For a Partner in Crime

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Don’t bother learning their interests,
don’t bother finding poetry in their eyes
or the boy in their laugh, for they will fade
like the rest and become another memory
you want to forget.

Not because they are objects, but for the
simple reason that you only braille, or
frail ink they wash off and the goodbye
towel to wipe away anything that was
ever confessed.

They are not your priest, they are not
a Holy box with butterfly walls, they are
merely a reflection of what you desire
and love, whatever it is, will be extinguished
after the heat cools.

Don’t be a fool, know he is a Jack to
jump over and never become the candle
stick; you are the flame and always
remember that, because to not have
confidence is to be snuffed.

Out of mind, out of sight, out of touch
with their five fingers is how you should
leave them, like a closed book without
a mark so they will be forced to find
the place where they left off.

Somewhere between the conversation
and the sheets, and if they don’t care
to find the hidden meaning in the pages
then they were never important; just an
asterisk to white out.

Some will pretend to be your biography,
the scandalous tell-all, a cup of tea and
the feathers on Hedda Hopper’s hat; they
were, after all, only a mouth to begin with
and an ear to bite.

But nobody knows the hidden bullet,
or why you even crawled into their
chamber in the first place, except for
you, of course, and your heavy gun you
aimed that blew them away.

That blast which swept them off their
feet and caused their toes to curl like
angel hair, and an empty hole like the
“O” in moan, where a heart was never
a heart but just a club.

An ace of spades that tell it like it is,
a message clearer than glacier water
or the sweat on their forehead, it lets them
know you can read their hand and
every card in the deck.

The king, the queen, the joker, they all
shuffle around and mix things up,
always showing up in all the places
you least expect to find them, such as
the diner, the party or in the pool.

And as a wise woman once told me,
one cannot un-pluck, just like it’s impossible
to un-die or un-smoke or un-speak, and
that once it has been done it is done;
however, you can understnand.

But there is one who sees what the blind cannot,
they leave fingerprints and see
beyond the motive and down to the core
where the diamond sparkles; this is
evidence you shouldn’t destroy.

Because they will defend you and turn
tables to find the answer, they will testify
in silence to the death while listening
to every reason and to them you are only
guilty until proven innocent.

Coming Out

It’s a band-aid that covers wounds
they stabbed into your hands and feet as
a child, only it never heals and it’s always there.

Because at one point they thought you
would be the second coming of Christ, greater
than Sodom and Gomorrah, straight-laced.

A shoe, boot heavy, foot-filled and below
the sole is expectations: A child, a baby, born
of blood and flesh, never, ever adopted.

The birds never sing, the bees always sting
when your father explained tender feelings of
being a real boy, it made it you rot inside.

That same infection, growing over your
body and crystallizing you in scabs, the kids
on the playground picked at it.

They called you a f*g, they called you a
queer, girl of the year, cradling baby dolls
in your arms and trying on your mother’s heels.

Whether you are top or a bottom, you’ve
always wanted to be beautiful like her and
used her hairbrush as a microphone.

When you gazed in the mirror, there was
always the realization beneath your skin like a
splinter or the claws of lobster gripping you.

It never let it go, it grew in strength,
it tore you apart and died a millions times
when your parents said he couldn’t come over.

And when he did spend the night, this boy
was your friend and eventually the two words
between deteriorated and left only one:

Boyfriend; God, how you wanted one, a prince,
a bromance without the B, someone to sleep next
to and dream of another life.

One which hadn’t been buried by the church,
your evil grandmother, the cousins who disowned
you, the dust beneath the carpet.

Swept away, family secret, shame, shame,
shame, no matter how accepting they become,
they will never know the pain.

They will never what it’s like to want to die,
to hold sleeping pills in your palm or hang
yourself with a belt; they call it crazy.

As a matter of fact, even the ones who aren’t
suicidal are seen as insane, because the
desire to kiss the same gender is an illness.

They have no idea that God is of nature,
a water spirit, washed over by tears and
called upon constantly with every breath.

Eventually you had to do it, you had to come,
out accept the desire for his torso, his legs,
his eyes and his soul; you had to die.

Because coming out feels like dying, all
at once, a gunshot to the stomach, a fingernail
pulled back on a broken hand.

It swells up over so many years, it pours
from your gazers, sometimes it still kills you
even after the cuts have healed.

When you go to family reunion and suddenly
increase in weight, you become to the
elephant in the small room.

You can hear their thoughts asking questions,
you can see the look on their faces; it’s a
troubled stare, a pluck of the hair.

Eventually they find out at work, some don’t
care and some do, sometimes there’s one
who makes you never want to clock-in.

No matter where you go, you always come
out, over and over and over again, there is
never just one door.

But it’s better to keep walking through them
and never close it for good, because one day
you’ll never come out of the coffin.

The American Dream

I am a communist warlock in their eyes;
I ride my broom down highways and see
the warning signs stuck in the ground.

One will notice them on green lawns,
fertilized by dreams of a straight nation
and apple pies untouched by an immigrant.

This is the American dream, where those
who want to be heard are placed in boxes
and looked upon like screws and marbles.

On the floor beneath their big feet, they
are the tolerated: the ebony skinned,
the beautiful faces wrapped in a hijab.

The boys who love boys, the ghosts of
unborn babies which haunt them, the girls
on testosterone and proper commodes.

I am one of them, boiling in the American
dream; a fried egg on their big, black
pavement that lie before China and Russia.

Under the tar is a Native American burial
ground stretching from California to Florida;
perhaps that explains the curses.

The hombres burn their soles and swim
through rip currents just to see the headstones
and leave sugar skulls on top of where they rest.

Meanwhile, the children in the American
dream go door to door and collect candy
in smiling, plastic pumpkins.

Orange as a dictator, orange as the sun
burning eyes to blind crisps and black
as the lives of spirits that matter.

It is dead, my favorite holiday, drowned by
torrential rainfall and red, white and blue
fury in the palm of his hand.

A wicked X, star-branded, the evidence
when heritage was hate and the delusion that
Confederate soldiers will rise from the Earth.

To reverse time and put on a ghostly outfit
and burn the crucifixes; the narrow gap is
tighter than a noose hanging from the pine.

Every day in October shouldn’t feel like
July 4th, but only in such a patriotic realm
of poisoned sugarplums does it exist.

It’s dulled down my craft like a lead
pencil bubbling in a ballot and their fat,
sausage fingers have smudged it.

This is their American dream, where they
put words in Christ’s mouth and grab
black cats and skin them alive.

Where the good ol’ boy can be butter
thick and hard headed and drink from
the bigger cup while I get the smaller.

Filled with approval, filled with blessing,
petted like a dumb rabbit stuttering over
his nonsense for a bigger bigot.

A bigger gun, a bigger bullet, a bigger
truck, no Mexican and a wall for the
brain to close itself inside.

Religious freedom, discriminatory cakes,
tar heel stuck, a circus campaign on crack
and cocaine and absent seats at Thanksgiving.

Burned bridges to nowhere, fueled by
arrogance without gas, for they have drained
the tanks to fill their never-quenched engines.

Object to their ways and you are a terrorist, you
are painted dark and a walking perversion that
infects all morals like bacteria in a wound.

BDD

Listen, I’ll just go ahead and say it. I have BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder.) It’s the obsession of a physical flaw that may be minor or, most of time, in my case, imagined.

For example, I obsess over my hairline, I obsess over my jawline, I obsess over my lips. Sometimes I see myself in the mirror and think I’m chubby and pregnant, then other times I will see myself as a famished corpse. There’s really no in between.

It’s like a high frequency beam that is both mind-numbing and breaks my concentration; however, what’s odd is I don’t always feel ugly. There are times where I can walk by a store window and feel confident. But the thing with BDD is it follows, waiting for you to walk by a poster of a Calvin Klein model in the mall.

A lot of times I compare myself to guys on Google. Hell, sometimes Instagram and Tumblr are my worst enemies. Let’s face it though, they’ve got the best cake.

I rarely take group photos, I go through spells where I don’t use my actual profile picture, I pick my skin, I either avoid mirrors or stare deeply into them; god forbid I get hung up in a dressing room.

Don’t laugh, but the best way to describe it is like being Mr. Potato Head. A fabulous, confident Mr. Potato Head, may I add, and then this angry toddler removes your best features and replaces it with something ugly. You’ll be in a panic, trying your best to remove the horrible insecurity and damn does the child shake the hell out of you.

Then, right when you’re on the edge of breaking down, this kid becomes calm, removes the ugly affliction and puts back the nose you like– then he replaces your eyebrows with caterpillars and, once more, the vicious cycle continues.

But please know that I’m not posting this because I want you to say I’m beautiful or good-looking. As a matter of fact, I know I’m attractive. My mother is the most beautiful woman in the world, and I praise the Heavens I inherited her looks.

The only person who really needs to tell me I’m beautiful is me.

And I also posted this because it’s actually a very, very common psychological disorder… especially with gay guys. For real, I’ve seen a 20 year old guy almost break down cause someone joked about him having a non-existent grey hair.

I’ve seen guys in the basement of a gay club wash their hands in the bathroom sink, then stop and stare desperately at their reflections. Sometimes it’s four of them.

I’ve had a guy LITERALLY start blubbering on my shoulder because he turned 34 and referred to himself as worn-down, old leather. Shit, he acted as if the stock market crashed. (Btw he actually looked about 27.)

I’ve seen genuinely adorable, beautiful guys who legit will get all crazy just because they aren’t good enough or their skin is too pale. Holy hell, I once liked a guy who, in his words, was “fat and disgusting.” I mean, yeah, he wasn’t skinny then, but he has one of the most handsome mugs I’ve EVER seen to this day. Like, for real.

Even one of my best friends thinks he is “gay fat” (I hate that term.)

Again, I’m not posting this because I want you to tell me I’m hot or sexy or gorgeous. I’m posting this because I want you to tell yourself that you’re beautiful. I want to feel okay in your skin. I want you to try and not let this mental plague get the best of you.

Oh, and just breathe.

And stop using tanning beds, cause you’ll end up like a baked Mr. Potato Head.

The Poet’s Curse (timed writing / ten minutes)

Madness spun like a string on a thumb growing tighter and cutting off circulation, or a spider web crafted, sometimes it’s torn and sometimes it’s the perfect snare.

Frustration, constantly critiquing their every move and sentence and word. There is even a struggle between what is too arrogant and what is too humble.

They often times stumble down, mumble in the morning and grow weary of every question. A true poet hates the title, for it makes them feel superior inside a shell.

Hell, it’s a place where typos haunt them, full of English teachers and multiple fun house mirrors. If only there were a way to erase the pretentious eighteen.

The angst, the edge, the eye roll; it’s a reminder that growing pains can drive one insane, and without evolution there would always be Billy Blue or Suzie Q.

Nevertheless, a former student’s naivety always comes back like a boomerang or a rumor passed along over bummed cigarettes and the hardest question one can ask:

“Will you read this? Can you tell me what you think?” Because even the most precious words come with a cringe, a finger on the self-destruct button and an apology.

There’s always a bullet traveling in the dark, it can either miss or go straight to the heart; even when the bull’s eye plucked, there is the shadow of soot on the wall.

And poets even hate other poets, because they know it will either be worse or better. The latter comes from admiration, for people tend to destroy what they love.

It’s a dragging duty, really, to sacrifice sand without the ability to flip the hourglass, and their turmoil can be truly felt until they can no longer write.

Nobody’s Brother

Little girl, little liar, little house on the mountain,
can you hear me in the hole you’ve dug? A grave
ginormous as a valley, a family tree chopped down
and cut into paperwork.
 
On the dotted line they signed you over, where
a home became the pentacle of sorrow and
additional rooms were built as tombs to keep your
spirit locked away.
 
Even with miles between us, you seem to stick
around and haunt me everywhere I go. In the diner,
in the back of the kitchen and sometimes in the
grocery store.
 
They always ask where you’ve been and whatever
happened to little Christina Crawford and the damn
wire hangers. I’ve tried to hang them in the closet,
believe me.
 
In the little cupboard I use to live, a place full of
Sunday school memories and infant expectations,
a little boy to carry the name and a girl to spit one out
for generations to come.
 
As a matter of fact, I believe you beat me to this
and called upon the stork. His name is Jody and I’ve
never held his little body or felt the joy of being his
loving uncle.
 
Or am I an uncle? Is it all just make believe?
Like rubber babies, little cribs and cranberry juice
for blood. I’m not jealous; however, I do envy your
immense narcissism.
 
For sometimes I wish I could never take anyone
into consideration, throw them to the side and curse
their names. It must make it easier to view them as
emotionless mannequins.
 
No feelings, no regret, plastic, hollow bodies to keep
a dress on and die happy knowing they’re unimportant;
it must be absolutely marvelous to be so deeply in
smothering love.
 
With a mirror, you only see yourself and nothing in the
background; it’s all white noise and the music inside,
like whistling in a cavern, A tune for West Virginia, where
your mother never sings.
 
She’s dead, you know, on the inside and so are the
letters she sent full of what you inherited: An empty mine,
no gems, no diamonds, only crimson sucking bats who
hang by their feet.
 
Candles with dull flames, blowing themselves out and
making wishes on coins dropped in bottomless pits.
You better be glad I have a soul, or else I would
happily push you down.
 
Where the pennies have fallen is where my father’s
sweat has accumulated, along with my mother’s tears
and the shattered pieces of China from a rampant
bull-headed child.
 
The little girl you abandoned, a Taurus whose horns
have grown long and hooves that stomp the floor, she
can hold a grudge better than you can hold marbles in
your dirty hands.
 
Can you show me on the doll where the needles were
stuck? Little evil, little wart, have you ever considered
that the pain in a pincushion heart is the work of your
own twisted hoodoo?
 
Who do you have left to blame? Certainly not God,
certainly not the steeple, the people, their knees, the
hypocrisy and the shunned, broken rainbow faded grey
breaking its back.
 
When is your birthday? I will send a gift box full of rocks,
locks, dead flocks and wasted clocks. Bashed open, gears
exposed and hands slicing cold shoulders. Perhaps I will
wrap in hugs.
 
March to the end days, bring the April showers, let their
heavy clouds block your long face, long frown and drown
out the whining noise of children wearing black as they
stand in a circle.
 
It’s the death day party you were never allowed to attend,
the huge festival dedicated to your ghostly image sitting
at the table and laughing about frivolous wonders and
sugar and spice.
 
There’s nothing nice left to say and sometimes I wish
they would’ve carved me a brother from such lumber,
a real boy, whose nose would grow if a lie were to be
beckoned, I reckon.
 
Not the ego, not the sponge of self-absorbance, but a
sibling that could pinkie promise and accept my Roman
nature. I would burn down your tree to grow another
if given a chance.
 
The bedtime stories above our heads when we slept
in beds are tied up and I long to exorcise all of you from
my body, the mind and the gripping spirit and regurgitate 
every “I Love You.”
 
If there were only a way to lobotomize each and every
part of the brain in order to forget, I would skip the
waiting room and ask the doctors to put me under,
to chisel you gone.
 
Imagine a world in which you never inhabited or ruled
a sordid kingdom under a thumb. Instead, my very own
keeps the levees from breaking again and again and
holds back monsoons.
 
Little dutch boy, little bundle of sticks, the child inside
me has grown tired of your frigid poltergeist shifting from
one chamber to the next and slamming doors as if they
were doll house.
 
I suppose this is why the homicidal torches are drawn
to me, because I never kissed their embers until you
vanished like a saint when Jesus opens the sky and
Satan gives out his number.
 
You might be the boulder’s daughter, the child of the hills
and a mad girl who wrote “Safe” on her arm. It can even
be said that you’re an abbey without a prayer ora lamb
in a Kool-Aid cult.
 
But understand I am a raging ocean, a hurricane and
a roaming thunderhead. Understand that in my clover
eyes you’re a nobody and that I will never be your
loving brother.

The Traveler

He’s seen them at their lowest, in the basement and in the streets with eyes heavy for nothing more than love.

Where they wander lost is where he has found that life can be a circus of tears and unconditional laughter.

Inhabited by the ones who paint their faces and unravel slowly to show invisible wounds so they can heal over time.

He has felt the hatred of society and the ruins we struggle to try to reconstruct into a kingdom made for Heaven.

And even at the hands of bitterness, he has discovered they can carry hope like a bird who been struck by a stone.

Alone and tired, he knows that even after being whipped and tormented that someone will help him carry the cross.

The same crucifix believed to only be worn by those who are worthy appears above him and says he accepted.

For being torn down and born a flower, this man is living proof that even the most fragile can come back in the spring.

Where the clouds have opened up and unleashed their seven seas is the very place he is traveling.

To a world higher than the sun and its light dividing into a spectrum of every color our eyes have yet to witness.

Until then, white witches gather around him as their dove-like wings protect his aura from anything else.

At the end of the show, we have all realized that he is a water drop too pure for Earth and he flows like a river.