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16/30 (to the person who broke into my car)

I am sorry that
they never spoke power
into your name —
that they painted
you; covered in rot
and gangrene
until your limbs
learned how to
forget their circulation,

I hope that
my coat keeps
you warm.

I hope that you
can convince someone
to charge your peace
to my Macy’s card.

I hope that you remember
that you are stumbling
because they pushed you

and

that when you stand up
tomorrow,
or the next day,
or the next day —

that when you use your left hand
to find the wall,
and find your balance

I hope that just because it’s
whatever day it will be when
your feet remember their
souls, that you decide to give
the light switch a try

and that you (re)discover that
you are electric.

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13/30

and then
she smiled and
my arms and legs became
aware of one another,
of themselves,
of their distance from my torso,
and from hers, they
started
quivering, exhausted, as the
epitaphs and coffins —
my past and the post-ambles
I was dragging behind me
suddenly felt
like a burden

so
I let them go.
and smiled back.

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5/30

Her: Morning after comforters are more cloud than cover.

Him: How so?

Her: If you close your eyes hard, and breathe deep,

Her: and allow your dreams to open them again:

Her: when you see the fresh-squeezed

Her: cracked-blinds-sunlight pouring over

Her: our amateur attempts at bedset-and-spread map-making --

Her: scandal, expose, midrift and thigh turned to any landscape you stretch them into;

Her: mountains, and valleys, and rivers,

Her: and waterfalls, and sitting, and watching days turn dusk from

Her: the porch of the home we could build

Her: together

Him: and the clouds?

Her: don't you feel winged here, too?

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4/30

I can’t tell you that I remember things that I’ve said;
somehow always been better at
“anything for yous,”
than “anything specifics” —
better at the way your hands felt in mine,
than the color of your nails.

I can’t tell you if the scratch marks
started at my shoulders and dragged down
like drapes your cat had swung from,
or if they started at my spine
and fled — high speed chases across my back
along a rib-cage-lane-divided highway
toward my sides,

I can’t tell you how your hair started —
only how it looked in the morning as you slept,
and that I hated the pattern of your carpet.
It made me dizzy.

I spent eleven minutes
trying to stare through the design,
trying to find my feet,
trying to convince them to join forces with my calves,
and knees and hips and spine;
to stand me up
to run me home.
too scared by how
I loved the way
you tried to love me
to try to stay.

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2/30

when the trumpets cried, it
sounded more like a riot
pouring from my stomach.

more like a revolution;
marching down my forearms,

more like spring kicking winter’s teeth in
because it layed a hand on May’s baby sister April,

Your name, sung brass or otherwise,
has always echoed off of things like the

june days you spend all winter waiting
for — sweet and sticky and suffocating in

all of the ways that make you
gasp for one more breath,
and use it to ask for more.

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1/30

She told me to check my shoes and coat
at her bank when i arrived;
promised that if i only
waited —
waded,
watered myself;
waisted by
her current —
she had a boat
coming for me.

but when the undertow
smiled wonderland;
I realized that she
was not the kind of river
you asked "why?"

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Freewrite[s] (3.25.14)

(I)

It feels like I’ve spent
every morning since I learned
how to bleed or
cry or
scream
or whatever this thing we do with pens is best described as;

watching the place where land meets sky
as if the dawn I slept through and missed might
backspin if I ask nice enough,
might sunrise one more time;
just for me,
just for you —
might mercy mercy my hands,
show things how they used to and
show me love like the first breath you take
after feeling your lungs cry Mother Mary when
your kick-off lame ducks and it takes too long to find the horizon —

if I am the sun, submerged,
then you are the sky I see:
prayerful for another chance to breathe you,
kicking twilight into last night
and spending my day in your arms —

you are a dream worth fighting away the dark to chase.

(II)

I can never remember the song,
only hearing it
I can never remember the words,
only the hair that grew and stood straight along my spinal column when they landed in my ears,
if you hold me when I dream at night
you’ll feel the goosebumps come and go,
my lalaland is more of a merry-go-round:
surrounded by circus clowns and yeti,
and cops,
and white people standing their ground
and tyler perry
and other shit that niggas like me tend to fear, and
wedged between Madea and Zimmerman and Krusty is a speaker
playing our song,
and for 3 seconds of every orbit I make through my nightmare —
around our planet —
I can hear only the words to a tune that I know if I could remember to tell you
would keep you here forever,

so if you want to know why I wake up in cold sweats every night
and I tell you that “it’s fine,”
and promise you “it’s fine.”
I just need you to remember that I’m doing battle
with all the things that scare me, hoping that
every night, in 3 second increments,
I’m learning the thing that will teach me to sing
in a key that opens locks
on doors you had forgotten.
could open and
release millions of paper planes
chased by enough wind to carry them across the
ocean.

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The cat bumped an encyclopedia and it fell to the ground, cover first.

The CLAP as twenty-thousand words kissed the hardwood sounded like a gun-shot, and we both turned bullet.

She dropped to the ground and had fired three toward the bookshelf before she hit the floor.

We’ll get a new cat this week.

We’ve gone through three during Obama’s terms-to-date. She leads on the scoreboard, 2-1, but honestly it’s because I just plain missed last time.

And no matter how many funerals we wake, each morning she smiles like sunrise.

PRTSD in love. NMH
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War will not prepare you for this. Nothing readies you for a person holding a gun in their right hand, to be carrying your heart in the left; clutched like a prayer that disappears when you stop whispering it. Clutched like they never stopped loving you.

A clenched fist around their holdings, and even as an index-finger-hug swaddles a cold trigger, you can’t help but feeling like you might not see heaven if they stop speaking you soft; your body simply does not comprehend this battle.

You still cannot think of a safer place for your organs — not even in the now-empty holes; homes inside of you, where they used to live — than with the gunmen.

NMH, FreeFragment 1.14.14 (Prosetry 5/30)
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FreeFragment. Prosetry. 4/30

We walked past a large canvas in the living room that I’ve spent years covering and priming and recovering and re-priming, releaving, reliving, re-again-ing.

The surface of it is thick, at this point, with years of layers spread across it like farm-hand callouses. Covered in my failed attempts at self-potraits and self-love and self-proclamation and self-determination; painted-by-the-numbers of times I’ve failed before this moment. I pointed out all of the missed brush strokes and shaky lines and indecision and all of the places the palette slant-blended two colors that didn’t match.

She stepped back and smiled and turned her head sideways as if the angle might help her decipher me. She walked up, close enough to hug it, and couldn’t figure out how to, because it was so much more than was fair to expect her to hold, and then she turned to face me, and for a moment compared my face to its and hers and every other one she had seen before asking what it was called, like she thought I was some kind of new art.

I have never loved more.