talent ii 

but oh! by the virtue of

having this broiling pit inside my

solar plexus and coal arteries 

by insistence on being both

destroyer and creator of 

a million mirages most call a mind

i am better off

than what, absence

or lacking?

an affirmation:

if they do it, do it better

and be happy when you do

because it has always been

and so shall be

this constant reminder 

that you are more 





stand on the shore of

lake michigan at midnight

scream into the void

i am not your words

i am not the misplaced accolades you laid on my doorstep 

frame a picture

of what you said you were

put it in your lawn and ask passers-by

to tie ribbons on your fingers

promise of tomorrow’s fair weather

promise of today’s sway

promise you’re not yesterday’s child

sing the blues to the top of the cream

turn into bleu cheese

a metaphor for victors loving the spoiled

a metaphor for your french complaints

a line about how you diminish the value of your words

when you lie

to lay down your truths on a funeral pyre 

my hands are warm

my face is red

and I do not know why i stand so close to flames

my grandparents’ house. 

I have reoccurring dreams

about being inside your house

but you’re almost never home. 

Where did you go?

And who put a secret staircase

in the room across from yours,

where I used to sleep when I was nine

and stayed in your house?

I can’t enter the room

up front,

I look in and it seems to stretch on past my lifetime. 

Everything else looks the same. 

Last night you were both in the kitchen

making dinner,

everyone running around

like they used to. 

I stood in the kitchen and cried

though I tried not to,

because I used to. 

Your backs were turned to me,

so I know it wasn’t really you,

or maybe I visited your dreams

and in those dreams everything is how it was

so you don’t want to see me missing you. 

I’m bad at facades. 

I took a second to swallow it down

and the party ended;

I went down in the basement to tell

my brothers to get their coats,

we’re going home. 

And that’s when I woke up

and I was still crying.