Where the wildflowers are

A lady bit a face into a leaf
when the wildflowers were asleep

The face a plate of shock and horror
at what the world had become

The top of the face, a pumpkin’s
handle, eyes to the sky

green cataracts
carved into a scream

When the flowers woke
they didn’t understand who was among them
and they could not escape

A turkey vulture flew overhead
silent soaring
eyes on the dead
who stood paralyzed
on the verge of a thing

About that house

I am clutching my favorite book
and the devil knocks. She’s fat and grey and cross-eyed.

At least consumptive devil I know, in her room, flat ass, wetting her pants as she sleeps. Why did you make me hate this house? It was the prettiest of all the 18.

No sleep for me, just a forgetting and a morning re-read. In the book, the venison sounds amazing, but I wouldn’t know. Later, I would know chops and applesauce, but tonight I swallow fear.

Fear for the things I never did.

Fear for the things I would never do.

Fear from emerging from a traumatized womb, where a dick filled with heroin and a 12-pack were the perfect paring for the perfect empath. Physiologically and psychologically magnificent, and

ready to question the world.

Constant

I put you out to the universe
and you came back
as a boomerang

You spun in front of me
and I held you with my stare

(you are not for them)

Whirring, full, caught in my throat
my eyes swam in blind

so much

I forgot

I hung my jeans on light hangers

Clutching Laura Ingalls

Fearless isn’t thoughtless
wild and precious
it’s a chaotic calculation
keep going
step through the river, so clear
and cold, so inviting but
deadly, who is below at
your toes, your ankles?
life’s piranhas lingering there
wanting for you to drown,
to sleep in that one piece,
blue, folded legs like a smooth
labia, yes I said it mother,
I see you watching me, thinking
I’m untamed and sit on rounded

heels and and you’d be right will you
throw me in the
lake again, this time harder,
with more force, your shoulders
barely buckling, oh mother, you
gave me wings, but kept me
clipped, scaled, a good swimmer
and the lizard in me wanted
to stay below deck, clutching
a wet Laura Ingalls, begging
you to leave me be; sweep the
angels, kill the angel, let the
angel leave, rocks in pockets
below the float buoyed by hope,
always buoyed by hope

The apology

“one thing I don’t need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they don’t open doors
or bring the sun back
they don’t make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didn’t nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry.”
― Ntozake Shange, For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Response

I apologize to the hounds every day
without saying a word
cuz even the devil thinks the sunny days are sad
I can make tails of it
when it greets me at the door
or morphs, or shapeshifts
but I don’t know what it thinks
or what it wants
I just know it has its own agenda
and it’s making people mad
and not in that good way when people are smokin’ reefer
and Monterey Pop is on
but in that way a child cowers in a corner
then lashes out like a lion

Fade

not like my dream, where I’m standing in flowers.

instead, my field was peppered with peppers, little legs, bloody red, crawling
up mine as I watched
daisies from afar, against a little house,

you outside, red-head, can’t hold too tight to that.

red is fading now
back to bed
fade to pepper
fade to flowers

fade