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Things that turn me on

brown eyes, thick

lips, buzzed chest,

 

perky butts, romantic

kissing, cuddling during

 

rainstorms, intelligent

conversations, smores

 

and firepits, mystery,

playing hard to get,

 

drive, compression shorts

on treadmills and lifting

 

weights, a good pair

of jeans, tight shirts

 

smiles, white teeth

dimples, jaw lines,

 

awkward hands, scars,

briefs, muscle thighs,

 

kisses on the neck,

stomachs for pillows,

 

reading, tattoos, motorcycle

jackets, suits, and bowties

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Dirty Flannel Collar

I am ten years old.

It is spring.

The grass has begun its transformation

from brown to green.

I am getting out of school.

I walk six blocks home alone,

creating stories of moving away,

being asked to join a boy band,

my mother getting transferred,

my father getting a real job.

There is a box of clothes on our porch.

There is no note.

I know who left it.

I drag the box inside.

It’s the first warm day since snow,

mom won’t be home for an hour,

I want to be outside, in a tree,

living someone else’s life,

but I stay inside until mom gets home.

I follow the rules.

Jake is supposed to watch me,

Who knows where he is,

Micah drops off his book bag,

Heads to the park,

He does not invite me.

When mom gets home I tell her about the box,

Run to the park and climb my favorite tree

the one that defines the makeshift end zone.

I imagine it is my home.

I am no longer a boy,

But have mutated into a tree person.

I cook and clean our branches,

polish the leaves,

raise the seed’s,

until my tree husband comes home

and he makes love to me like a redwood,

sturdy and strong.

I hear moms whistle,

jump from the tree and race my brothers home.

The box of clothes sits in our sunroom all summer,

while I am driving from field to field

moving water so my father can grow money.

I swim every day,

My skin has turned a deep brown.

I am surprised at how white my thighs are.

Tornados break the monotony of farming.

My brothers wash the boat.

My mother packs the food.

We take the camper to the lake.

My dad skis.

I watch him fall

I build sandcastles, swim with the fish,

and run around in my life jacket.

I am happy here.

Before school starts

We make one final trip.

Mom hates school shopping.

We buy only what we need.

I am limited to one pair of shoes

that will be worn during P.E.

I will wear Jake’s P.E. shoes from last year.

Micah will wear mine.

Noah will wear Micah’s.

When we get home,

we sit down and go through

the boxes of clothing

that have accumulated in our house.

They have started to overwhelm mom.

The boxes are sorted between the four of us.

Pants we don’t have a choice;

if they fit, we wear them,

no matter the condition.

But I get to choose the shirts.

The rejects become rags on the farm.

I take the stack of clothes to my bedroom,

carefully place my new wardrobe in my dresser

like it’s a collection of hope diamonds.

I am fifteen years old.

I have held my own job for three months.

I am in Old Navy.

I purchase my first brand new t-shirt.

It is blue, I wear it til the thread

in the seams break and the sleeves fall off.

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Haiku's from the Elliptical

1, 2 & 3

Some mornings I have

To remind myself something

Is always better

 

Than nothing at all

That thirty minutes on an

Elliptical is

 

Superior than not

Getting out of bed before

Ten in the morning

 

4a

Cute boys in bro tanks

Bouncing bubble butts running

Around in spandex

 

4b

Their pecs and nipples

Poking through their cutout shirts

Is why I get up

 

5 & 6

Five days a week means

Losing weight and flat stomachs

My clothes don’t fit

 

Pants are baggy and

Falling off my ass like a

Gangster with no belt

 

7

Some days I push so

Hard my heart feels like it will

Burst from my rib cage

 

8

Some days my abs hurt

So much it is difficult

To sit in a chair

 

9

I don’t work out to

Be healthy, I do it to

Look sexy in bed

 

10, 11, & 12

Losing the weight that

Has found its home in my mid

Section has boosted

 

My self-confidence

But knowing that I can skip

Meals like a high school

 

Senior skips classes

For roller coasters, is the

Monster in my head

 

13

I have ran for miles

In one place, I am now a

Stagnant traveler

 

14 & 15

The amount of sweat

Dripping off my shirt when I’m

Finished could save the

 

Lives of thousands, all

You need are water filters

And a thirsty mouth

 

16

The elliptical

Is an awful friend, boring

And helpful at once

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On watching someone you love, love only your body

It will be last call when his name

appears on your phone. Your fingertips

hesitate to answer, go into the bathroom

tell him to meet at your place in half an hour.

When your friends ask who you were talking to

lie to easily, say it was your roommate

go back to your beer; fade invisible.

Slip out the front door to meet your lover.

You will run home, trying as much as possible

to sober your drunken veins just to remember

how his stubble feels against your cheek.

 

When you open the door, he will be standing,

one hand in his pocket, the other on the door frame,

you can tell he has taken one too many shots of tequila

this is the only reason he called. He will smile,

you try not to melt like a G.I. Joe under

the magnifying glass. He does not speak,

he moves effortlessly into your home;

you have forgotten his force, every pulse

is telling you to push him away, to run.

You told yourself last time was the last time

he would control you. He presses his lips

against yours, his hand glides down your spine.

You are surprised at how weak he makes you.

 

He will lead you into the bedroom,

removing your clothing without strength.

You let him take you because you want him to

you know this is the closest you will ever be.

He will lick his way down your stomach.

Do not mistake this for passion.

Remind yourself this is only fun.

Your sweat mixes with his, heat rising

from his body. You can feel his heart

beat in his fingertips.  It is fast and loud,

for a moment you think he could love you.

 

When he ejaculates on your stomach

he will hand you a towel. Clean yourself

off with deliberate force. When you slide

your shirt back on, do not look him in the eye.

Do no ask him to stay holding you until morning.

Do not tell him he is the condom you wear

on blind dates protection from letting

anyone else touch you. Do not tell him

you stay up late at night creating worlds

where the two of you build a beautiful home.

 

He will leave your apartment as easily

as he entered, without a goodbye kiss.

You are the fiddle he uses to escape

his broken life. Go back to your bed.

Hold the pillow holding his cologne.

Wrap your hands around his scent.

Press the fabric close to your face.

Fall asleep to the smell of him.

 

In the morning do not regret what you did,

retell yourself how you could have stopped it

because you could have stopped it, because

you could have stopped it. Wash the smell

of him away in the shower, block his number

again.

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What you owe

let it spill

let it fall

let it flow

 

the chest is not a dry stream

it’s Niagara letting 150,000 gallons

of love take off every second

 

it will slip

it will crack

it will split

 

the hands are worn and callused

from years of kneading to nourish

the body with the beauty of bread

 

take it back

take it back

take it back

 

you fail to receive what has been given

take what is left use it to feed yourself

you must have strength to feed others

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Foundation

This house is not a safety net

waiting for your tumble.  It does

 

not love you the way it should

like beams in the foundation.

 

It leaves you dangling from the

skybox heart.  You have no one

 

to blame but yourself, remember

how you walked to the edge

 

on your own.  Remember the cars

looked like ants, furiously building

 

tunnels, to build more tunnels,

to build more tunnels for even more

 

tunnels.  Go back, where the

sky divers parachute was caught,

 

hanging effortlessly in the power

lines, carrying messages for

 

people who live too far away

to connect in person.  This house

 

did not raise you, it pushed

you through the door, like an

 

angry violinist’s broken strings.

There is nothing to repair you.

 

You must learn how to live

with the bleeding, how to make

 

music with a shattered instrument,

how to love with no foundation.

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One sided conversations

part 1 – what you tell me

 

you tell me

all you ever wanted

is wrapped in tissue

 

you tell me

you can walk on clouds

but only when it rains

 

you tell me

everything is designed

to make something else better

 

you tell me

I am filling the empty

space he used to dance in

 

you tell me

the only way this will work

is if i gift you all of me

 

part 2 – what i tell you

 

i tell you

the sun does not rise

to shed light on your face

 

i tell you

everything i ever wanted

is wrapped inside my skin

 

i tell you

you do not fill any hole

you are an extension of my tongue

 

i tell you

the only time i feel safe

is when i’m in bed alone

 

i tell you

the only way this will work

is if i still own my muscle

 

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Running Mascara

the last time I saw her

she was standing ankle

deep in the sandy shore

watching as the waves

try to kiss the continent

continuously falling back

into the arms of a past

lover that has found a

home with someone else

she stared at the water

as if the ocean would show

her truth in the reflection

she is a beautiful mess

she is running mascara

broken stain glass windows

I never asked her name

just watched as she walked

with no expression to the

end of this country and

stared into the infinite blue

she was never seen again

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If I was a drag queen . . .

I would never become a drag queen

but if I did my name would be

Miranda Hill.  A southern diva

that’s one part stupid and one part crazy.

The kind of girl that doesn’t

know who the president is

but will shoot your ass if she

finds you with another woman.

She would rock a sequin mini dress

short enough to get kicked out

of class, hair that tickles Gods feet,

trailer trash glamour, Bud light

in one hand, cigarette in the other

dancing at the bar, life of the party,

gun slinging beauty queen.

all in red fuck me heels never complaining

that her feet hurt.  She drives diesel

cause she likes the power between

her legs.  She’s been with all the boys

most of the girls, and everything in between.

She doesn’t discriminate when it

comes to pleasing the body.

But I haven’t really thought about it.

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While listening to Next to Normal

I am here.

Standing.

On my heels.

 

I am alive.

Truth behind my ear.

 

Turn on a light.

See me.

Standing.

 

On the hardwood floor.

Waiting.

 

On my heels.

Touch me.

Hold my check.

 

In your hand.

Feel the cold.

 

I am here.

Kneeling.

On cement.

 

I am alive.

Truth in my breath.

 

Waltz with me.

Float above.

Our own language.

 

This is not a dream.

I am alive.