Space to breathe and city air
you swore it from afar—
now underbreath curses
steam like subway tunnels.
Kiss me in this metro green.
No excuse for broken hearts and tongues—
karmic vengeance like a rainstorm:
where broken teeth are promises
love kisses death on Tuesday.
The things I swore to myself,
too easily lost,
my white-knuckled sobriety
couldn’t save the tenth time he spread me open
watched me give like a subway grate,
(oh such a dangerous fall).
the twisted metal of my soul
could no longer filter,
but let my heat escape
to scald the hearts and tongues
of too many men
I knew too short a time…
Anything worthwhile is like a shooting star
lights your darkness and too easily dies,
so the trappings of myself are too twisted, poor,
too ragged and barbed wire
to see past the screen of buildings.
And you know no one here can see the stars
with all the steam evaporating.
Expound the need to journey inward
Peel away the layers of self
to find the divine within—
I am nothing in your eyes
I am less in mine.
I need to make the journey outward
I cannot hack the little of me
apart; I am meant for the stars—
I am nothing standing still,
bending to your fickle will.
Listen here, beloved—
and tell me what is more?
Would you hug dreams
until they smash?
Or learn to love a whore?
I need to make the journey in what-
that could spiral me but
inches from your face—
I am nothing in my place,
you are built to shine.
This is the leap of faith
ways on the edge
reveling in what is to be known
momentary ignorance an opiate
jacked off in the syringe,
mystery the lifeblood
intelligence a sin.
Balance gone wrong
either shove or fall,
together glorious my pledge
patching up the burns I’ve sown
through love of skin and pavement
smiling up at those who cringe,
revolving through the good
breathing out and in.
Balance my song
collapsing lungs call,
quivering on my ledge—
this jump will not be made alone
there is hope yet
gravity does not infringe,
the changing specter of my mood
to let the air begin.
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Asst. Ed.: Linda Jockers/Ed: Bryonie Wise
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