Flammable

I’ve propped up my days on crystal and wood.

Sunlight licks them with virulence until the new paint dries

and I am left restless. Memories wither on the shelves.

I’m waiting for the ceilings to melt, the beams to rot,

and the plastic chandelier to come crashing down.

I don’t have Atlas these days

but I inhabit an inflatable globe.

And I have oceans. And I have oil.

And I have a matchstick effigy

arranged in the shape of a cracking man.

Snapping limbs echo through the halls like sonatas.

I secure my world behind inherited mahogany

and break the dusty Waterfords with my burdens.

But tonight, I’ll leave the door unlocked.

Trim the candles.

Loop the rusted cabinet key around their wicks.

Start the oven when the glass finally shatters –

welcome thieves with full plates and apocalyptic flame.

Advertisements

Chloroplasts

I’ll remember where I was planted.

Damp and shaped like a misplaced kidney,

snaking up the chain link fence like an old friend

that could manipulate, seduce, swallow whole

and mimic the weaving sunlight. The remnants

of dewy sinew are strewn about like parmesan

leaves and my guts remind you of spaghetti – suddenly,

you fear yourself after innards appear tantalizing.

Go ahead. Take the bite – replace your teeth

with those Budweiser shards smashed on the curb

that seem to distracting you from our lovely meal.

Don’t worry – if my organs mirror sugar in the light

and pump out Italian herbs instead of hormones,

then I could be considered a plant-based diet.

Your doctor will love you. The soil is hungry.

 

Day 3: Losing Teeth in a Nightmare

There’s a pyre of calendars burning in the pillows.

Smoke billows to the ceiling  in the color of overused pencils.

I’ve become a pious woman and summoned priests

when I mistook scales and grades for the devil.

They sound so small when they ricochet off the headboard

Eat more spinach

Their bouncing tracks knit opaque webs across the room.

I vomit cotton candy after a final tilt-a-whirl trip.

Our throats become papery and green after a while.

 

Another pen snaps as the chest accordions

and words collapse against each other like dominoes.

Where’s your sense of creativity?

The journal lies agape.

The document starves. It’s been hours since the last edit.

Don’t you want to get paid this month?

 

It takes three weeks to break a bad habit

but only one more misstep

before my molars fall out, start collecting in the rain catchers

on the linoleum floors of the amygdala during the night

Drink more water

and I’m walking naked through the limbic system.

Don’t bite your nails. 

The hippocampus spits out half-digested doves,

their bones clattering down vertebrae

like broken Slinkies.

Just take your calcium

and get back to work. 

 

 

Mindful

Why aren’t you meditating anymore?, he asked, the hypertension

pills sliding down his throat like lightning bugs in a foggy jar.

I gulp in stars. I’m just too distracted, I replied. Because I’m busy.

Because notes flit across these cluttered desks like dragonflies.

Because nests of articles possess my screens with a guttural clatter.

Because the fireflies might not be covered by insurance.

Because I choose to swallow myself instead of a careful digestion,

spitting little pieces to the world in the fashion of a gumball machine.

Alight, he asked me why I started in the first place. Mouth full of lies

and quick wings, I rehearse my answer. I just wanted the noise to go away. 

Arctic

There was a blue man outside my room today.

He prowled the rooftops with shovels for limbs

and an excess of tombstones strapped to his chest.

He frowned at my window with gelatinous dimples.

Had lost his features as though they melted off his face.

In response, I pasted giant googly eyes to his forehead

and hid the crinkled receipt from his new gaze

as one would a proper gift. Asked him how he felt.

Suddenly, he was more green. Cerulean, as if he

had swirled a bit of the cosmos in his molded flesh.

 

He told me he wanted to plant a forest tonight.

His saplings were strewn out to dry in a damp prism

of emerald. Wondered if he could tuck into

their asthmatic shadows like patchwork

of laughing darkness. Already removed his eyes

so they couldn’t show him the dawning world

as the sun blew away his warmth from their stems.

He’d wanted to hide, he said. I’d thought otherwise.

 

I wove cornea from the psalms of mourning doves

and hooked them into the rumbling, convex plastic

coating his new vision. He was a sickly gold, now,

splayed on the glass like a star before a black hole.

Said he knew I’d kill him today. Suck the evening

sky out of his skull like unnecessary trephination.

You all do. Doesn’t matter, I’d decided. He would die

 

without the lobotomy, anyway. Well, something of him

would. I chiseled his lunar name into another tombstone

and placed it in his stretched knapsack. Plunged the pick

beneath his jittery pupils and began our work.

Watched the world spill greedily out of him. His chest

concave. We’re always devoured by stars, regardless. 

Felt his head go cold as the ground turned orange.

 

 

Nuptial Requests

Which retail outlet allows Dragon Eggs on their registry?

Use their yolks for the batter. Use the whites for the frosting.

Rip the magic from their bosom and sew it into the chiffon.

Decorate the cake with leftover shells and call me a woman.

Juxtapose us in the oven and bake to the internal temperature

of a myth.  Here, let the Maid of Honor sprinkle the top tier

and may the fondant couple come to life – I’ve carefully selected

a fine puppeteer from among my peers. Craft the flower girl

from buttercream and the ring bearer from leftover machines.

Craft our bands from the guts of abandoned carousel unicorns.

Make sure you can still see the grooves from their rusted reins.

At the altar, we’ll chomp on the bits until our gums finally bleed,

frost our faces with the hearts of legends and loving smiles.

License

When they requested fingerprints,

you pressed down the mesh smile

of an unplugged speaker where dust

has long replaced the orchestras.

There’s an OtterBox instead of a skeleton,

says the signature. Do you need AAA?

answers the donor check. Measurements

as black holes of ink. Anything to claim yourself

a galaxy, a droid, or just a simple machine,

instead of a warbled voice going nowhere.