more poems after the Heian ladies

I.
weeds wave gaily
on the 14th St exit
from the FDR Drive.
my heart has abandoned
all those feelings that
no longer serve me.

II.
that deeply
annoying hum
in the background;
the moth that flutters
and suddenly dive bombs;
the stench of hot
garbage on steaming
concrete streets;
a persistent panhandler;
oh, you’re still here?

Continue reading more poems after the Heian ladies

entrained

riding the train but I’m
facing the wrong way
and it feels like I’m
being pulled back to the city
by my heart strings, I can
feel the spool inside my chest
winding and winding.

sometimes when I
feel like crying there’s a
silvery sort of nerve pain
that runs along my very
veins and a prickling heat
behind my eyeballs and
I don’t even know why
crying wants to happen now
because there’s no excuse
for it and as usual I’m
in public and idiots are everywhere
existing in my presence and
I know by the time I get home
it will have passed and I’ll
be dry as a bone, my strings
rewound and all tucked away
and no relief will be had because
the need will have withdrawn
inside me like a snail
pulling back its antennae.

tomorrow is another day
to want to cry and not be able to,
or to not want to cry and barely
be able to hold it back.

the compliment catch-22

one night you tell me that I
look especially beautiful.
I find it hard
to accept this gracefully
because a tiny, stupid
part of me is already
thinking about all the nights
to come in which
you do not say that and
how that part will think
that I must look bad
– or at least,  not
as beautiful, which
to that part is the same thing –
or that you’ve fallen
out of love with me, and
even though the rest
of me understands logic
and how I can’t be
equally beautiful
every night and how just
because you don’t compliment
me every night it doesn’t mean
you no longer love me, still
that part begrudges
current Brookes her compliment
on behalf of all the future
bitter slighted Brookeses.

this is why she feels like
compliments are a trap:
better to avoid the whole
thing and disbelieve
than accept it now, only
to regret it later.