sometimes I’m a disaster without knowing sometimes I’m looking at you my happiness completely in your hands love is pressure but it is also a few good consecutive calm moments
Doc the Ativan just give me the fucking Ativan or don’t
It’s the way you sit across from me / at the kitchen table / your hands enclosing a teacup
The call keeps dropping for the Arctic photographer on NPR, his voice fine and crisp and then suddenly drowned in a closet, choked by the devil
if the ape x stone cap is missing from the pyramid base it was strapped to a ship and shipped to the new world
The relationship was a sign that read Accident Free for __ days, that reset every morning to zero.
You pig-heart and I skin tapering off a drum face. You conjugate, animal-throated magician’s girl
And your greatest failure? / That they haven’t built a language from my name yet.
and I just scatter to his center like a little hair patch on his chest
but, when i was 19 i became more of a spill sometimes, i miss a mouth entirely.
His back in its sweater beads into sweat / but he likes the sweater — it reminds him / of his grandmother
m/ryan murphy lives in Brooklyn, NY via Mississippi. Some of their work exists in or is forthcoming from Entropy, The Felt, The Poetry Project Newsletter, and Anomaly. [...]
I find the boys break their legs chokehold them down / in the night keep them up I’m screaming YES YES YES.
into the B plot as into a hot tub, slip into my alternate time stream admit your acolytes
For example, my brother can’t write our last name in kanji but our obachan made me practice it for 20 minutes straight until it was beautiful enough to be written by an actual 日本人。.
the last time i loved, the words died in my belly. the sparks quit next, & then the boy.
The light says, I love these leaves. / The light says, you’ve been swindled. / The light says, let me dry off these rocks.
on trans street / there are bungalows / courtyard buildings / & rent control
next door and the tienda on the corner, who spoke / very little English, who didn’t mention his wife
I-coordinate-blue-and-pink-outfits-with, why don’t we / just nix the whole wedding idea, disappoint our parents, / and just go somewhere and eat wedding cakes?
I am in the mood to mourn / against the storm outside / I tear up under covers / turn on a warm light / Darling / I want your fingers
Mother and he had been on friendly terms since / before Boy could remember.
here is the story whereby / the black boy is carried unto a river / named by his people for a road into the sun
On the weekends during lunch, / a cigarette balanced on a grin, / BBQ marinade of RC cola, B96 blaring bass, / Tito Bong made the meat.
still telling the same story in the hospital / about how grandma was choking and choking on that pill / but she got it down with just a little bit of applesauce
Minsang estranghero / narito ako ngayon
Which is almost as long / as the Trojan war. The year / my father took her was all oil spills
iii. Tongue out of groove. Meaning, nacre nacre with no grain. No luster here.
what can I do / without disturbing anyone? / can I pray?
The gray-green membrane between spring and summer / is my event horizon
call them low art I send bangers only / my nudes are a Rothko Yellowbone no. 2 I am / pictured in pleasure a joy almost aggressive
Decades from now my first father-daughter dance unrehearsed & / wouldn’t you know it I’m already there though my legs are still catching
The birds chirp, the sun follows, this is how the morning arrives / And my cousin Chinelo knocks on my door, waiting for breakfast
i wish i could go into ambiguous romantic interactions with a sign around my neck that says I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER
three years ago nine black disciples were slain in bible song & since, no signs of goodness have breached the headlines
and i think i’d like a boy to build a country in. i’d like a boy with land
we ate gumbo last night & / sighed the sigh of the satisfied
Mother, you still hold my wrist when we cross the street.
Fat drops of rain. White spores on a shrinking fist. An infection borne down into the cells.
I snip the buds between their legs, / deflower my girls grown in rows because
I grabbed his hand and twisted its spokes through my thicket / and said I would peel his face back the way he peeled
i want to write about the blueberries i picked from the throat of a New England fall afternoon; how my hands plucked each branch like a familiar melody.
made out of thin copper wires originally from a moon planet averse to gravity aware of the pool of rainwater wet stones
into her, and I’m just trying not to get burnt, trying to keep myself whole. Will you try to shatter me?
[me, tense & admitting gunnah; him, heavy sob in a front seat]
now as in forever soul || luos reverof ni sa won
brother i was in a dream state/ Jesus was there/ & Gil Scott-Heron/ & the only sound/ the whirr of the ceiling fan/ brother/ the night we took
I was in calculus learning about tangents when I noticed, on the glossy
It has been five seasons since Rat King was made into Rat King. It took one season for them to learn to speak in unison
I am a gutted afterthought meaning my skin slips like any other
We find a note in the house from St. V’s, a summons to a meeting to discuss suspension
Little girl leaps Into the rhythm of the thing
“after church, purse filled with easter eggs & holy water the wife takes the uncle in, it’s just for a few weeks, until he gets back on his feet.”
“Your politics refers to an attempt to make/some part of yourself safe.”
“You mistook his peace for shyness mistook the blue for pools the eyes for danger because all the other eyes of all the other boys hid hostage narratives”
“I was nobody’s angel in the centerfold/too ballet scrawny to have any curves/too darkskinned to light up a room/too short to tower over my haters”
“because i had to, because/there is no room in the anglo o rthography /for an accented o, an ó/who is a mother with an umbilical cord/hanging out loose”
“I will die on Sunday afternoon in Saginaw/following a plate of my mother’s/enchiladas, fried chicken, and rice.”
“I’m never a teenager at all, if it can be arranged. I see the car coming and don’t make the left turn.”
“my children will begin to understand sometimes Dads are not your real Dads maybe their real Dad is still wandering no change of clothes no cash no comb”
“My body brown/as river. Silt all over/your fingers./I want to see you/lick yourself clean.”
“i can imagine you imagining me doing that with you like i was imagining in that moment / you never really know what the other person is thinking but i thought if we were off the clock i would try to find a way to kiss you”
“& what should I have grown up to be? She tried. Parted our hair to the side. Let two boys throw love at her one stuck she thought it was a miracle.”
. . The Depth of the coal by which I mean, the depth of the cool. The Depth was knowing at the string of me by [...]
“According to National Geographic, scientists have now developed the technology by which to grow tiny human hearts on spinach leaves.”
“cut offs and a racoon shirt/or finding fate in cut off (or la coupe)/where have you gone?”
“permiso,/slice open a mango. stream the juice/along my collar bone and drink. Taste…”
“Only please when you mean it./I’d give you all the stars//slipping across your milky chest,/spill them as secrets…”
“Drops of lavender/hush the sheets./Where’s my mind?/Curtained, squirming.”
“...6 months on, my hair began to drop me in chunks./i was 31. i was not ready to be bald because my brain was breaking.”
“in the beginning/God felt a little cute/so in his image/He created man…”
“The super sacredness of this,/my real Indian poem,/is going to absolve all white guilt, /but only if you buy my book…”
“Are your parents married? Why did your father marry her? Does he love her? Why is she so dark?”
“Don't know where my singing voice has gone./I swear I saw it somewhere here”
“Two had been attacked/and had metal plates/in their foreheads./One thought he was dying,/but it was just the DT’s.”
“She’d wash, clip plastic bags and Ziplocs to clotheslines. I’d unclip them,...”
“Sparrows tumbled from my throat, which is to say/the surgery was a success”
“if her allergens would keep to themselves./God forbid you have to be mindful/of dairy or cross contamination./...God forbid you ever worry/about the size and symbols/of a bathroom stall.”
“Slender girl with thick black plaits hides her teeth/from me when she smiles. her friendship is bravery./my body is violence.”
“4. “Drink a daily glass of kombucha instead of sweet tea, blue algae, or cola.”/5. “Is kombucha similar to zero-calorie water or rambutan agua fresca?”/6. “You look so young. Do you drink a lot of kombucha or is it the melanin?”’
“Dear dying moon/Dear blooming cherry/Dear barn window//Please grant permission”
“7. Pop one’s clogs/8. Struck down/9. Food for worms/10. Join the great majority”
“she say she a witch now. can’t nobody break what’s broken & i’m all ivory.”
“When cis men say they worry/about dying in the floodwaters of a former/sheet of ice, I think it must be nice, the privilege/that allows a cis man to worry about drowning…”
“//whachu want/from me?//whachu/got that won’t get//me killed?/i ask this//of every//land/i’ve planted”
“Type drugs,/delete drugs. Type illness,/delete illness. I’m blurry/& depleted…”
“funny how death isn’t much on the mind isn’t much a real thing isn’t much a/ concern until your body is a galactic crucible is a pillar of creation for the death-makers”
“Yesterday, I spent hours stroking the glean off my phone/until it erased every dead thing, until the dead were entwined/into its body.”
“god under my chin//hung together by a rusted artery/a copper clasp, poking”
“i once cracked open the earth. pleaded clay & rock to bare/children.”
“Turn me into a mirror, a space/for you to trap light, arms/rising up to make/the illusion of a head”
“The saying goes that revenge is a chilled soup. So, start with 2 whole Spanish yellow onions.”
“I never liked his mother/because she never liked me. Afraid of the damage//when the damage leans over.”
“Once an not now I/parachuted from a daring little plane.//As if a shipwreck survivor I crawled onto shore.”
CITRUS IS MY ONLY HOME To bite into an orange is not the same as to cut into an orange is not the same as to pick the orange [...]
“I want a life where I feel strange and intimate/with the border between the real and unreal//and still get to eat.”
“if Rome had fallen here, this desert/would have made it look like the most miraculous/& inviting smoke.” “if Rome had fallen here, this desert/would have made it look like the most miraculous/& inviting smoke.”
“Often, when my mother leafs through large, cluster stacks of paper and/prepares them for the shredder, I imagine skin.”
“I say hello/to a small face peeking/round the corner of someone’s house:/a cat in my mind/until it stands upright…”
“He grabs and grabs your hand and you keep going, daring and bargaining and begging for grace, trapped in all the muck and fluidity of the in between space.”