to Diablo, who has recently died

just when I thought
the tide of grief was receding, it
rushes in again. fuck. you
know how much I loved you, right?
please tell me you did. I couldn’t
bear it if I thought you died
not knowing.

I’m sorry that I wasn’t much use
to you at the end. I learned
something about myself and how
I’m really not much good with
the dying. you were a great little
guy, with a huge heart. everyone
who ever knew you
loved you. you tried to go home
with every delivery guy.

you were often naughty, and
that made you wonderful. you
were more like a dog
then a cat, which I must admit
I often found annoying. but you
were so smart, and so human;
I swear you understood
every word I said.

you chose me
that day 15 years ago, and
I never regretted it.

I hope you come back to me
when you’re ready.

idol

I read a book
about Sylvia Plath
and despair. it seems
so much easier
to write poems that
scorch the earth
when you’re not planning
on being around when
those cruise missiles
touch down.

well, I do not plan
on dying, ever,
so where does that leave
my stabs at poetry?

blinded,
broken, Oedipus at Thebes
could relate.

maybe I’ll just wait
until everyone I know is dead
before I document
what I really think of them.

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.

house blessing

I didn’t psychically cleanse
your new home before
you moved in. I wasn’t sure
it needed it. I didn’t feel
any bad vibes. maybe they
didn’t notice me because
I wasn’t going to live there
full time. but now I hear
how you are beset with fears
and worries, some of which
I believe I can rid you of.

the space is not just a space,
it’s a repository of all the emotions
that were previously felt there.
if the prior inhabitants were anxious,
or quarreled a lot, or angry,
or depressed,
all of that psychic residue
remains behind when they
move out.

but these lingering spirits
are no match for me. I’ll
put out bowls of white vinegar
in every corner of every room
to soak up all the bad stuff
and then toss it out the front door
far into the street. I’ll smudge
with white sage and incense,
and tell all the things that bother you
to get out and stay out.
I’ll obtain dried herbs and
special waters, and wash your floors
to sweep away all the nasty things
that bug you. I’ll hang a horseshoe
twined with red ribbons
and evil eye charms
over your front door
so that no one even thinks
a bad thought in your direction.

I’ll weave a protective wall
of peace and harmony
to keep you and yours safe inside.
no one and no thing will dare
to try to get you
when I’ve worked my magic.
don’t worry, baby. I’ll fix it.