Near Misses

As young as two, the rock through the window
falls just to the right of vital organs. My mother
screamed so I didn’t need to find a sound.
Fifteen years later, a man holds a gun
so close I can see the black hole of the
chamber against my eye.
On a river wild, I slid from the back of a raft,
grasping at air.
The plane from Mexico struck by lightning. Twice.
A car rolling on black ice.
A hole in the lower heart.
Lyme disease. Horse bucked. Riptide caught.

It’s a wonder we go on living at all.
It’s a wonder we go on living at all.
There is wonder in going on living at all.

In this house of near-missing,
post-it notes line the counter, fall from
mirrors in swirls of neon leaves.
Groom the cat. Lick the envelopes first.
Count the blades in the coffee grinder.
Wash the sheets. Twice. In hot.

This is how my lover deals with grief.

I burrow myself in the unwashed sheets,
refusing to give them up to the machine’s mouth.
Tomorrow will come eventually
whether I stay here or get up.
I write on the hollow places of my body
with magic marker, my own to-do list.
Kiss me. Fuck me. Mark me.
Name me in black and blue and blood.
The hunger of my body gnaws loud enough
that I can’t hear the buckling of my bones
beneath the surface.

This is how I say fuck grief.
This is how I say fuck grief.
This is how I fuck grief.

How do we heal from something that is not
ours to hurt from? Inject our hearts into
far-away sadnesses, steal them away from their
rightful mourners, give our own tears away to
those who can’t say no to the taste of blood and salt.

Across the world, tsunamis ravage strangers.
Across the country, forest fires blacken the world.
Across town, someone is holding someone else
hostage, a girl and a gun and a hollow-bottomed promise.
Across the room, a man I love is destroying his face
in the mirror, peeling seven years of good luck
until he turns small as pebble, hard as stone.

The rock, the bullet, the rapids, the thin electric tongue
aiming for the wings: Life becomes
something else if you sit with it long enough in a dark room.
If I could emerge from this cocoon of sheets,
I would flutter to rest in black and skin.
I would wing curtains made of fallen hair.
across the mirrors.
I will wait a hundred years with a hundred griefs,
hang from invisible threads of luck and silk

until I fall, trembling.
Until I fall, trembling.
Until I fall.



Video shot using my MacBook Air and iMovie (I think). I probably need a better camera, and a little less ambition to go with my lack of knowing anything at all about how to do this. I’m having a ton of fun though. The poem isn’t exactly the same written as read. And it’s horse-bucked. Not what it sounds like in the read version. Ha.
Words written at Jewel Box.
Time Taken 5 minutes writing.
Brain on … ?

note: All poems for the month of May are going to be… recorded. In some fashion. I think? 

This entry was published on May 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm and is filed under May, Poems, Seattle, Self-Portraits. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “[110]

  1. You’re a wonder, over and over and over again.

  2. Oh, gosh, thank you. I don’t know what I’m doing, truly. But it’s kind of fun 🙂

  3. You have a fantastic voice. You really need a nice, solid microphone to capture it.

  4. Thanks, Noah. Someone else emailed me to say the same thing but I know nothing about mics, etc.

  5. I’ll assume that you don’t have an audio interface, so standard microphones are out. Check out some USB mics:


    I don’t know what your budget is like, but the Blue Yeti is hands-down the best. I know professional DJ who uses one:


  6. I’m finally caught up for your May posts so far. Hot damn. This is my favorite piece you have written this year.

  7. Pingback: Links! | Lusty Literati

  8. Thank you so much!

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