‘Luck Or faith’

When petals turn to talon,

and your roots, once entangling my limbs,

twist inwards and impale the flesh betwixt,

where do I roost?

The moon can shine milk and stardust on skin of dappled violets,

where the sweet nectar of a creature so contorted lays christened in bars of violent barb,

wings lain in a pattern like a seraph’s charge,

and the beast cannot burn the burden without also boiling this blood.

The trap was set with nooks of autumnal whispers, wisps of hope and defiance of fate,

the echolalia of cotton fear beading upon our foreheads pressed together,

underneath your grandfather’s cold leather coat,

in the parking lot of a layman’s god,

at eleven fourteen o’clock

in a town you bared your teeth at,

sweet promises of a man I haven’t met before

holding his hand out with concealed rot in marrow,

telling me it was okay to be here.

But if you were to hurt me,

why not kill me instead?

Pin me against the tree you deign to commit treason with,

coat your edge with the juice I held inside fibreglass veins,

sink tooth into a neck not surprised of this judgement call,

make the execution righteous and hard, hollow and gaudy, canine and meteoric

and tie my paws from the twine nooses you hang your hurt from

adorned in pearl and silk,

and let my corpse wash in another man’s summer miasma.

As I lay in fetid casings of bourbon gunpowder,

I beg for more,

so that this whimpering conversion of love into malignancy

can end with desaturated, shade-kissed furrowing,

and not this

not this.


It hurt so much, sometimes I forget to feel it.

‘Diagnostic // Psychiatric’

she told me that it’s like this,

“your knees are broken

from the heights you have fallen,

and your addiction to attention

cannot be cured with cards or condolences.

these holes in your lungs

plugged with smoke and tongues

are terminal, dear,

an accidental suicide note

carved in your corpse.

“and your spine melts like glue,

the heat of the expectation

fusing your shins into part of the floor you kneel upon,

and you beg me for benzos with belief on your breath

that you belong to boys;

to their sunken, rounded eyes

that fondle your flesh with distanced disdain,

with inconsiderate drool swinging from their lips that hang off their dogged faces,

that they hope to ensnare you with $7.99 nectar

and a hooked arm, leaned away,

claws in the small of your back,


“that is all you’ve ever known.

so you come to me,

throat-deep in the rot,

for cosmic absolution and romantic resolution,

so that the victim you have become can stay the victim that you are?

it must be tiring reliving the same man through different faces and hands,

and receding away when you recognize the unfamiliar.”

I laugh in the chair in the room in the clinic,

ask her to refill the prescription,

close the door behind me,

and love another who tastes

just like him.



it was always easier, than this.

I could write a thousand odes to each,

gooey and warm and tepid,

all tasting of passivity and cacophonous monotony,


(the people, not nearly so,

as varied and with intent such as they are)

but the language of my memory

has been mimicry.

mirrored media,

creation tainted by glasses stained rose,

unknowing absolution within the poems that I wring from hands left cold,

knowing the grey, but stealing the shadows from theirs,

leaving larkspur where acid once fawned,

begetting the same bare, collective love story each time,

a cathedral emptied of water and wine, hollow and echoing against the glass and the stone, the ghosts of perdition settling below the nave, pressing loss of God betwixt your navel.

there is no room for growth within these tales,

but at least they did not hurt to tell.

it was always straightforward;

butterflies, tangerines, summer days,

kisses on the back of your throat,

hands, fingers intertwined between the layered grass in your grandmother’s backyard,

bourbon on our tongues, taste of cabinet stolen,

lunch in concrete daytimes where everyone knows you and I am your possessed silver grenadine,

promises of future moonlight dispensation,

forgiveness like blind crickets,

crooning to a saviour long since forgotten.

words that have long since lost their foci.

but you have grappled my pupil,

lead my willing hand against yours,

coincided with the stars I have long since beckoned for resonance,

truly are winter ground cherry,

taste of winding catacomb pathways,

sweet like decay and pressed petals.

you hold me with fruition,

patience and consideration,

lead me to the sun and winter winds with trust that I am intricate and will not unravel so easily,

you do not yell at me when I am weak,

do not expect me to be absolute,

forgive me when I forget how to be strong.

I want to press my cheek against yours,

take your bones into my carcass,

find a way to intertwine ever abysmally into the deep,

show you the thorns and the twine,

and forget how to pretend.

prose of you is difficult to procure, in sincerity,

but the falling?

it has never been easier, than this.


You wrote me a song – let me return the favour.

‘The Garrison’

The bones of the boxes on your mantle

speak of whispers,

interlocked fingers,

unlock the back door and let the light in,

promises made unwilling to take back.

I twist syrupy threads of conviction

that stem from the gaps between my teeth,

sopping sterilized scripts unable to find purchase amongst the crystallized proclamations of partnership

that throne themselves

atop your paws.

The crackling, venom-seeping gash

within this whiplash cage of bone,

fucking screams for it.

Who would want me like that?

I am undeserving of icing-sugar-decay,

calls of the virginal succubus against the throes of a tepid plane that venerates the holy,

the christened palms of someone porcelained in thick bristles of lust and love,

fed fat with pickled fruit and kept hot in your charcoal spitfire.

I had forgotten the circle, the forever,

the cicadas that sing amongst together.

I turn sick, turn sinful,

cage in thorns the one who begs for eyes who burrow deeper,

become a creature of begotten lechery,

casting aside the god that lies within connection,

and wail at the planets above that I am so horribly, terribly, unforgivably unlovable.

For now I bask,

a rotten parasite that craves demise more than paradise,

in the glow of your soul,

remember I once was here,

and pray that I still belong here too.


Isn’t that just the way it goes, though? Finding what has long since been forgotten, and not feeling guilty for forgetting it.

‘Fruit Stand’

It was nothing,

to you

But you told me

that you would set everything I knew aflame

and nursed your coal soul inside of me

and I stared at your closet;

at your checkered button-down,

the way it hid behind all the others,

forbidden fruit.

I was land-locked,

a ship with creaking hull

and the ebbs and flows of your body

finding ways to keep me from running.

will I ever forget

the way you treated me

like I was a given?

I am so fucking good at keeping secrets

but you did not ask me

if I wanted

to keep this, no.

How many months

have I convinced myself you didn’t do it?

watched it over and over,

running water through my neurons,

told myself that it was love?

that it wasn’t taking, if it was yours?

but your skin still haunts me,

checkered shirt skeleton in the closet,

and when I see a blue Cadillac with a hand propped against the opened window holding a white lighter,

I become the moment; I ghost.

remember trying to claw away,

telling you to fucking stop,

remember you pinning my hands to the side,

remember wanting to scream so loud that my voice would melt away like ash,

remember not being able to.

laying there, staring into your closet,

feeling your linens staring back,

audience to my ego’s demise.

watching you rip my mango soul from my spine,

the both of us silent against your moans.

I’ve scrubbed everything I once was,

from the reflection I see,

and I (sometimes) call this body my own –

I hope it stays like this.

with each snowfall and sunlit storm,

I arrive from that moment into my own,

without you.

gratefully, and hauntingly.

when my corpse is complete,

your hold will be rotted vine,

and the fruit I will bear

will be so fucking sweet, baby,

with the plumpest, juiciest part of it being that

you’ll never get a taste.


Might delete this after posting. A little more vulnerable than I’m used to being.

‘Wound of the Witch’

Sometimes, I figure out where you hide,


and it is a bullet wound, entangled in spider plant limbs

and sappy with aloe vera,

nestled in a brass record player,

the stylus propped in place by brown woolen strings, repeating it back again –


and aren’t you?

The way you hold in this world,

fingers tracing the crevices and knots

like you’ve been here a thousand times over,

plucking at cobwebs

as if they’re your own,

refracting the sunlight into countless rays of glow and glitter, colours I’d never seen

until your arrival.

How I long to hear you again,

prayers to become enveloped

within your light,

crawl out of the shadows it has created.

Oh, how the moss has grown in it.

Sapped the dank from the forgotten niches,

and turned into fungus of the most wretched kind.

You had him, once or twice, this I know.

How I’ve quivered within this, with petrification, planning a comeuppance for the theft I perceived you orchestrated,

reminding myself

of what was once taken from me,

although, you do not take.

I know,

and I watch myself disregard this,

a notion wilting amongst the tepid waters.

Whence you came, so you go,

and I forget where we were sometimes.

Golden hour at a local brewery,

you shading your eyes and

laughter like wind chimes and

a second home, with a ghost of its own

and I cannot hate,

how could I?

But I am carcass, I am leftovers,

the back of the fridge,

third hand of your grandfather clock,

timed and exposed neon,

hand-me-downs in an opaque black bag,

nothing much,

nothing capable nor palpable.

nothing compared to you.

nothing for you.

Sometimes, I crawl into the wound,

agitate, bathe in the muck

and irritation,


Allow myself to drop

to the bottom of the wastebin,

content myself with watching you

not even peer down into the deep.

I am sick, aware of it,

but cannot climb out alone.


an echo from the sidelines,

and I cannot disagree.

You are everything I want to be

but you are already there,

so there is no space

left for me.


Hard times call for hard measures. Pull the thorn out sometime.

‘Smells Sweet, not unlike Poison’

I was an uncertain form floating in gloom,

stellar gestalt under a pear frond,

and you painted the branch

that I loved most

and we nurtured

and we matured

and became whole

through the time of our own

although distant as dust,

tethered through greys and through neons,

a singular dot, upon our cheeks,

beckons us back along these paths

that we entwine in.

The smog since consumed,

when the tree crows called for tolls,

and slumbering, restless, encapsulated muddy shoals,

and a strike from the dark.

Why? Why?

And your teeth only sunk deeper.

Rat poison. Open wound.

How do I make this venom clean?

And now it is a dance:

(in the way of wind and leaf)

pretend that you haven’t sawn the branch off,

package the poison in my pocket,

placate, place your words in my throat.

The place where we used to blend

now leaks sap and oozes oil,

tarnished; corrupt.

The forms who sit,

alongside the pear tree,

cannot see the carnage.

cannot feel the wet, ill produce

drip, drip, drip,

onto their own faces.

They say, “it is only liquid,

you must clean it up yourself…”

as it seeps into the throes of my nerves,

rattles my teeth from their home,

acid on an exposed vein.

The only nearby voice who recalls

my disheartened wails

in earnest, with healing,

is one that I met last Tuesday.

So I have learned ‘alone,’

have encountered attempted pacification

of my turbulence,

have shared a kindred spirit with duplicity.

Where do the branches meet,

I wonder?

Will I be at twig’s end

until time itself

heaves an exhausted sigh,

and wilts?

Or will I wilt first?


I’m very tired.

‘Three Months Ago, in August’

I cannot think,

when your thoughts are all I have,

and you cannot think,

not anymore.

I laid on the floor

in a home where I now float,

where you made me touch the hearth,

convinced me that stone

was my own bone,

that my flesh was the walls,

that where we reside

is where houses our hearts,

wood and cement, you said,

not too different from sinew.

She holds your thoughts too,

plain, on her arms,

begging you back.

We all are.

You balanced your drained beer bottle

on top of the flat of your hand,

said life was a lot,

but this studio holds us here,

the front glass door just a mirror,

and together our laughter dances

like flames in the wood.

You glowed.

You always did,

and that night,

you were the sharpest light

we saw.

And now the dark has gated us in,

rain has fallen and time has turned,

and it has been three months

since the sour song we sang on that hill,

imbibing the bodies so devoid

of the man we once knew,

and I have sobbed myself blind

on the bathroom floor,

drenched in agony,

asking for answers I’ll never get,

wrenching my heart dry.

Nothing has felt real, not really.

Every touch is a ghost of the intention,

a mirrored image portrait caught in time,

and I have seen so many

who look like you.

Do you dance amongst these people?

Shift your likeness

onto the barren facades,

to say hello?

Or have your thoughts

and the thoughts of you

become everything

I cannot think about?


It has been hard to write since you left. I find my voice has quieted from the grief. I miss you so, so much.

‘Body Heat’

It has been cold.

But summer sun has beaten my back red, raw, rotten

and skin, flesh has deepened with the lines of the tendrils of light cusping the curves I loathe

grab, grab, tear

a victim to circumstance and consequence,

or a child, parent lost, crying in the sandpits with empty paws and starry eyes lost

Outbound or inbound,

it has been ice:

the words dropping out of my maw like icicles and melted, freezer-burnt popsicles, and undercooked pasta because I was never taught how to turn the stove on,

the words entering my heart like pointed cloves in a festive dinner, infusing, withering, rot.

Now summer turns into fall,

and back is bruised,

and you’ve forgotten my beckoning call,

and our hands aren’t as close as they used to be.

I am in a snow globe, encircled by frost and by the sedation of being alone

though there are peeks taken, they are taken from me, and the harrowing beacon placed upon my forehead only siren calls those who fancy funeral pyres.

last month.

I cried. and I wept.

and I begged for your return,

begged the sun that stole my frost for a while,

pleaded with the emptiness in my carcass home,

wailed against the beating tempest of employment and exhaustion and people who only know how to be crass,

and when we entered the wasps-nest and when we wore black upon our tanned hides,

I cried. and I wept.

and then I am empty.

and then it is cold again.

and now I am awfully terrified of becoming frozen,

but inevitability has a way with words,

and death has a long wingspan,

and it’s the only way I know

how to feel



It has been a rough bundling of weeks, and I have not shared a poem since June. I apologize for the delay, and hope you can find this prose enjoyable. Thank you.

‘Pocket Worry’

I taste like soot,

charcoal drawings and acrylic paints,

shoving your red raw fist into your mouth,

choking on blood and snapping your fingerbones with your teeth,


my soul is too large for here,

and my heart is too big for your hands.

I say I am sorry,

for loving too much,

for forgetting your laundry in the washing machine because I was crying in the bath,

for the things I can’t be for you.

I am meat,

carcass and skin,

but I want to be moonlight,

floating pollen in the wind,

the sparkle of city lights when you took me up to that mountain, where I mourned my youth and my naïveté,

the sand between your fingertips when we dance against the lapping of the waves against the burning sun.

why can’t I love less?

I know that I scald. I am far too much.

when can I learn to love less?