Little Cuts

this proud little home
bare ankles moving in
making it our own, jet-lagged
covered in sawdust
air mattress
giddy empty

possibilities.

the kitchen was perfect
cool barefoot and wine-drunk at night
pancake batter in the morning
shattered jam jars
lovemaking, jarring
little cuts and cereal boxes
clogging the pantry
even the glass bowl heaped high
with overripe mangoes

and underripe avocadoes
and outside a garden hose
black-eyed beetles
under a stone
who cares?
about an old painting
under the stairs

behind your ears
the sour smell
coming from
inside the furnace

in the corner
where the dog
we name and love
will
die in its sleep

impossibilities.

No One Belongs Here More Than You

our limbs are only softening
around the joints
and in the end, having to
find not only one single place to be ourselves
but to live out the life of a circus
wicked torches and trapeze wires
delicate and bracing,
strong and self-referential
a homesick tiger, pacing

spotlights dusting below
the under-cup of your breasts
it’s wetter on the dark side of the moon
nothing grows and nothing glows
but the potential leans out at us, for life
from the cratered things
which taste of borrowed light
from other galaxies 

the same tired words
now exploded on our tongues.

Title borrowed from a story (collection) by the wonderful Miranda July, because it ‘belonged’. The rest is my own.

Sexy

I am leaning against the side of the house again this morning, smoking a cigarette.

I used to come out here before everyone woke up, to think about everything that is wrong with all of us. I am tired of thinking, lately, and I rest the back of my head against the brick and watch the smoke curl up from my lips. It looks awfully sexy, but strange too. Feeling sexy when your socks are soaked through with dew.

The cigarette is done now, and I stash the butt under the rock that I keep just behind the fence. My head feels strange, too, because I’ve stood up too quickly. A car starts somewhere down the street. I touch my lips and have to force myself to go back inside.

Whiteflesh

I went to your lifeguard job.

Asking if you wanted to show
me your mussels – you know what
I mean – said yes as you
clamped a hand around your pipefish,

said yes to the whitecap wave
of your shoulders – I mean it –
pinched by the unwelcome mitten crab
then, going out with the tide
and coming in, and even then

to come upon fluorescent monsters, inkling
a newborn squid- that ancient tingling.