In the dialect of sapphire blinks

he said he could chisel slippers from the cold eclipse.

I reminded him to pluck the jewels from Orion

when he’s not looking and they’re left to curdle

in the jokes of Mercury, ripened and illustrious.

Black is flattering to my hips, but so are jewel tones.

I’m a winter in that sense, yet still so ignorant

in the fashion of tactile sensation and emotion.

Perhaps a sheer hare would do well for my calves.

A fox, rampant with flame and stoked with coffin velvet,

or a woodpecker with a wildfire in its laughter.

I look the best in demise and mourning –

these predators like a girl sadder than the dying moon.

But his tongue is softer, is warmer, than that. He says

this is all just beautiful, and so are you. I wear the furs

of a horror game sunset and call it a day.


What it means when we say I’ve changed

I could fit my new voice into an intact walnut –

that I appear to be an unbroken surface when sap

leaks through like underwhelming whitecaps.

The nutcracker angrily spits out a new dialect

where coffin is synonymous with chrysalis 

and sin can’t be contained at the size of an apple seed.

I have simultaneously slumped and hardened,

a petrified sugar maple no longer viscous with sweet

edible things or forest offspring, prime as a kitchen island

propping up the fruits of another family.

What I mean is that my vasculature

may as well irrigate a wilted houseplant

and that we’re applying CPR to firewood.

The Melting

Welcome to the equinox of extended mornings, spreading

out their bubble gum tongues to taste our dehydrated faces.

If our dome can fit a world in one plastic dispenser, velveteen

muscle reaching out to sense the air like a curious mollusk,

then I’ve fit a whole hemisphere in the tip of a ballpoint pen.

In one radiant heat wave, I’ve pooled my mouth into a black

oasis of mud. I’ve lost half of myself and sense of ownership,

breathing through a new sea. Suddenly, I’m alright with this.


I hang my thoughts along the curves of a porcelain mug:

diced them into little bullets on a battered cutting board,

dunked them in a lukewarm blend of honey and earl grey.

Tea is liquid calm, cooking is therapeutic, so this should suffice,

I mutter, fragrant thunderheads boiled to life by flashing teaspoons.

They are thirsty and bitter, sliced like a shedding autumn

and swirling leaves in a tumultuous universe. As such,

I gorge on their anger and transfer my matter using heat –

suddenly, we are a flustered universe trying to expand

in a concord skull the size of a grape. I tell them melting is

reincarnation – they use cyclical, fatalistic, cannibalistic. 

I just sprinkle fine medicine in the brew and call it a night.


Let it be – we are comprised of pale, mismatched Legos

and upside-down jellyfish colored like smoke over a sunet

without the immortality.  Phantoms pulsate in the roots

and tell us to act – this is a transient sermon,

forming pulpits from membranes and organs from foramina.

There is no scenery like Apollo nesting in the vesicles.

This is how I’d recite the spine: lucent and finite

in its homily. Movement, the lucky alignment

of windows – breath, as busy junctions and fragile stoplights.


Instead of cracking textbooks,

I’m booking tickets we can’t afford

until graduation


I’ve mistaken sobriety for sedation

and I believe I’m fixing the economy with broken staplers


But I’m doing well.

I’ve started printing out my greens in high-quality ink

and getting my acne treatment from the health aisle –

my cosmetics are organic and come in recyclable packaging.

A gym membership has reached autopay status.

The transcripts have sprouted teeth now,

which I guess is better than tumors

or something else malignant

and it’s similar to composting, I suppose.


But I’m exhausted,

and I’ll take the trainride through the Northeast autumn

even if the tongue dissolves us to pulp.


Our car swivels in its tracks like an indecisive season.

My mouth is ripe with papercuts and a malnourished fall.

I’m tired, honey, and so are you. We’ve built

a maze of failed staples without the plans

and broken martini glasses – coat the floors

with loud olives, swing until we’re melting

on the juice of rotten gin and call it a night.


but there was succulent wax


sternum coughing like an ancient crayon

when it cracked


I asked them to be careful with the lungs

when they attached our viscera to moldy twine

wove a splintered basket

lit a saccharine candle

and charged admission after the inflation


what they called an attraction

we claimed a defiance of anatomy

drafting patents in useless oxygen


and there was blood, there was drowning

there was another breed of burning

but hell, we lit a smile

drawn from the corpses of pastels

and then there was the impossible