Born into a metropolis of enamel (pottery)
unfamiliar stains on the silverware
woolen sweaters that irritate the shoulder of my skin
the hauntings of smells/ lexicon /chocolate milk /aftershave
no one has to know.
A strength, born of pride/ shame /need /fear /offering
A strength, stone-faced (it hurts)
When language peters out,
falls a step behind the pain and we-
we change the structure of the poem/ the ink of the pen /the words of the song/a roar:
we roar, frustrated/ wounded /powerful/ wretched beasts,
we roar onto paper and into the deaf ears of our friends
we rattle the silverware, throw about the cutlery, smash wineglasses on the floor
we wait for penalty and
we are mocked by our smashings
a divide in the mouth-
I want to die-
torn up ligament-
I’m in love with him-
tore at my hair with loneliness last night-
confused/ecstatic/help/shut up and kiss/a hole/hold
a drowning/a witness/a snapshot/a gunshot and
a house of sin
confessional, in the dark, to no one-
no one has to know
of the hot and tight state of the workings of my throat at given moments
and dawn breaks
the china and the sky, post-rain, and like our hearts at some point, breaking like the dawn.
there is a secret in the tunnel-
we are all dissatisfied
stitch poetry into our stockings,
and hide razors in the linings of our skirts
an explosion- of sound, or of silence, regardless:
Lay your wares on the table-
my mother/my boyfriend/the neighbor/my best friend/ when I was little/when I was 13…
a bite of the apple.
All is on the table,
we are stripped bare and open but-
we never reveal the razors, and,
we do not give away the poetry.
…this is because of the limitation
of language, and the barrier of
smells, of memories, of images and touch-
what is inside the head
cannot really be spilled,
cannot be poured, like your favorite wine, into your friend’s glass-
have you tried some of this Chardonnay?
they cannot really flow, our memories-
they are stones,
sitting on the rock beds of ourselves
sing songs/compose poetry/create paintings/scream at our roommates/cry on the subway/watch films/play football/exchange anecdotes and bad jokes/try to
dislodge the stones (they do not dislodge).
A quickening of pace
an urgency of the gut
a subtle bleeding out
a silence in the doorway-
we have never fully known
our friends/ our children/ our parents/ our coworkers/ our lovers/ ourselves.