Unspoken Altar

I’ve pulled from your memory before.

The underside of age weeping into a word pile,
and your image coined in repetition of a phrase I cannot remove
from my psyche.

Today is not a day for the belly of death,

I recall instead your birthday. One unfamiliar
to my word paintings, as this month is wont to do.

The overshadow of Christmas creating more obligation in these days
than it ever would in any other month.

I want to apologize to you for that.

The fault of family often lending itself to louder
the lack of “look at me” in your demeanor
has gone unnoticed by me too long.

The rustling of the plastic sack
where you often held the bounty of your trips
where my greedy child fingers grasped

and a singsong thank you volleyed half at your face

before I ran off, your smile reaching the small of my back
instead of my eyes.

I want to apologize to you for that.

Tomorrow will be the day before another obligatory holiday
but I am now smiling in secret with you
at the younger me we both knew.

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Set Free

It wasn’t pretty, parts of my days
burnt my skin and scratched my veins

blew quite literally from my mouth
pinched my heart and ripped like cloth

the vision I had to sustain
the colors I clutched at desperately to see

were pointed at to me by you
your fingers found that they could bleed.

The tearing of our flesh and sound
our metaphysical seams

was necessary to find this light
that I can finally see.

I wonder where I’d actually be
if you hadn’t helped me along
if you hadn’t shown me the truth of pain

Would I be lost?
Would I be gone?

Your truth I can gladly see
is knotted at my ankle

it knocks me down when I am dumb
and flies me higher than I expect

it never drops me on my head
but shows me the ground I’ll find instead

it tugs and holds me in the comfort way
the swaddling warmth I need

it reaches for me when I’m down
and hands me air I need to breathe.

The fingers bleed and the truth tightens
the flesh still red and raw

But my flesh is mine and your blood is yours
it’s malleable and strong

The world is bigger than it seemed
and chances are scattered ahead

No longer buried beneath my burden
I am set free

and I am here.

I don’t want to be the only one

I don’t want to be the only one who loves you
The one who smiles when you laugh
and laughs when you joke

I don’t want to be the only one
who seeks you out when I’m broken
who hears your advice when I’m alone
who betters their life knowing you are in it.

I don’t want to be the only one
who sees the gold in your face
who eats the dishes of acceptance
you create

who drinks from your cup of consideration.

I don’t want to be the only one
who eats their words when they harm you
or reproaches their life when it rebounds you

the only one who misses you when you aren’t around.

I don’t want to be the only one who loves you

I don’t want to be the only one.

Show Don’t Speak

my laughter shows you
the me buried under the storm
of my becoming

my sleepiness on your couch
sings the song of my comfort
with you

my hands in my lap
touch my neck when I think of
touching you

my respect looks like
the drive home I take
each night.

Shareable Sister

Altars are not unique
no invention of mine to exalt or extinct.

The world celebrates this day in an infinite amount of
necessary or neglect

and yet

you and I, shareable sister,
celebrate the same in our fate.

Indistinguishable at times, other than
the larger than life one’s mate.

We cannot even unique our way in our call,
as the syllables uttered to our face
are the same.

Inevitable, we share our hearts
we share our length and breadth of bearing
our undivided and insatiable parts
our outlooks and unlimited caring.

In darkness we both hold out our arms
in light our laughter runs unchecked
our hearts beat madly at the blink of his eyes

Our yin and yang pulling together to make
his world.

Scatter us to the sides of the universe
and he would stretch his limbs to the point of breaking
his torture voluntary

He would overextend his reach for me
if it meant he could hold onto you

His endeavor admirable but unnecessary
because the universe of our axes

moves.

Coiled

I’m shifting,
a coiled wire of writhing,
stretched like a slinky from edge to edge, waiting for you to walk through me
But you never do
You unhook me from each edge, recoil me
return me to my natural shape
and rest me on the countertop.

You don’t dump me in a box of odds and ends
or shove me in a drawer
You don’t coil me as tightly as I can go and try to thrust me back into the box
I came in

You set me next to the window, the light shines onto my pliable
The air slinks through my slats
I can feel you smiling from here.

I want this shift to change me, the nuance of nestled between understanding
and understatement
I want the change to shift me, from old to new
from carotid to cauterized
from matter to energy
to substance.

Cleanse: a series of haiku

Your voice, like a sip
of tepid honey water
soothes my scorching throat.

My scorched and scarred throat,
tucked with taut screams and fire
pours into your pool.

Your pool, heavy with
my humid, evaporates
And like rain, we cleanse.