In response to the Beauty aisle in Target.

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as if

beauty is a quantifiable commodity
to be purchased with the swift swipe of a debit card
and the word applies only to female bodies, where
everything’s a problem, but wait-
there’s a solution

if you2014-11-01 11.49.18

hate yourself, erase yourself
scrape yourself raw
you can
paint yourself, fake
yourself remake yourself

a mask.

Generous Love

You are not
my one true love.
We both know
there are many kinds of love
in this life, each
with its own truth
to tell. But yours reminds
the world of its capacity
for giving
and receiving,
it encourages me
to rest a moment
in the cupped hands
of the present, to bare
some soul and bask
in the heat
of mutual affection. It is remarkable
in its humility, which speaks
louder than any hubris
I have yet encountered and in its generosity,
which is the most genuine I know. I will not
tell you my love for you
eclipses all others, only that
my heart rings clear, reverberating indefinitely
across an inner
landscape that I only share
with you.

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unbearable

There were words spoken
out of turn
and a sharp twist of truth sprang out
ugly, unwanted, embarrassing- the very thing
that was supposed to be disguised
appeared boldly and she-
left voiceless and without
the opportunity to shift
her weight in preparation
for attack- tripped backwards, slipped
behind her words and left
without us noticing, while her body remained
at the table, quietly listening
to nothing at all, her eyes
carving alibis
into each breath

This.

(trigger warning for sexual assault content)

She refuses
to remember
the way the two of them made her
spread
her legs-
the living room floor-
to teach me
how to remove
a still-forming fetus,
the proof
of one man’s
indiscretion.

“This will help,”
one said, “you not
have children
out of wedlock.”

This
will help.
This is help.
This is what help looks like
to her.

dance steps

When footsteps
become dance
steps,
the dance
floor ends and your
gaze begins- words
are secondary
to understand
the pitch of voice.
Moved
by a mutual
fascination with
impermanence,
a caffeine high
does not compare
to the hammering heart
beat hours later
still keeping
me awake.
If pain
is piercing,
this must be
a different sort
of heartbreak.

She said,

“We ran
away as kids, but now
she leaves
me alone with
the horrors
of a shared childhood
and how can I
blame her, really, except for
when the nightmares come,
tearing a scream
from the fist-like place
inside me
where even I don’t dare
explore.”

(For the record, this is not an actual quote.)