Encore

I imagine love
is a dusty rug,
heavy with the weight of footprints
and decades of stains we’ll never get out.
Come spring,
we can beat out our mistakes
with a broom handle,
the same way a boxer
may lose herself to the punch.
It’s in leaps that we lose ourselves
to the wind.

Taking chances
forces us to breathe,
allows us to feel something
for the first time
in god knows how long.

Morning glories
are so good at embrace
—reaching out to stalks, barriers,
and even the weeds we’d rather strangle.
You taught me the glory
in understanding flowers
as the product of work
and to experience rooting as an art.
So, I peeled back my ribcage
for you to plant something better there.
My ribcage garden;
You, a high-noon sun.

I lost count
of the days I could marry
the shine in your throat trombone,
where I would pour music to fill
your empty spots.
Listen,
let me tickle your ivories
to hear you glisando
in tune with my trumpet bleating
(Baby, you toot my horn).
We can turn nights into an orchestra
—come, sit on my face
while I hollow your spine with my breath
like a bassoon.

That breath, my promise
to your safety net
to always be your biggest fan,
cheering on your tightrope-walker,
hoops-on-fire acrobatic leaps.

Someday, we’ll find a way to love
like it’s not our last encore.

We’re our best
when we stop fearing the fall.

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Our Hairy Hearts, a Triptych

When I was six,
I remember discovering
I could dip my finger in glue and peel it like flesh.
It was the first time I saw my fingerprints
and the first time I realized I’m human.

Five years later I felt it again,
when mom crossed the continent
for two weeks
on a binge
and never turned back.

Home
is relative.

Home is where you find the glue
to mend a broken heart
—A broken heart
is a side effect of being human.

———————-

If you say the word human 20 times,
you’ll find it starts to lose its meaning.

———————-

Our hearts,
hairy like a peach,
don’t do well with masking scars;
Pills, therapy, glue
—and you’d better not use tape
because that fuckin’ hurts.

There are so many days
I want to scream like ripping velcro.

riiiiiiiiiiiiiiip
You can cry, but you won’t feel better.

riiiiiiiiiiiiiiip
You’d better “Like” that Facebook post or you’ll look like a dick.

riiiiiiiiiiiiiiip
Displace the pain: Throw yourself down the stairs.

riiiiiiiiiiiiiiip
The pain’s never going to end, is it?

(It will.)

I never thought I’d lose you;
that goodbye would be petals
I could never catch to the wind.
It stings like bees in heat,
but I’m gonna hold on to all that honey,
because it’s so much sweeter
than what’s left
in this hive.

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Kristofer

Thank god
for all the double-tongued digits it took,
magically hocus-pocused,
to red carpet you into this world.
Not that you’d ever need soft ground
with all your cloud-like floating.
My magic-carpet Prince,
my whole nude world
—and yes, I mean nude.
You know naked better than
dandelion puffs in the wind.

My Love,
Pauper of Garments.

If only the world could clasp love
the way you pressed my fingerprints
into the stained glass window,
like a religion;
dewy as your hair after a bath.
I think I could live forever on every droplet.

Thank god
the stars aligned perfectly
the first day your heart was designed
—a heart that can turn darkness
into the possibility of outer space
dappled with brilliant diamond stars.

Brilliant, you.
Perfect in a bowtie and curls,
yet grappling the Earth with his bare hands.
That’s you, and only you.
My Love.

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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

Split,
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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Diamonds

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
sometimes,
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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