• why i'm breaking up with you--
because you dance like a heart attack.
because you reek of turpentine.
because you kidnapped me and
locked me in your trunk,
drove around for years
laughing at my muffled gags
and the thump of hairpin turns.
you never knew, but
the battery acid stained my forehead
with chemical burns
and failed rom-com movie dates.
the spare tire told me once,
it’s so dark in here,
but I couldn’t tell through the blindfold—
sight suffocated by
your bleach black hair.
because you hold me like a food stamp.
because you are your mother.
because you trapped me in amethyst,
left me fossilized on your mantle
somewhere between the Xanax and loose change.
you’d throw extravagant galas
for your posse of socialites
with cocaine & cheap wine
and say to them,
Isn’t it shiny?
Never concerned with
how the violet strangled.
because I introduced you to
the girl I picture as in my head
and she hated you.
because you drowned me in your bathtub,
pruned fingers dug in my scalp.
through the shallow surface,
I saw you watching Maury through the open bathroom door
as I choked on soaked vowels.
at the commercial break,
you lifted my comatose from the drain
and cuddled with what was left of me.
I heard you finally whisper,
when you love me as much
as you love to breathe, then
I’ll let you go.
• Button Eyes
Someone told me once
that the moment you are born
your eyes are already almost full size.
I wish I knew at the time—
I’d ask for a mirror and stare and laugh
at the curve of my pupils,
gawk at the man in the funny white outfit
and gum a toothless smile.
I’d gaze out wide-eyed passed my crib
at the sea of foghorns crying at the fluorescent,
the ones craving womb-darkness
and aubergine between their toes.
I wonder sometimes if we all have it backwards.
The life cycle, I mean.
What if, we were meant
to wake from our deathbeds,
Welcomed to this world by family
and friends telling us stories
Of all we have to look forward to.
Then, many years later,
climb into our mothers,
curl up in a corner with wisdom and clarity
To meditate in nine-month grace,
And die in an orgasm.
• when the sky was bigger
I could tell you were drunk
from the desperation in your slurs
and I wondered why I had even picked up.
You began to ramble like you used to
in those dim-lit parking lots
back when the sky was bigger.
You asked me to build you a cloud
big enough to fit in your breast pocket
but without the cream-filling because you
were on a diet. You told me
secrets I already knew
and asked if I still smelled like cloves.
For a while you said nothing at all.