When I was nine years old,
I was honored for a poem I wrote about the moon.
Back then, being able to write poetry meant you were going places
But when your age has doubled and your pen hasn’t stopped,
people exchange “places” for “nowhere.”
They say things like “This kid has nothing else going for her.”
And they’re right.
She must be a deadbeat, a junkie,
or just another slop with a blog.
Write her off and pay her no attention.
She’d look a lot cooler if this were New York City
but this is fucking Phoenix.
Where lizards like her go to burn up and out
and dry their scales
as if they didn’t know their roofs were just magnifying glasses.
Split my age in half and I would be amazed
of the closest thing we have to a city these days-
Gaping, mouth wide shut,
trying to compare the dimples on the moon with my birthmarks.
And even then, I wouldn’t feel the need to write a poem about it.
Now its hazy greys remind me of you.
When you light, you’re doing nothing but
throwing another block into a wood stove.
Sometimes I see pockets in the smoke that escapes you,
and they resemble the flannel of my grandfather’s shirts.
If he were here, I’m sure he’d pull out his pipe and speak no words.
But I was never so wise,
and nightly I lose a fight to resist the urge
to describe your own charred lips to you.
My figure is thin and my disposition shady and
It took me ten seconds after I thought that to
realize I had referenced Eminem
and five more to hate myself for it.
My mother raised me on disco so it’s no wonder I feel dead
and who said a poem about sadness
can’t laugh at itself every so fucking often.
Thanks for picking up the phone and waiting
after I ripped to shreds the film script I began writing three weeks ago
and stuttered over and over
“Just let me fucking die here”
and you’d hear my shakes slap my cheek to the phone like a pair of cymbals
because every meltdown needs percussion
I like when people know not to think they can save me
but instead try to hold me together like
two splinters of wood when waiting for glue to solidify.
Ignore my stutters when I read my poems
because it’s the only thing I have to my name that isn’t backed by cash.
Sometimes I blink my eyelids until they erupt and
make my bones float to the surface of my exterior.
With a tick
I tell you my body is no car bomb or magic trick
and wait for your interest to wane.