manifesto

don’t tell me it doesn’t matter
if this person understands me.

as a poet, all my writing
is a constant attempt at
self-defense before the
uncaring judges of eternity,
I’m always arguing my case
in Anubis’s eternal court –
THIS is why
I am the way I am
this is why
I did that thing I did –
I do this even
(maybe especially)
when
the only person I’m trying
to convince
is myself.

so this is why
I did the most recent thing I did:
there was a little girl
whose father left
when she was seven years old.

she didn’t understand
why
she didn’t understand
that her mother did
the best she could
in an impossible situation.

she was told
her father loved her
but still he left.

her mother smothered her
and told her lies
about her nature, trained her
to abuse, invaded her sovereignty
so that she had no space
to be herself.

is it any wonder
she grew up thinking
the ones who really care
are the ones that
walk away? and the
ones that stay
can’t be trusted?

is it any wonder that
she doesn’t know how
to take care of herself?
she only has two models:
never there, or always.
so she ricochets between
extremes, craving togetherness
until it gets to be too much,
and then needing more space
than exists in the entire
universe.

weigh my heart
against your feather, and see
which one comes up
guilty.

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.

last wishes

you were having problems
and I said, “that can kill you,
please don’t die” and you began
to joke about dying, telling me
your last wishes. I rolled my
eyes and started upstairs.
you said, “you’re not even going
to kiss me. this could be
my last night on earth”
I turned around and said,
“my kiss does not
signify acceptance
of your death” and then
I kissed you four times
and then three more times, and then
I sniffed your mouth
like an animal does, like my cats do to me,
to see how close you were
to death. you smelled fine.
you made fun of me for it
and you’ll be sorry if that
was the last thing you
said to me before you died.
but you’ll be sorrier because
I will never forgive you for
dying on me like that, when
what ails you is so easily
remedied by modern medicine.

square peg

I used to be that girl,
the one with the knife in her heart
slowly twisting it
getting off on the pain
and the slow poisoning,
using it to make my art
because happiness seemed
in such short supply. I was angry
at life for tormenting me
and at myself for letting it,
but mostly I was wallowing
in sadness. and then
someone offered me
a way out. and I realized
that it was my choice
all along, and therefore I could
choose to feel differently.

all those things
that made me feel
like I was not good enough,
irredeemably flawed, broken,
gradually transformed
into what made me me
and seen through
different eyes, became
lovable.

if you’re out there trying
to hammer that square peg
into a round hole, just
walk away. all that energy
will come back to you threefold
once you release it
from its fruitless labor.

come

be with me
and be my love, love me
with all your might
in the few hours
we have left
before you leave.
come and love
me like there’s no
tomorrow, come
prove there is
no distance that can
break us, there is no
darkness that can quench
our light. come and let
the memories we make tonight
be my candle against
the long dark days
to come, when
we’re apart. come
into me and warm me,
come gently and hold me,
do whatever you want but just
come.

flawed

I’m sorry
that I’m such a passive-aggressive weirdo
who causes drama
and pretends to be
so haughty and aloof
when in fact I am a boiling mess
of seething feelings
that I try so hard
to cover up
and deny because
the last thing I want to admit
is that I still care
way too much
when it was never warranted.

there was never an us.
you’ve said it
time and time again.
I know. but it rankles
like a thorn in my paw
and I can’t bear to admit
that I wasn’t your type.

I’m sorry
that I made you think
that I no longer value you
as a friend and as an artist
when that was never
the case.

I just can’t bear
to be straight with people
when the situation makes me
feel lesser than, unwanted,
not good enough. I have way
too much pride.

you deserved better.
you were a good friend
to me when I needed it.
you tried to let me down easy,
but I insisted
on making it hard.

my whole life
I’ve had to learn
everything the hard way.
I guess
this is no exception.