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.

the moon’s lament

her heart is a dusty tome
waiting for you
to read it. her thoughts
are the tone poem
in the background
of your dreams.

her shadow contains
multitudes, strange sentences
in a foreign language
that you’ve never heard before,
whispering secrets
too soft to hear.

her silence speaks
with the susurrations
of the surf and the tides.

her darkness
calls to yours.
do you hear it?

Luap’s vigil

his whole life, he struggled.
a misfit, a half-breed, neither
fish nor fowl, and barely
tolerated by either.
he had too much magic
in his blood
to be trusted by peasants,
and too much dirt
under his nails
for the highborn.
he toed a fine line
with little respect, until
his leader died and only then
could he set his own plans
in motion. even then
his own secret arrogance
soon brought him low
again. and now he waits,
silent, enchanted
by his own consent.
he has hundreds of years
to think about his many
mistakes. he watches
as the seasons pass,
and the stars whirl
above his head. kingdoms rise
and fall while he keeps
his lonely vigil, waiting
to be freed.

poor, foolish,
misunderstood Luap. what a
faithless, oathbreaking sucker.
still, he wrote the histories,
and now no one even knows
his real name.

on the way home

in a cab zipping
up First Avenue,
late at night with
no traffic and we catch
all the lights, I can make
seventy blocks in seven minutes
on a good night and I’m
watching the car’s reflection glide
sleekly, slipping fast as a
fish, frictionless,
through all the windows
and storefronts, metallic
silver and chrome and the dark
black, blank spaces in between,
as if I’m in a dream,
and I start to wonder
which is reality, this car
that I’m in, or that ghost
car? I can’t see anyone’s
face at the window
of that doppelganger
vehicle. maybe no one is home,
or maybe in that car another girl
is looking, half-drunk, dreaming,
and wondering
about my own existence.

Continue reading on the way home

a temple in the moonlight

remember that time,
last summer, I think, or maybe it was
more towards the fall,
after that group dinner, when we
sat in the park
and talked for hours?
our mutual friend came with us
but he left fairly quickly
and then we were alone.

we talked about politics,
if I recall correctly. remember
that little temple that looked so mysterious
and romantic in the moonlight?
I think I said the former
but not the latter. I was too
shy. apparently
so were you. or you didn’t
notice.

it’s a moot point now, but
for your future reference, when you’re
alone with a girl
in the moonlight
and she says she’s
cold, that might be a cue for you
to put your arm around her
if you so desire. and if she mentions
how beautiful the scenery is,
while staring longingly
at the moon, she might be wishing you
would man up and kiss her.
if you had the sense
god gave a flatworm, you’d know
that. or maybe you just lacked
the inclination. I guess I’ll
never know, but I’ll always remember
that night and how magical it was,
how it seemed filled
with endless possibilities. if I knew then
what I know now, I’d
probably remember it
quite a bit
differently.