Float

How sick of me

are we?

Duplicitous,

A dichotomy

tearing my heart

in two.

I sometimes think

You can understand

it but your feet

walked sinless

on the dirt, the earth.

This ground.

You take it all in,

though,

that breath held

in your lungs

until you finished

it.

And I suppose I hope

For a single millisecond,

You could see me here,

head pressed neatly against

wood,

red marked into my forehead,

the fingers of my soul

attempting to loosen

the knot and watch

it all float

away.

The Lord’s Anger Will Sweep Everyone Away

Here I play

Inside my house

The dreams I wish

Were true. And I 

Snap so hard,

Fingers pressed,

Buttons submitting

To a will that knows 

Only filters brushed

With colors I 

Never knew existed.

Here in my house

I play like dreams 

Are what built

My home and

the chips of my soul 

I suck on when it’s hot.

Dream driven

Is what I’ll hashtag

It as my chin crooks

Upward in the air.

I am okay

And so are you

And so is everything

Outside the windows

I’ve painted black

So the Lord can’t see

What pretty colors 

I’ve allowed to be

That He would never

Dare sweep away.

Things Above

If I were to be 

Born

To myself

All the earthly

Things would prize

Up before my eyes

And stack high,

A beautiful pile

That tastes of earth.

And all the routes toward 

The inner core

Of this world,

Mapped on my tongue,

A constant reminder

That me, I am in control,

One foot in front of the other.

But here’s the part 

that sparks

As I walk sure-footed

Down the lane

I never built with my own two hands:

The earth cracks and then rips

And dips down into the fiery 

Middle, the lair where

My own truth meets me 

Face-to-face.

I was not born to me

But born to You 

And crafted in such a way

That beauty was 

The thing inside me

But far too quickly 

Rotten away like 

A naked core 

That has been bitten

Clean by dirty teeth

And all who never

Really loved me.

My head, bowed now,

Eyes down and in the dirt,

The dirt that I didn’t make

With my own two hands,

I understand it, much clearer

Than when I had ever heard it before.

Here is death’s door, how You died

And overcame it,

And here is me,

The maker of nothing

But my own misery.

You sweep through 

Like wind and Spirit

To shut it slowly, that sound,

A creek that cracks right through

My middle, and I’m delivered

Reborn to the outer edge

Of heaven,

The taste in my mouth,

Washed and watered 

Clean,

My eyes set on things

Above.

Three Days’ Time

Sometimes,

Death is a too-close

Whisper. 

It buds like a beaten

Drum, soft in the beginning

Until it whirls deep beneath

Skin and pore.

And all the love lost to it,

Memory stinging the wound

Of those still breathing, faces

Shoved against the night’s

Window pane, eyes searching

For puffs of breath from those

We used to know.

But in three days’ time,

You removed that vacant

Loss beneath breast and bone

And quieted the relentless

Beating in our brains.

You who loved Lazarus

With an intensity

And all the tears 

We were born

To weep.

You braved the deep,

The underbelly,

The breeding ground

Of sin,

And rose up 

Against it,

Pulling life 

From a deathly

Grip and conquering

Our hearts

In the process.

Life

It’s not all bad.

I think that’s the joke,

The ba-dum-dum,

The punch line

That punches 

A heart

When your eyes

Become new eyes

And you can finally 

See,

Trained to know grief

On such an 

Intimate level.

But you smile,

Because 

You know

The humor in it,

You know 

The ending,

So special,

And sometimes

When you verbalize

It,

You lose your audience,

But not always.

There’s always that one

Person,

The back row watcher,

Legs sprawled, 

Face weary,

And you finally

Remember

Who

You’ve always

Been

Playing

For.

Dear Ava,

I hope

This

Finds

You well and

The kids

And Jack

Are safe

And happy

And set

To swimming

In the beautifully

Blue pool.

The picture

Was lovely.

It looks

Like a long

Shard of glass

And that bird

Reflected,

Hovering up high

Reminded me of the one

That swooped

And ate your

Newborn butterflies

That hatched

From that kit

I bought you.

I should have

Paid more attention

But butterflies

Are a nasty thing

To own.

How’s the cat

And that gerbil

That I’m always

Afraid the cat

Will eat?

Is Lucille

Still eating

Her fingernails

Like you always used

To do and might still?

Funny, the dedication

taken

To shredding

And imbibing ourselves.

I’m well.

The postman

Asked the other

Day

About your father

And I said, “Still dead,”

But no smile on his face.

What a waste because

He looks a little

Like

Dicaprio in Gatsby

And a smile

Would do him good.

Me, too, I guess.

But not to get down

And out.

Have to keep the spirits

Up.

Have to keep on keeping on.

Sometimes, I talk to God.

And dare him to listen.

I have to get on

Now,

And I know

You’re busy with the

Glass shard pool

And Jack and the kids

And all the minutes

That feel

Like hours

Until your glass has

Spilled

And all you see

Is your damp

Eye hovering

From

above.

Future Girl

It’s never your

face I see,

but who you’ll

be ten years 

in the future

when you think

of me as the person

you need to call

and sometimes 

do.

Needle and Thread

We’re journeying

Through

something,

not just a time

and space-like 

nothing

but something 

that needles

the string through 

my skin 

and yours

and our neighbor’s,

pot-bellied 

in his Pontiac,

forgetting his

hand holds

the ability 

to wave.

I used to think 

in terms

of severed

scraps of

fabric,

all of us,

scattered 

heartbeats

and useless

religions,

and I 

blended

my theories 

and forced

them 

through

the straw

to make you

drink.

But then you kept

talking

to Jesus

three-years-old,

in your bedroom,

in a house,

where Jesus 

wasn’t asked

to live.

How did you

meet Him?

What did He say?

And could 

He thread

our rusted needle

and mend

us the way

your tender 

heart

had hoped

us

to be?

Her

I’ve looked

So many times

For Her

That you would

Think my whole

Life 

Was a glance,

A furtive stare,

A glare at the sun

And all the faces

That haunt me,

But really it’s a pastime

I carve

To keep

From failing.

Whom?

I never really know.

Bare

Typical girl,

Worst thing 

Ever to be.

But you can’t 

Untrain your veins

And useless brain

And all the girl-like

Things you’ve been given.

You can’t re-work

Your parts.

You can only choose

To bare your teeth 

Or bare your sentences.

Guess how many times

I’ve failed at

Each.