fox

What is it like for you
so far away
i hope you’re softer
let me believe a little

i looked you up
two years later
little bit of a stranger
I see your life
a thousand miles from mine

when i lay back down
you meet me in dreams
even when i’m mad
you always come back

a respite from being me
pre-filling the shell of me
you were pulling the death from me
don’t know why
I had to win it

a flare with no pilot light
a fox prepared to fight
a red piece of dynamite
she takes me by surprise

never run,
you need to be right
I see your ambition and raise you one
i hope that you’re softer
just to bleed a little
i hope you’re not lost there
a fox prepared to fight,
stay safe in the night

055

I am on many lows
while you’re trying to go slow
now I’m kissed by sand and cold
bare skin flecked silver and gold

I keep my thumb against my throat
a blooming gun for my last note
flay to find the heart, so remote
miss it and I’d never really know

can’t find peace in my own head
tired enough to defer to you in bed
stay put so I’ll never make you cry.

051

There is a break between words
that comes when we fight
a borderland we share alone

quiet wars over who suffers more
who gets the bed, who sleeps on the couch?
how long can we go without looking
to see if someone is letting up?

Is that sound a deliberate slight?
are you telling yourself it’s time to bow out?
I wonder each time, “Is this it?”
ending it all in my head
before he says it

I’m packing boxes in my head
while we’re sitting in bed,

I’m sitting on the curb in my head
even if we’re in bed

I’ll always be inside my head.

 

049

you taught me to swim
so I wouldn’t drown
just enough,
enough to keep my head up

I felt your hand on my stomach
holding me up
but you were king of letting go
so I hated you the most

I guess you were trying me out
just seeing if I could ride it out
and I did, but
you said I’d never be enough

I’ll always be skirting the edge
afraid you’ll stay away
afraid you wont come and stay

I’ll always be skirting the edge
just enough to keep my head up
skirting the edge,
trying to give you up.

047

Arms out the window
to feel the rain
salted wounds
I’d cut right through
this memory is all you

Blister in the warm spots
cemented blame
I’d hijack the season
drive you insane

salting your windows
to hold on your focus
if I keep you inside
I guess I’ll stay free

I don’t know what it is
didn’t know until I was gone
I really loved the breeze, but
couldn’t stand what was wrong

I was chasing licks of the sea
when you crashed into me
I was just passing by
when we became the sea.

Stories From Growing Up: Patchy Relationship

When I was young, I would pull my hair out until I had bald spots. It helped me feel in control when I was anxious during the day, but most aggressively it happened when I couldn’t sleep. I knew it wasn’t good, but I couldn’t stop.

She was willing to come with me to see the hairdresser in order to lie about what was going on. Usually, something to do with trying to get sand out of my hair from the beach and pulling too hard.

She spoke to me about it once, to capitalize on my shame and feign ignorance as to why it was happening. The rest of her words were for everyone else, to pacify their concern.

I wasn’t able to stop until I was an adult and moved away.

044

I suspend and dream
hold my head to the deep
I think, I think,
just to breathe in
and out

tell me how
you want me to sleep
with one eye open
while you’re here

trick me, twist me
sedate me in your sea
until my skin becomes
the illusion of warmth

I could just leave
trailing my grief,
you could have minutes
and I could have miles.

042

You’re coated solid gold, the messiah,
and I’m inhaling the fumes from below,
you capture me in corners and open space
capture me, get bored and walk away

quizzical, to see if I know what you know,
the difference between trees, I don’t,
what you’re trying to get me to say, I don’t know,
your interest in me is just passing through
your interest in me is if you’re in the mood

It’s only fair to give credit where credit is due
you had me trying until it was what I couldn’t do
you had me dejected over everybody else
when they managed to win you,
the desired result, I bet I checked the right box

I have your particles in my heart,
gold flakes from resting in your mistakes
no more skirting by and holding my breath
yet, I find you on me all the time
sitting in the corner of my eye.

040

I know this story
you’ve told it before
you’re chasing, I’m running,
I can’t stick the landing, no
I can’t keep my feelings to myself

you crawl in while I sleep
entangled in my sheets
waking as a casualty, I
cant wash myself clean
can’t stop thinking now

Always seconds from the door,
just cradling the ignition,
just a few more boxes to move,
and there you are again
cracking your knuckles,
ready to break me in

This carousel sort of routine,
I can hear you telling me
you’ll never let me go,
never let me go,
and I sit on my horse
pray the path is straight
that I’ll escape

but you’re in my dreams every night
some phantom sort of sinner
and I, I just can’t keep you out
I can’t get off this horse.

Stories From Growing Up: Involuntary Holdings

Reason one we keep you inside:

You are an illegal immigrant. If the police come snooping around, they will take you away forever. You will be treated badly. You will be put in a prison where you eat out of a communal bin like a pig and get raped by the other inmates.

No, you cannot volunteer anymore.
No, you cannot go to school.
You need to stop going for walks.
Don’t answer the door.

You tell me you’re just doing the best you can.

You always had papers. I didn’t.