Cactus Flower

woman covering her face with red apple

Her first death is a tickle
she’s ripened with a rotten cord
clinging to the mother three
but no one’s mouth is ready
the second death is the first frost of the season
and she has yet to feel teeth dig into her skin
the last act begins and her friends
are all gone, tasted and disposed of
while she sits in regret because she’s been told
it’s better being used than not being wanted.



woman in gray coat grayscale photo

the Nothing is listening
as she pulls the needle through the wall
sewing her cage brick by brick
as not to let emptiness escape her
the next day she goes to war
wearing her chains like a dress
and small stains of neglected love
on the tip of her sword.



woman on top of water

She rises in me with
unbelief, her mouth
to drown out my wars
and tell me this life isn’t enough
to hold me to the ground
she leaves and I can’t locate
my body in the craters
of her footprints.


The Mascara

puke: smeared pleasure, finger-shaped, clogs eyesight
please like me: heavy with anxiety, glues to skin, impossible to see through
heartache: crimson red, runny, causes shortage of breath
water-based: preschool fights, traces left in rain, sharp wind to the bone
waterproof: undying, mortuary makeup, closed gates
hypo-allergenic: clean, virginal, shivers at touch
yesterday: taste of vodka, hands on waist, pillow stains
gone: hair in the sink, over-exposure, morning growing beneath eyelids



Grayscale Photo of Person Wearing Cat Mask

I prayed until my knees bled
for this love to pour out of me
down below everything
seems divine
tore a layer off my skin
named this wound yours
and began growing a new
form, cracking the mold
of your memory.


Here There Be Monsters

woman in black tank top and black pants under water

I do believe that some people are ships,
others destinations.
I do believe everyone’s got their own map.
Me, I got caught trying to sail over its edges.
Off charted, clinging to my
body like a lifeboat, I hope my depths
will rise to meet another day.



woman in red and white floral scarf

I weary the ghost of tomorrow
by harvesting the fears of today
Sometimes I live in a future
where I gladly starve;
seeing nothing beyond this moment.
Sometimes I reap yesterday’s death
and grow it into orchids.
Sometimes I cut the branches and
fold them into an ending.