poetry as growth: a series of conversations with and for myself.

this cluttered house attic, 3.13.19


it is that time of the year again

when you flick my light on

and i let you because it’s

been so long since

someone needed

my presence, even if

it wasn’t because it

was mine. my stairs


squeak a quiet tongue,

telling of a room i wish

someone that wasn’t

you remembered you

force entrance, heavy footsteps

beyond the passageway,

past my

mouth. (not forced,

of course, you

had a key.) traversed

so many times,

we’re tongue-tied, so

now, we don’t even

speak, just


creak out the

crooked secrets you

whispered in your

youth, but now that we’re older,

you’re older,

i’m where you store all the things

you don’t wanna see in

daylight, but even

at night you have to think

about them, even with


the lights off

i sit here next to

your shed skeletons

i filter in light through

the drapes

and although

i know heat rises, i know

upon your return

this room is suddenly



just boxes and

baggage just

just dust and

drapes and

depositions of bodies that were once

in motion,


in sync i sink

between my wooden

floor boards, ready to

dredge up the next memory you’ve

burned and buried into my

stomach, the

skin you desire

when no one’s home my

skin i’m still learning

to make my home.


how could

you say you’re giving me

this house when you took the

only key? in here, we keep a

tight schedule, it’s nothing

but bodies and borders and I’m sorry,

we’re fresh out of bandages.

next time you come around

there might just be

a new ceiling


baby’s-breath, 12.27.18

late night ramblings.


i’ve never been one for

show-and-tell. i do not live in places; my

suitcase is unpacked only in moments.

call her, a temporary find,

for a next to eternal time.

i like to hide in the nook of your shoulders,

the nape of your neck:

cradled in your collarbones,

tucked behind your ear,

tangled and threaded into the thick of your hair.


a lover, the one with dark eyes intending to rival

every hurricane, took me into the garden,

took my hand, took my breath.

“romance’s simple,” they said that they say, “interpret-

able; it follows a code. these flowers are

just a bunch of ones and zeros,

just like our love.” i pluck one: the stars shine,

but do not cross us, and i’ve never been good

with numbers. but when i smell smoke,

i’m really good at

stopping, dropping, and rolling—rolling, folding, and stuffing

that suitcase on your

kitchen floor. because only i can prevent that forest fire,

and no one rivals me in my art.

this is a disappearing act, one that

i’ve perfected over the years. i’m not comfortable

unless i’m moving, never learned

the meaning of putting down


without putting down


it is the moment they conclude

they can tame me that i’m

already packed, halfway down the road i paved last night.

shrewd, yes, but no one’s shrew.


so i run—and they know

i hate running—so i do it

when my lungs need new oxygen,

when my hands start shaking from the stillness,

when my feet tap a tune i’ve never heard—

when my mind starts to get comfortable,

and my heartbeat raps a rhythm all too familiar:

the yearning of a 2001 volvo anxiously muttering and sputtering,

and somewhere there (there always is) is a put-together reporter

with put-down roots, droning

in the background of dinnertime at your place that

“there was nothing left to show for her


except the fact that she leaves a seedling of herself behind

                every time.”

                                how telling.

weeds, 11.15.18

connecting one of the summer introductory readings—Voltaire’s Candide—to the fourth unit’s focus on poetry, i play with Celan’s poetic techniques in this piece to explore a time when one is reminded of one’s own self-worth.


i’ve been very


for a

very long



i want to

forge paths, get

path for-                   

agers; a part-

ner who will

braid my hair and braid

my hair and

and tousle the ends

to ends.

i am a small

village, a quaint


i am growing; i

grow, yield toward

desk lamp light and

wither when

i know i should

crave sunlit

windowsills at

the least if i

can’t fashion


a garden, for-

age paths into

highways of

my buzzing,

bustling city. which i dreamt,

stored in the stamen

my roots (are

they mine?)

come, coming, braids,

braiding, becoming undone,

he undoes them he

rips one out i am ex-

posed, makes

me feel 30°

winds and rains                       discomfort

i fell off the

windowsill onto the shiny,

three-tone-red, shining brick-laden village

path which

others with

homes and

desk lamps

and braids

have already

forged and

foraged. but


in the f a l l, its

aftermath i

lift leaves, leaf

them toward sun’s

light, my

pot broke, broken soil

silhouettes and curves me

i am the silhouettes i

am her, her curves, i am curves

divine and hungry and

green and

i am not sure what

i am but

i am not

a succulent on

his windowsill, i (i am weeds,

will not be weeded out, i bite back at

your artificial light)

am not twilight

over a cityscape,



he would say, “let us take care of

our garden,” but i

digress—it is

time to take

care of my



all have our

beginnings; here

today i forge (i braid)

my roots in,

raising from sunup’s


my partner is

this sun i (this will do)

manipulate comfort-

ably for

my garden.

Primary Colors // NOT IN SERVICE, 8.28.18

Written shortly after visiting the Levine Museum twice at the beginning of the semester.


For the living room journalists watching on 72 inches:

The crowds, the riots—it’s blue ink

that rains down their throats, stains down their wrists,

new veins unearthed. We interrupt this programming

for your viewing pleasure, and

they’re dipping their feather tips

‘til the thing’s tapped dry.

I read a DIY article about how people stain clothes red for fashion.

But that shirt is stained with beige tear gas blotches,

invisible ink coughs, so we put it in the rinse cycle

to tumble out the stained pavement pounding of sneakers

versus combat boots

and hung it to dry in another museum that I read about in another article online.

That shirt used to be white.


We’re told which colors are what – (color the sun yellow).

We’re told yellow is caution – (slow down at the yellow light).

Heed cautiously under the yellow sun.

I don’t know why we’re told that

four shots, one stained red on the back, isn’t an indictment,

I was just told.


The sun used to be yellow.