Wednesday, December 20, 2017


I am counting
the articles of clothing gone
holding services
for the underwear lost
the favorite yellow lemon stripes ruined
by new born rust
the socks 
forcibly divorced

I am counting beds
ive been in
stacking them on top 
of one another
and by god
the tower is starting to lean

(when will it crush me?)

I am counting the disappointment
by the number of silent mornings
i drive home to the ruby clouds
by the negative degrees
by the greedy minnesota winter
nights swallowed
and the number of prayers
in my car
that it will start

i pray to fucking god
it’ll start
i don’t want to go back
to beg for anything
don’t want to
face myself

I am counting the celebrations
when it does
finally start
and when the engine moans
it has mostly sounded better 
to my ears
than anything did 
the night before

I’m counting the times
ive stayed 

the times I’ve thought
I really should nail down
the definition of rape

I hold court in my head
i use the steady motion 
as meditation
I put him on trial first
then myself

I run from the judges bench to the jury
i end up on the stand
until i am jolted awake
mostly by stabbing
sometimes pleasure

I am not counting the poems
I try to write about my fucking body
or fucking
or consent 


Monday, August 21, 2017

i am swallowed

when the weather turned
you left me

i didn't blame you
but on the day after
i envied the sunflowers ability to turn away
to look towards the sun
towards growth 

i sank into the car [again]
let it swallow me like a whale
watched the coffee steam 
and the oil separate
from the bitter liquid

i chewed on this metaphor a thousand times
wondering if i was the bitter
or the oil
bit my lip wondering

i could only look at the car stereo
and pretend to decide which song to send you
Bishop Briggs or Danny Brown
could only pretend to decide how
i would talk to you again

i am stalling time
by writing [you] this poem
i look in my coin purse
to see how many words i have
how much time can i buy

before i break

and when that thought knocks
when it sweeps into my brain 
not thinking if it would interrupt progress
i compare myself to her

i am another moon
why am i pulled
I cannot unmake this pendulum
cannot stop swinging

half of me longs to flip over like a fish

but when i met you halfway
i could see how hard it was for you
to get there
how you wore her watch for a reason

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The truth is hard to listen to

The truth is
I was anxious about rape
way before my mom pressed her lips to the air
and told me about Grandpa Larry

Sometimes a person must die 
before part of their life
becomes a story

The truth is
hard to listen to
and hard to tell

My body is hyper-aware of contact

The truth is
the definition of rape is an ocean
that many tread water in 

I was excited about becoming a woman way before
my mother showed me how 
to shave my calves
the razor in contact with ankles 
scraping knee caps
never thighs or higher

I filled the tub with blush and excitement
with my girlhood

I learned how to remove parts of me for others
I learned how to relish 
splatters of blood on porcelain
I learned how to grit teeth into a master piece

I learned that my blood is almost
a masterpiece
almost always 
a masterpiece

let it be 
genius and indescribable
when others want it to be

Rape is an ocean
that many tread water in

I was the last one on my basketball team
to remove the hair from my legs
in 7th grade
last to begin a cycle 
illuminated by moons 
and hushed like black skies

My body is an empty boat
sitting in those black waves
afraid of rocking 

I learned how to remove parts of me for others
My body was a naked empty boat
afraid of rocking

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

speaking to lonely

you are both
cutting like ice
and breathing hot air all around me

not there
for me

but today
after feeling myself
i dripped my naked body
into the mirror
and i didnt rip
my ice eyes away
didnt drop the curtains

theres a first for everything i guess

you suddenly turned your ly
into nothing
you were not there
and i was alone

i noticed the extra

it oddly reminded me
of when i would slap
clay on to the sculptures
i breathed over in college
a little here
a little there
and it made sense

i felt sculpted
not that corepower
yoga sculpt shit
not shitty greek statues sculpted
but touched by something else

i was a creation
into sense
and beauty

you were gone
and i was alone
no l-y here
no lonely here
no lies here

i was still thick
and gorgeous

i was still framed by space
but the space was for breathing
was for taking up
and i loved

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

When I try to
i feel okay

When I imagine
her waking up to someone
waves of covers
jarring angles

When I imagine
her anxiety
tightness of throat
number on her collar
rubbed away and ripped off

When I imagine
new scents
no familiar kisses
of heat from my body
no known thing meant
from a rap on the head

When I imagine the -8
of last night
the not full moon
the blurred vision of hospital
like lights

When I imagine
the high un-coaxing voice of
put her in there when you are ready
she wouldn't look at me
and I couldn't look at the room
in case her eyes asked questions
through the window

When I imagine the empty bed
of last night
I feel cut
salt of blurry oceans
a friendship snuffed
never enough sand
in an hour glass

Sunday, October 30, 2016

New Moon

There are three reasons why I have not given up today.

1. De la soul

2. The half moon that stretched itself across the woman's face, her blood red hijab giving life as she ran across the street in front of my car.

3. In school, my first grader grabbed my knee as we sat banging our backs against the lockers.
Ms. Love, tell me about the day of the dead again?

I knew his father was there with us. Angels, souls, spirits, whatever the fuck you want to call them; they look the same everywhere I tell you.

We went back to my room and he cut a heart out. I swear it was still pumping. It had his fathers name on it and he said he would be extra careful with it on the bus so that it would still pump when he gave it to his mother. This was the second time he had sat still in my classroom.

The water is never still. It moves and allows us to move. Yesterday, I heard that people were caged in kennels like dogs at Standing Rock. It is 2016. It is almost 2017 and we haven't stopped taking from the native people of this land. White people still take like addiction; like there is no other way. When will we realize, we wake up alone?

Tomorrow is halloween and I am seeing too many skeletons.  I cannot tell which one's have crawled out of my own storage space, and which ones are plastic and hammered into lawns.

Last night I faded in the car as a friend told me about his time in solitary confinement. I drove home out of body. There was one sliver of moon left in the dish. He had told me to take it but I couldn't. I wasn't hungry.

I have started binge eating again. If I had to pinpoint the cause, I would say the brevity of human life. And how some moments seem to be slipping. They haven't quite been anxiety attacks and I haven't cried in months, until yesterday when I knew I had to give my dog away. Panic was my skeleton yesterday.

But today is only today. And there is nothing dead here. I have at least three reasons not to give up.

4. Today is a new moon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I still can't read this one out loud

Through grit and ground down teeth
I told myself I was proud

it took speaking it to the wind
for me to believe it

it took meditation 
for me to understand it was rape

it took the drip of his gaze
for me to realize it wasn’t me feeling sorry for myself

it took unlearning
for me to hurl this accusation back into the world

it took the sweat on my body
the exhaustion

it took the tears melting
and the way my sweatpants hugged my ass

it took my body
curling up in that same fetal position

it took me being drowsy
for him to feel empowered

it took his cockiness
which is synonymous with cock

it took me
by surprise

it took my resistance
and my quiet

it has taken me 
quitting the mirror

and oatmeal every morning
to steady

my lungs 
shake a lot these days

and there is a cloud 
too high in my throat

it hangs there 
while acid rain drips down my esophagus

it has taken lots of deep breaths
and acid rap, and lots of affirmation, and quitting to overthrow everything

it took my mom
looking at me over dinner

she told me in the purest syrup
and i waded through it to hear

she told me i was worthy
out of nowhere

it took it being out of nowhere
for me to believe it

it took the wet of my eyes
for me to realize she was right

i tried to hide my gurgle 
as I coughed, is this an intervention

my mom asked me
do you need it to be

and it took my silence afterwards
to breathe again