It Is Black Everywhere Now

I.

Mom is looking sad again-
I’ve got a bad back, she says
but she keeps working
at the restaurant even when it turns
to midnight, one am, two.
She makes lunch and tells
brother it’s iguana, he cries
he’d rather have chicken than iguana.
Mom thinks she’s funny even though she has the sad eyes
again.

Time to go to work says the brown eyes
that look like brothers eyes too.
He cries because she has to leave
mom don’t go
he says, two fingers running away through the holes
in the blue shirt.
When she escapes behind the big white door,
all brother can see is her hair
up in the butterfly clip again, hair like sand
if you’ve never seen sand before.

II.

She paints the walls pink like flamingos
upside down in ash. Brother runs inside,
slamming the big white door behind him
I want walls red like ketchup
he says.
Ok, you want walls red like ketchup.

Sad eyes washes brothers red hair in the tub
with the blue bucket and the yellow
stain sad eyes can’t scrub out.
you are my best friend right mama?
brother is afraid of everything now.

Yes I am your best friend,
brown eyes says when she drains the tub,
she sees black everywhere.

It smells like plastic when mom grabs the needle,
I don’t want to die mom
says brother.
Ok, so you won’t
she says.

Brother pinches the moon
between the index and the thumb
until it disappears on the car ride away
from the biggest white room-

you will be ok now
sad eyes says
even if it is a lie blown
up like a big balloon.

I will be your best friend forever
brother says
even if it is a lie small
like sand.

III.

Sad eyes has cigarettes
in her wrinkles now,
even when brother says
Time to quit now, time to quit,
time to.

Brother is on the floor
now, red over his face
when his body shakes
too hard that his head
forgets to come back up again.

you will be ok now
sad eyes says,
with a big white milkshake
and the plastic smell
shaking in her hands
again.

Sad eyes sits outside
plus one more wrinkle
plus one more shake
in her hands that she can’t shake
this time or the next time-
ok, time to go to work now.

OTHERSIDE

I.

It is morning in your voice, I don’t like the way the otherside looks,
the desert has taken All of it.
I build myself big enough so you can see me from a moon, at least the outer layer
of earth, but you colonize mars and cannot see me.

II.

I am Arizona now, my air is hot, I say I am lost, you don’t
run closer, instead, you turn from the hot sun
burning your pale skin, I’m sorry. I imagine
Real Arizona does not feel so deserted, I’m sorry.

III.

What have I done now? It is the moonlight in your voice,
you pull your knees up, it is a waning gibbous. I am not
afraid of Time, I am afraid of your Time, the otherside of Time,
Columbus was not afraid of anything, and look what he has left us now.

I wipe my lipstick off with the back of my hand, a universe is subsiding, it is
someone else’s fault, I assume. Here, the bees are somewhat buzzing.
Here, someone is dealing out bad luck, here, I am too occupied
with blaming Bad Luck on someone else that is not me-
Here, you wouldn’t think of kissing me here. Arizona is gone now,
are you sorry.

Answer Me

Q: are you in love.

The lady in the chair
smiles big like it is her birthday
when I say my head feels like a balloon
that can’t explode.
“cool,” she says.

I am stuck in a maze,
the smallest mouse searching for the cheese,
the ring of the bell, the skinner box, ivan and frederic have conned us both.
I am misled by the 8-ball,
our horoscope has lied to me again, you should not be mine.

I grab out my heart and tell her
my lady, I am so sorry. She doesn’t hurt,
but she is too occupied with me, buzzing
like something other than a bee, not hibernating like a bear,
swimming like a toucan, submerged like our mouse – my mouse.
We’re going to have to lose her, too.

*

I have cut the tip of my finger off
with the longest blade over an onion,
the blood drops on mom’s white floor
and it is the rain that had fallen
on Tuesday.

My finger eats cotton. I put cotton in my mouth to hear the rain.
The black cat is not afraid of the rain, but she runs off the porch when I call her
here, kitty, do you know what it means, the Tuesday rain?

I tell the lady with the chair that it rained
on Tuesday, they said it wouldn’t.

“You are a hard worker, too hard, too much, too fast” she says.

I say, unfortunately, it feels as if I am inside of a soup can.
Ha-ha. I want to make her laugh because it is
the one thing I have left that I haven’t thrown
in the garbage, out the window, in the fire, under the bed,
with the ghosts, with the rain. What do we think about trying
for an exorcism?

Her smile would look best upside down, I think, the knife.
why aren’t you sad, lady on the chair.

Art smells like an oven upside down, out of the ash,
the end of a rope, the fish line broke, the spring, the hammer,
the catch, the holding bar —
the lady on top of the chair
is The best when she is suffering.

 

Q: are you in love
with the way someone makes you feel
about yourself

Where

You said you had me figured out,
that I wasn’t good, that your mother couldn’t like me.

Freedom, you said,
you would feel freer without me
where your memory ignores the spasms of me.

but it is now –
and I remember the grey,
the in-between before the end,

the pull of your skin against
your eyes.

Your hair is two years longer
now,
you continue to cut off
the ends
in disconnect from me

where the strands of your hair
hit the bottom of your sink,
where you doubt
you have buried me.

Things Happen

The heat of the summer
got on my bad side,
I was one wrong
word away from
making some haphazard
attempt at ending it all.

And your friends are friends
until you start talking
like you might
drive your car into something.

2 years with him,
neither of us holding our tongues
anymore.
he was growing tired of me
and my off-color remarks
about his fucking around
with somebody else.

It wasn’t his fault
that I couldn’t keep my shit together
but he wasn’t making it
any easier on me either
when he said to me,
I can’t believe I wasted so much of my fucking life on you.

Well,
I spent a lot of my life
letting whoever say
whatever the fuck
they wanted to me,
because I was bad with
confrontation.
but he had kept
threatening to leave
everyday anyway,
so I figured
I would make it easy
on him,
he doesn’t
have to be the “bad guy,”
as he called it.

So I told him to fuck off,
and I guess he did.
I stopped answering his calls,
and not even 24 hours,
he stopped
calling
all together.

It must have been easy
for him
to forget my name,
because boys like him
can do a lot better than a kid like me,
just takes them a little while to realize it.

but for me,
I say a lot of things
I don’t mean,
then deal with the fallout later.
I just needed
to tell some guy to fuck off
to realize that I probably
couldn’t keep on
living my life
the way I was doing it,
in some fucking constant
state of disarray.

Any Type Of Answer

I let you sleep next to me,
keeping you close
only when I wanted you
to be near,
but not letting you
undress a fragment
of my being.

Depraved
in the sense
that I wanted
you crave me –
give into my
carnal desires,
but leave
once the sun touches
my bedroom window.

let my voice
pulsate throughout
your mind, as a reminder
of my absence.

but I wanted
to be unrestricted
from obligations,
like your cousin’s wedding,
“I told you
I didn’t want to meet your family,
listen to me next time.”
and from defining terminology
between you and I,
it’s easier
(for me)
if we don’t,
you know.

Selfishly
taking any offerings of
good intention you dealt out,
only to decide that
this time,
it wasn’t good enough,
try harder next time,
kid.

Clarity
in the most
ironic form
when I begged
for you
to come back.
saying
that I couldn’t do this without you,
you know you’ll regret it
if you go,

but you
knew me better than that,
knowing I wasn’t good at being alone,
just a pathetic kid
who didn’t know
how to take ‘no’
for any type of answer.

2:17

He spoke
at me
in tangled
forms
that wrapped
around
my chest
and grew bold,
repeated lines
against
my insides.

And my hands
shake
now,
when I press them
against
anything else.

Continually
buttoning back up
any shred of
shivered confidence
that one,
two
others might
attempt to peel
back.