Matches to Ash

my first words from this chamber of my heart,

from these depths of my belly and consciousness–

the first glimpses of my silhouette in an honest mirror,

the first taste of oxygen after life under rushed waves.

once his lips were so close–

now only echoes on my skin.

my chest swollen as my heart tries to leap

through my ribs when he leaves,

my bones know tonight’s solitude–

a manifestation we can’t return to;

matches that burn like dominoes

long enough to enlighten,

then dying quickly in succession,

with fading steps he progresses into the horizon,

pure ash in my pocket







Forlorn city

hiking up Ocean Street sidewalk.

flannel blustering Chinese afternoon

yellow lights and markets, garbage and coffee,

a woman drains my mind

of anything I’d meant to think about today;

I try to romanticize the stark pain haunting my belly,

calculate how couldn’t she think of me.

our deep blue night broke into me like porcelain.

sighs and words from her tongue

replay now that I’ve made it

to San Francisco, driven across the dawn,

walked under chipping fire escapes and neon motels,

the whole lot—

lungs drowned in empty air, breezy lights, midnight faces,

rogue broken beauty and forlorn city loneliness,

no place for love;

only lust and nights and loss and sweaty days and docks–

amidst thousands of lips and hats and guitars and hills,

she is still impossibly not.

A resolve despite her loss

She turns our vinyl to its B-side

erases all her words

so that only whispers cut into me

and the residual luxury of her skin melts into mine

in the maple memory of our sunlit night.

still my soul billows in the wind

like fresh sails on a familiar sea, made foreign

and haunting like ash in my burning mouth;

her cinnamon fingers and amber eyes seize my ribs

crushing me with grace, and the other soft movements

she emits—

this is my heart’s storyline and beat—

my soul’s repose for which

I’d searched forlornly

all life long.