95 Readings


To be vulnerable is to be taken apart.

I held back the truth
so you could not use it
against me.
I paused indefinitely
to not incite your silences, iced. I’m afraid
of not saying things. Afraid of lockjaw
and surprised by the might
with which you hold me down.
I can say that now.

What is it about pumpkins and their speech
bubble seeds? There is something I need, an orange
thumping weight to carry and bake.
What is it about pillboxes, their compartments,
a different seed each day of the week.
M is pumpkin. T is a walnut, its folds like ours.
W is condensation, or dew.
R is a curl of cashew. F is a mighty brazil nut.
S is as you would expect, a pomegranate seed.
U is empty. These are all memories.

I pile books and other paper next to me in bed.
My grandma did this at the end of her life. Everything
within reach. Why do we sleep
together when we sleep less well together? I had to learn
not to be picky. I had to learn to empty
and fill, repeat, hold
and spill. I had to learn not to tear meat
from me, to chew on tender wings. I had to learn
to zip lips and listen, be silent, sit,
what is said in my heart when I am not saying?

What is it about being carefully unscrewed,
a chance to exit contents
into a mouth. The people we feed
are the people we kick out once stout.

Posted 09/21/16
Published by The Fem, June 2016
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