once we were the coast

(I wrote this piece in 2013 after a break up and then recited it at a venue in front of our mutual friends and acquaintances. If you want to take an event from super fun to awkward and uncomfortable in a nanosecond, I highly recommend reading sad personal poems).

He has long eyelashes
“Like a camel,” I always think.
They match his tawny desert eyes, still dry
while I weep oceans from my baby blues.
It’s telling: he is arid when I am stormy,
crashing into him with every tide.


I did not realize it was love.
Languid August heat in October
prolongs the blooms of spring.
I had not known anything to blossom
under swiftly darkening skies, not even
on the bluest Autumn day.
The winter rose, a myth.

I did not realize it was not love
curiously meandering through galleries.
It was not love running back the present
until our feet turned into bone
and my limbs turned into shadow.
He was not love.

My tears became dew
upon my skin. My body became an earth
for perennials; flowers grew and faded.
None would last.

The trees in the arboretum
shuttered their limbs. Damp
paths of black corduroy
partitioned decaying leaves where
tissue grew on my bones and
my limbs turned into starlight.
I did not realize you were love.

July 10th//July 25, 2010

People are a letdown.
Why, just the other day, a friend said goodbye
indefinitely as he sank into the ocean. He waved
and said to come visit when I grew gills.
(Never mind it’s taken me a millennium to grow wisdom teeth!)
Yes, people and their promises –
Let’s fly to Portland, let’s fly to Europe,
Mumbai, Afghanistan, Sardinia.
Let’s fly to Mars, so I can choke on someone else’s concept of space!

I am Jason//December 3, 2010

I am lost in the parking lot
in a sea of glistening, cold machines.
I am lost, surely drowning in my fears.

My moral compass spins wildly;
it sends me every which way.
I do not know up from down, right from wrong!

Then you part my sorrow, and I am grounded.
I cling tight, feel how solid you are to me,
breathe you in and my troubles are stilled.

I whisper to myself, “Land!”, but I look in your eyes
and they are oceans: vast, powerful.
My momentary sanity capsizes me, and I am swept

Into your currents; they draw me to your mouth.
I am safe in this intimacy, this embrace until I release
and am pulled into doubt once more.

An Inconvenience

Clouds of thought tinged millennial pink
but mine tainted red, red, red.
Words reverberate
‘cross empty festooned rooms
(each click, each clack, each flip, each flop,
each crack – the whip! – upon rib cage)
where splintered bone becomes sandy beach.

Loneliness can be lived in, put up with.
Loneliness can be constructed
blue stone by blue stone by…
the world shrinks to one.
Absence, well, who can build a house in absentia,
a house that creaks and groans and moans and
shrieks, wrought, wrought, overcome?

An Overabundance of Complacency

“She needs someone to inspire her.”
I had a Muse but he faded from me
how ghosts or lovers often do.

Patronage acquires autonomy and ingenuity, and I despair
the loss of works that loyalty will purchase.

Prosaic and dull.

“She needs someone to desire her.”
Our hands entwined as we walk, your ramblings
disengage me. I drift in the breeze.

I wonder at the mechanics of your lips, the mechanics of your speech –
How each kiss and each sentence are identical to the ones before.

Rote, rote, rot.

Artemis Faces Orion

(This was the first piece I ever published, back when I was a college freshman. Needs some work, I won’t lie, but shout out to Blooming in the Noise!)

Borrow control, I wear it as my reason.
Empathy and sympathy leave me naked,
For I don power only.

And why should I fold?
Is there any sense in jumping from buildings,
Starting a fire, falling in love?
None that I can see.

We were alkali.

His conscious subservience met the façade
Of my contentment.
In the midst of implosion,
I saw through to our subliminal natures.

Time warps; time lies. Tick-tick-tick
I can’t tell anymore what the difference,
A clock, a heart.
They’re both machines to me.

“Does fierce loneliness beget fierce independence?”
The only question I wanted to ask him, he couldn’t ever answer
But his mouth moved to turn me cold.

His tongue, quick thrusts, burst out, “I am Man!
Death, and flame, and sex are all within me –
I hold the passions of the ages!”
Yes, he is Man and will always be Man, but no lover of mine.

Yes, he is Man and will always be Man.
And I –
I shall forge ahead in solitude
And gladly mistake it for strength.


Mewling, starry-eyed bride sweeps black rooks under the rug
for her White Knight. Bodies amassed
in the cellar, behind the furniture
portend of distant tribulations.

The babbling brook turned bitter
and rust red. His song clangs, a new chord saws
the air while bloodied linens
are washed-dried-pressed-folded.
Let no one say a housewife is not thorough.

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