The Quiet Friendship No One Knows We Have

February 14, 2012 § 1 Comment

Don’t take this the wrong way, you say,
as your warm fingers melt
the cold outline of my skin

as the wind blows our laughter
across the same urban sprawl.

You say, don’t take this the wrong way,
your pregnant silences
are just cracks we fall into

when you let yourself go.

But you are a glorious orange sunset
from the quiet window of the kitchen
in the neighborhood I grew up in

and I am only a smile
caught thinking about itself.

Don’t take this the wrong way,
but I am taking this
the only way
I know how.


Breathing Lessons

February 7, 2012 § 1 Comment

When you’re young,
and I mean two seconds old,
no one tells you what to do.
Your gut feel is golden
and your little lungs expand
like cherub’s wings taking flight
against the gustlessness
of city streets,
against the frugality of love,
your shrill yell, your fighting limbs
complex infant machinery
wrapped in the fragility
of a snowflake.

But give or take a few years
and life will beat you
into submission.
Your prayers, your schooling,
your first real heartbreak,
such pretty little frightened things.

You will learn to live
with the stuffiness of the air,
a tightness in your chest,
a hold on your tongue.

“There,” they will say,
“is a good girl. There is a girl
adapted to the world
outside the womb.”

Once you were wild
and intuitive
and covered in blood
but now you know too well
the staleness of the world
and so you hold your storm
inside of you, like rations in a war,
too clever to squander
the endangered
in a laugh.

But somewhere there are still wings,
and flecks of lightest gold,
and you know
you’ll never learn how to breathe
until you fall in love with the drown.

Where Am I?

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