“Not a Second”

There was Shakespeare on his tongue,

and a butterfly in his lungs.

Both made his dangerous.

Both rendered him unloved.

He was afraid

of what to say,

of what to feel.

It all got stuck in his throat,

a clump of paper and honey.

Nothing was easier to swallow.

Innocence was one thing,

but courage was another.

To pick up the sword,

to shout into the abyss.

He was new to living,

but he didn’t want to waste it.

The hilt was supple in his palm,

so were the words to that song.

The one in the back of his beautiful mind.

“Black Water”

A dark mess of intention,

an already-dug grave.

This was her lifeblood,

she had no one to save.

She was drowning in her own mouth.

Tongue-tied,

cast out.

Sin nipped at her elbows,

stained her handsome teeth.

She stepped on a songbird once,

his yellow throat caught beneath.

For him,

death had tasted like dried pineapple.

She buried him in the ocean,

her back to the chapel.

To her,

death was simple,

a palm full of sugar.

“Scrying Mirror”

Sometimes I do not think that I deserve to be loved.

I am strange,

paltry,

ugly.

I take swords to my chest, you see,

and I plunge them deep

whenever the corners of my mouth lift too high,

for my own liking.

I then pull them out and push them in again

and again

and again.

The pain of it lingers, though I stopped crying out a long time ago.

The pain of cracking my own chest open,

and hoping beyond hope that I like what I see.

And the hope that you, darling, like it too.

“Only Survivor”

My reflection told me that she’d pray for me,

arms crossed and lips in a pout.

I used to hate her.

Now I just feel worn out,

a sputtering candle,

forgoing oxygen for something else.

I’m drifting now.

This is a strange ocean,

filling up the corners of my mind.

There’s nothing worse than wet insulation.

I tried do-it-yourself,

with a hairdryer and some glue.

But there’s no fixing

this affliction

made of

black feathers,

awash in a mess of blue.

“Somebody Else”

A pair of scissors

resting in my palm.

This is a game

of chance.

Because there’s a moment

where I consider,

painting them red.

But I’d soon run out of paint,

so I don’t.

She was asking for it

though I don’t owe her anything.

How bold she was,

standing there with

my face as hers,

dressed in blue.

If this is what dreams are made of,

I must be made of something else.

“Be Human”

stranger in my own

skin can be ripped off,

and thrown aside.

what do you do with

these scraps of sadness,

pinned to your lover’s lapel

like a ruby red pin.

falling in the pitch

blackness as an old hatbox.

i think i closed the lid

and forgot how to breathe.

does that sound like nothing to you,

as I curl up on a square of white kitchen tile,

already cut through.

“The Haunting”

A darkness fleeting.

Your own light bulb,

crushed under your own two feet.

A smear of blue.

A drop of red,

on your stomach,

the side of his bed.

A danger,

a relic.

“Convince me,”

he says.

You can still see his voice,

a shadow,

dripping in barbed desire.

Something tangled up,

between your thighs,

around your pretty neck.

It was only the sheets.