two poems

Kiera

(you may recognize the earlier versions of these two poems as two separate pieces that I’ve already featured on this blog. I was unsatisfied with them, however, and some heavy edits were in order, so here they are, complete! – hopefully I can finally leave them to rest as is.)

Wild Salmon

Tongues thick, the pink of my elbows, my knees. Sometimes the white tennis shoes leaked, the grass in the backyard ankle-high. When the pavement skinned me I lost nothing. A day swollen and full-mouthed, festering with light. A day with our palms stretched like cow hide on the overpass tarmac, waiting for the sky to birth crows, for the year to tip sideways and spill into clouds of yolk and grey. Low lights at night, something under-tongued and drowned, a year spent waiting for you to turn me small in your mouth. A car slid down your avenue in blue haze, radio blaring, and its meaning fell through me. When will this stop being so heavy? I drop everything I know into the basins of my thighs: years are lost in me. A subtle teething, bright rot of morning: asphalt heat weaving webs around our shins, how this only means something now. And the last night walking home with shucked legs, wet clothes, feeling like something was catching up to me, waiting for it to crash headlong into my back. In memories, I go half-deaf. In memories, I am quiet. Swimming through empty rooms in a body of sight. I see us strawberry picking, laughing from our bones. I watch the super 8 footage of your birthday, every movement an impossibility, everyone shivering in swallowed light, bodies excuses. This is not yet forgetting, this is only a mouthful of blood. Like a startled wait, this yearn wrung through teeth. Like a muscle unlearning itself in whiplash and the slow leaving too. It is simple: only this waiting-room, feathered march of anesthetics, falling through the hollows of a name.

Froth & Pulse

I. Sometimes, blood on fresh snow like an opening. Sometimes, the apartment stairwell back-lit, hallways laid bare for miles, tunneling throat. The woman next door presses her palms to the floor in gold-light, feels for pulses below, comes up empty every time. The dead dogs humming. The rise. Blue movements: telephone static, someone thumbing a bruise. Too much on either end. The glow & pulse of the tongue: my mouth as wide as this room & just as empty.

II. You walk into my dreams in marrow light. A sky froths and stutters over children skating on a frozen pond, spits up ravens that curl and shrink. When we were children, a sled crashed into an oak and blood spilled cotton-soft. Words shatter this type of lightness. But in this dream, it is my body splayed over the ice, palms sacrificing themselves to the sky, an empty threaded pulse. You walk past me and my eyes cloud until I’m blinded and the scene repeats.

In the years afterward, people will stand here without hurting and never know.

 

 

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two things related to you

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i. Sometimes, the apartment stairwell. Hallways laid bare for miles. A woman presses her palm to the floor in gold light. Feels for pulses, comes up empty every time. Someone listens to phone static, thumbs a bruise. Always too much on either end. The burn & pulse of the tongue. My mouth as wide as this room & just as empty.

ii. You walk into my dreams in marrow light. I see a sky froth and quaking & children skating on a frozen pond. I stand alone & you walk past me and the scene repeats. You leave and take the snowy hills with you, bruise the rims of my eyes, leave me to watch you crashing your sled and maybe I say something, maybe I don’t blink. Maybe it was always my body splayed over the ice, blood spilling, palms sacrificing themselves to the sky.

 

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subtle teething

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Nights spent at the pool, drives home where streetlights pinwheeled through wet eyelashes.These were years broken fingers, sores. Early morning by the garage, so many orange peels and the small spines of fish. In those days, there was tenderness and low, mouths empty. Sometimes pink mattresses, girls waiting outside gas stations, coat pockets deeper than river bank mud, a gallon of milk swinging from their knuckled grip. In those days, I would forget to blink and the land bruised around me, a sky pink and ripping through itself, bleating over the power lines, the snow. All this space yawning past us, and sometimes your voice would reach me from across the parking lot, waterlogged and scratched. Sometimes processions of yellow lights, and when we reached the mouth of the tunnel, a fever of black. There was too much water in my room, too much room in my mouth, my boots dredging through the snow, the black sky hounding. And you, the sore eyes, missing teeth.

And sometimes I knew your name, other times I looked away too fast.

 

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body of goose down

Hello all! I hope everyone here had a lovely holiday & felt the cold on their faces & lit scented candles & all that winter-y stuff. Promise that I will post more soon if I’m not swamped with school work.

milklight

What was she but soft ignition?

Me on my back, again.
Sky soft with yolk shades and robin-egg blue, again with the airplanes,
the apple tree. Everything harsh as teeth.
Some things I will never repeat: my palms becoming sparrows, folding and blushing and dying for you. The way I became small. The way I bend, ask for your weight in return, soft excuses.

The way there was no grave marker for where I first burned.

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froth mouth

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and sometimes a bathroom, chipped tiles,

milk florescence. i begin with my tongue.

 

touch my skin, leave it ringing and sparking

in the spaces i leave. sometimes the eyes,

 

bathroom mirror, bathroom sink. i want

pronounceable things. i want my body to be

 

the stop. fingers more than memorials.

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small fingered

Apologies for not making much noise around here; lately I’ve been so bogged down with schoolwork in ways I never knew possible. Everyday is a battle against anxiety and drowsiness but I know everything will be alright in the end so I just carry on.  I still have my weekends to indulge in the things I love, so I promise to give some more personal updates soon!

For now, here are some pictures I have fallen in love with in the past week and a small poem I wrote while hyped-up on caffeine in-between studying . I hope everyone has been enjoying these grey skies, the chill, pink skin. I adore late autumn / early winter. There’s something so historical and marbled and tunneling about this time of year. Ugh. I just want to stare out the window of a cafe while listening to big band music. So soft and lovely.

sometimes, there is too much water in my room //

sometimes, there is too much room in my mouth.

I am drowned, I am drowned.

I am a shrinking house with the lights left on.

punlovsin: city lights

Portraits, 2009 | by BerniLouisa Tin:

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girl, swan and blue

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I am the deep swell below my tongue. Here is the belly of the whale, candlesticks and blue cradles, nursery rhymes waterlogged. All I see is gold light spinning, here is the melt, my mouth as hot wax. Here is what I want: to be forgiven / backwards. Have my voice return to my throat through the parking garage. In the art museum with your red breath, forgive my shoulder blades easy, voice so melted yellow it pours down my chest.  All I want is to see through these walls without turning my head. All my limbs turned to snow, a slow dissociation. There is a hole in my cheek. Winter air floods in. Forgive me swan, wings spread like a sugar tongue. Forgive me like November, all goosebumps and milklight. I just want your fingers, thin and pale and fish-boned. All I want is for sight to be my body, swim museums like a ghost.

 

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