Helen means light

February 5th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

I can hear you from the window
of my blue room
you’re walking up the hill, singing to yourself,
an unexpected voice, a lantern,
deep & strong & unafraid
your voice is a thread

the blue I find in your life always comes as a surprise
I am always looking for blue & there you
have it, the sudden appearance of the sea
drawn through a forest, a surprise blue which
is of course the best kind of blue

and of course the card I drew for you this morning isn’t
the epilogue, though it is the stillness of hope, the star that follows
the tower, they are two sides of the same card, hope & its
partnership to destruction, a forest burned to the
ground so new life may grow so that you may emerge
hovering above a still-beating body of water in the moonlight
so that a person may break open & pour out
cool water from the wound

I know what it’s like to be spun around what
its like to be told the ground beneath your
feet is actually the sky & you are falling & have
been falling for longer than you thought. I know what
it’s like to get lost in your own mind, to emerge
stumbling forward. I know what it’s like
to walk up the hill, my own voice ahead of me,
a rope pulling me forward, up the hill where the
lights in the house are on & your voices are ropes too
hoisting me up & your voices are ropes too
that form a net when I fall, I know what
its like to walk up the hill when
the stars are out & the moon is behind a cloud,
when the lights are on & I surprise myself
by singing: I know what it’s like to be led home.




February 7th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Over clasped hands,

over a crusty sourdough,

you told me I am an ordinal direction

I am a current

blood line



Gesturing to yourself,

a forest fire, an asterisk of motion,

everything burning down and growing

all at once.


And both the fire, crawling out,

trailing along Sixty-Four;

and the rivers,

a letting of blood water body,


resemble a single raw nerve.


I feel more like a boat rocking

on the Gennesee river,

than the north itself.


When we’ve finished the bread,

when your name on the page races my heart,

ask me, tell me, how to carry my legs and

fingers and hair,

how to carry them

and still move forward.

The Persistence of Light

November 28th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink


I’m through with choosing
how many volts and which wattage,
playing the persistence of lamplight:
exposing everything, all at once.

I prefer the flicker of flame
A light that twists against its tether
As my ribcage slides along my breast
singing: “I am lonely but growing”

Returning home, I kill the headlights
before they once-over the house.
This is my own breaking and entering
My own two fingers inside of me,

A dark home makes for less walls.
The trees sit before the curtains,
Branches I’ve tucked in as children to sleep
by candlelight, the moon in my living room.

The house, a diminishing circumference,
I pray alongside it. here in this quivering space
my heart resigns its
tether, felled from my chest
like oil to flame, set like the darkness
ablaze, and renounced, of the lamplight



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