–naming us ‘we’ and I was / a we but there are those who were not, sitting with me in the classrooms & reading stories like I did, internalizing self-doubt that weighed more than they did but we could not and the books did not name it / racism –the first time I could name it, the days still broke in my favor, I had nothing but the name on my tongue, the spit in my mouth and a desire to tan my skin on the weekends, to to extort and borrow something now interpreted as beauty–but when asked to name that–I still could not, whether I was just too slow or / just only one alone I couldn’t speak it, kept using Chappelle specials to smooth over the cracks in sophomoric biases, / smooth over with salves of humor, humor as justification for internalized & subtle hate and something like hate is / where laughter came from. that I can name–insecurity–the belief above all that I must be special–some kind of twisted creature / white supremacy–unnamed until almost 20, unravelled in classrooms and lunch tables and the bedroom of a biracial girl who somehow tolerated my incapacity for names, forgetting syllables that I should have known by then, / syllables ingrained into the names given by the ancestors, ancestors who crossed seas and looted countries, took possessions, killed everyone while I rooted for them in movies / as a child mostly, but who doesn’t want to name themselves as the john wayne, single-man defining destiny [manifest in his hands] and slaughtering all the bad guys, / returning from college to small midwestern cities and realizing you / are those enemies, / like something they cannot name, something different and revered by some who never escaped, hated by others, who could not name / you even if they learned it all by heart–learned to see where you were / and the people at the feet of their alabaster hallways, the blood-gold dripping from cloaked and breeched statues in town centers / the things we cannot name from the inside of our ice castles, the inside of our gut-engines, spilling out onto the floor, / lying next to porcelain android, blue-eye crystal like glassiness in the moonlight–watching movies about love between two men, I try to name / this feeling, but it escapes me.


Burnt Norton

the sky is a rattling foul

misting the weeks I possess

leaving the depths out to dry and missing growth

blameless the ignorant, watching from the kitchen panels

the carvings whisper sin, sin, sin

they scream up my neck and roll onto my chest O

little dancer, the one I want around my fingers

the illusion is captive and crushing in the night

I saw the legs around his waist, vanishing cabinet consciousness

I command you to forget, to not feel, to push the mind like river

like always, like walking forward with no backwards glance

remember scorched earth, like fires, like crisp leaves melting into the air

I comb the blackened remains,

seek diamond,

and finding coal, disappear.




II. A Game of Chess

tear down the walls and eat

sandwiches in the corner store

discard the actor’s feel and look and sit in my chair

for me

take your legs and run them down the

sides of the bed like you’ve been here before, the press is close

enveloping the moon from all sides there is numbness and clutching

scraping marble and calls for fallen horses

the sobbing fingers move closer like lumbering giants

pressing reckless luck into faux fur rushing into the chests

meeting the god’s pearls

and pushing the memories from stuck hippocampus,

back, back, back in the clashing lights

the dimness crushes my skull

the answer is

cross legged in my parent’s armchair

centering the room in the corner

queen-bold and ivory as

the midwest

storms back into my sheets.



[Animation by Min Liu]



I. Burial of the Dead

the morning is a warbling god, / singing with the dust and wading in the styx / latch wandering eyes and wax faces, choking out preachers/ faces slammed into the walls with / broken impact and  / the daze of following around dance floors/ I have never twisted quite like this/ eyes never avoided like that/ fishing line of my hands reeled out, trying to catch the velvet of her new coat in his palms,/ the smile she used to give me O/ the soil is rich tonight, I’m pressing my face deep /and choking it all out/ coughing towards the worms because they / were the only place left for me/ I am robbed, thwarted ego throat cut on the floor and bleeding hot anger into the pillows/ months and months of vomit / she held on to / the half of me that was there / and I, in the room we used to share, packed up / and moved into another body/ (I am practiced in this)/ I press suffering into the inks, / push them over my chest and limbs–/ anything to feel like I’m becoming someone/ this time, I drained the colors from my hair/ I disguised myself / and hid my heart in a new pair of hands / I am in the cold of a coffin now, / walking Jefferson street/ being / just to spite you.







untitled/burn #1

the youth is charred

burnt at both ends, feet and hands sprung out

at the bottom of a coffee cup,

the grinds of keys are blood orchid blooms

the hunch deepens in the back and the fire sapped

out the back of the eyes

prison of hands, faces in the nightly waterfall

meaning is brushing cheeks and walking away in

underwater depths and haunted walls the mirrors have

stopped working for me as I clutch at unrecognized face like

you, you, you

and I find what I need

buried in my jaw



[artist unknown]


wind in the downs

oracles loving the false gods and

dancing in the dark

cubic zirconia worlds like the movies

with the dancers, the inching gold

at the wrists

writhing cushions and fake silk limbs

breathing artificial meaning into constructed,

fickle lives littered with the beats of stolen drums

O, what I saw beneath the masks was

emptiness and selfish

weak apologies and worn hugs,

an object lack of care and

pontification of love for everyone

while walling themselves behind white exclusivity and

cliques of brooklyintes who think dressing up like Bedouins is completely okay

wearing kimonos unironically,

I remember trading night for day,

crying about my own anger over a white man in a rice paddy hat

sick from the lack of sleep and understanding of cultural theives I tried to call friend

guilt crusted my lashes in the mornings

and the sparkle of the world fell away

I was losing a place I thought could be a home,

somewhere safe in the hypnotic sounds, it became the abyss

and swallowed the things I loved: a girl, my scarf from peru, and

some likely crucial brain cells

I buried them there

and walked the sea,

found the blue, the blue, the blue,

and forced it

from my mind.