Of Joan

Our greatest works
live in the stories we share.
We are an evolving work;
living novels, art of flesh.
We carry volumes of past to present,
of joy & grief
—a colossal library in our ribcage.

Maybe that’s where all that weight comes from.

In a single crow feather,
you realize
maybe god actually had it right this whole time.

When your bosom was molded,
it was made a sonnet,
a love poem from mother & earth.
It’s time to sing our stories
like birds excited for the first buds of spring.
We’ve all been waiting for you.

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Eulogy to a Sailboat

severed spine by snow,
a pale skin, glaucous beast,
splintered with wooden flesh beneath,
golden in the new sun.

Melting away,
the cold blades that broke you;
taken without a last kiss
from the lake.

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If we could tell time in pounds,
maybe then we could find strength
in losing so much
to the weight of our world;
like Atlas, hold high our wounds
and our losses, tremble-kneed.

In pounds, we could sift through
the ton of bricks it finally took
to say I love you or I hate you
to the reflection, to the rainy day,
and the gray that frayed our safety nets.

Go ahead and spend the weight of an ocean
waiting for your brain to step in and say,
“Hey, I’ll take it from here,”
when your heart can’t stop bleeding
through your sleeves.

Or let go,
drop it like a piano from the 15th floor
so it shatters so loud,
crash-land and burn
with the cries of all the
authors, painters, dancers,
poets, and the broken-hearted,
who carry the weight to find beauty
in the mess we’ve made of this world;

Diamonds who shine under pressure,
turn rot into wine,
and create art against the bitter winds of change.
Anyone can sparkle in the light,
it’s only heroes who can be brilliant in the darkness.

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If Bodies Were Weightless

It’s 53 degrees here
when it should be so much colder.
Over a thousand miles from your front door,
I’m crossing Texas Street to get my coffee
and I’m missing you.
I wish I could rip off these heart-sleeves
but I save them in case I get to bleeding.
The bursted bubble,
the no-air space,
the pin-cushioned heart
—there were days
I could’ve spent months
listening alone in silence.
The space, the floating,
bodies weightless without control,
but hoping for a spiritual revolution.
I find hope recounting each strand of your hair
the way I’m sure god does on his good days.
“If bodies were weightless”
was the first line I ever wrote about you.
I thought of two balloons
tied to the wrist of a boy
blowing dandelions into the wind.
We are weightless on our laughing gas,
Soft-shoeing, tapless, hovering
through the house.

Lover, let’s live out our love
and dance through our souls
—you’re the first dance step I ever got right.
Let’s burst at the seams,
make dreams that scare us,
love so boldly, so brightly,
you can see our stars at noon.
Our stars
build constellations that puncture the night.
Sweetheart, let’s find ways to connect our dots
even when there are too many clouds;
Bridge our gaps with light
so blinding you can’t see a shadow of doubt.

I’ll reach out for you with my love,
a folded crane, origami.
When you see the postman,
tell him you’ll keep it warm.

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Paper Graveyard

Maybe we could patch the miles together
with my skipping bones and your curls,
woven across the plains.

Your letters blanket the desk,
a field of broken seals, broken hearts,
the miles of distance in a paper graveyard.

In the night, my sadness masked by the dark—
You’d leave like a nightmare.

I hope the doorstep tripped you,
pulled out your breath from behind you,

and left it under the mat.

You swept me away
and I’ll never forgive you for that.

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Naked Party


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Not Our Denton

Waking this small town
with bullets and violence;
It’s not our Denton.

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