despite

September 2nd, 2018 § 0 comments § permalink

when i was a child

my father told me marilyn monroe was beautiful

despite a small brown circle above her lip

 

when i was older

my father showed me pictures of the women he went on dates with

thick cakes of make up

dyed and thinning blonde hair

 

my father told me stories of the women he went on dates with:

vain cruel insecure

 

when i was a child

we had many large photographs of marilyn monroe

including one above the couch

where i sat beneath her

where his dates sat beneath her

we became a thumb

caught in the frame

 

people ask: was she really even that beautiful?

people ask: or did [they] decide who was beautiful and who was not?

 

people say: [someone else] is much more beautiful

 

i have no interest in individual beauty

either everyone is beautiful or no one is

beauty is so often cruel

beauty is always cruel

 

i hope i am beautiful

i look in the mirror and i don’t see it

i see a thumb caught in the frame

 

i say i love myself and the despite gets swallowed

despite: hair

despite: nose

despite: skin

[she was beautiful despite]

 

my father wrote a book on empowering women

my father came from a shattered cruel woman

thick cakes of make up

dyed and thinning blonde hair

 

i hope i am beautiful one day

one day i hope to look in the mirror

and see the ocean instead

 

one day i will look in the mirror and see

something big and beautiful

and cruel

 

how you are hungry

March 26th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

if you find something

small, leave it.

 

it was meant for someone else.

 

don’t be so hungry for beauty or meaning

for that kind of hunger

lives by feeding on itself.

 

you are neither Rasheed nor Mary

who wrote their love in 2011 on

this bathroom wall.

 

you only ever had a marker or a blank hunger,

never both.

 

tell someone nearby about universality

and why little boys who’ve never seen guns

pick up sticks and shoot them.

 

don’t tell yourself these things were meant

for you, these little droppings

to collect in your phone,

skating across the palm of

your hand.

 

eventually a neighbor will lose their child

to some kind of horrible

and that too will have to have been

meant for you.

 

the book you’ve been looking for

is marked “free” and sitting in a box of rain,

tasting like the sigh of the storm.

 

post no bills

untrace what’s been drawn.

 

leave that all here

sight unseen.