existential

I am a girl
of sand and fire.
I am a voodoo doll
held together by my
pins. I am a sentient collection
of ants. I am a girl-shaped
form made out of ashes;
pour me through
a sieve and watch me
disappear. I am a gingerbread
woman; bite my head off
to put me out of my misery. I am
the Wicked Witch
of the West, melting in the rain.

I am a ghost, a breath
of hot air from your mouth;
I am steam, condensing into
being and then dispersing
as fast as I appeared.
I’m the last dying ember
of a dead star. I’m a whirlwind
of sand inside a sirocco.

I’m only real
as long as your eyes
can see me.

crooked

the sight of her
disturbs me. her head
seems stuck
at such a strange angle,
like she bent it down
for too long and
it won’t come up now,
it’s broken. I am afraid
that I will end up
like her when
I’m old. I already
have a hunchback.
it’s as if watching her
makes her fucked up neck
that much more likely
to one day be mine.

I stretch my head
back as far as it will go
just to prove to myself
that it still moves.

I avert my eyes
from her misfortune
as if to ensure
it does not become
my own.

what I said

I’ll never live it down:
the first time I saw you play
I listened and clapped
and then sat outside
in the garden afterwards
with my friends and said,
“I liked that guy’s music a lot,
but all his songs kinda sounded
the same.”

subsequently
I noticed that you were sitting
right behind me. ironically
the next record you put out
just blew me away, I instantly
became a huge fan, and all our
interactions afterward have been
marred by my foolish gaffe.

it soon became obvious
by the not-so-subtle hints you dropped
that not only did you hear me, but
you were mad. I feel bad. but
at the time, I was just
being honest. and now that
I know your music, the songs don’t
sound the same at all. so I guess
what I’m really sorry about
is the fact that you heard me.

the women in white

four women in white
just appeared outside the bar
like mirages from some other world,
some sci-fi universe where
females swathe themselves
in moonlight, even their heads
in white draperies and turbans.
they are so mystical I
am almost afraid of them.
what strange magic will they wreak,
what ghosts are summoned
by their very presence? I’ve
never seen their like. white
witches, cult members,
maybe one day I’ll learn
your mysterious secrets.

the one you like

That girl you like
is outside your favorite bar
breaking up with some dude,
who’s not very happy about it.

That girl you like
has a thousand yard stare
and may be somewhat worse off
for her alcohol intake.

That girl you like
seems like she has problems
that neither you nor any other man
can fix. That girl you like
is such a low talker
that I couldn’t hear a single word
of her side of the conversation,
no matter how hard
I strained my ears.

That girl you like
just went inside to continue her
drinking, with or without
companions. you know the girl,
and that sounds like something
she would do. you know,
the one you like.

lifeline

I’m sorry. I saw the drowning
look in your eyes – the one
I know so well from
the inside out, the one that says
everyone thinks everything
is fine but it’s not okay, I’m
not okay
– and didn’t throw
you a lifeline. I know
how it feels to be the only one
in the room who’s holding
on to a grudge because it’s
been with you so long it feels
like a part of you, so that to
let it go would mean losing
something of your identity,
even though everyone else thinks
you’re punishing the person
for old dead deeds and why
can’t you just get over it
already. you can’t. you’re
not ready. you might not
ever be ready. and he doesn’t
deserve your forgiveness.

you warm yourself
by the fire of your hatred.
I know.