green

you think it’s odd the first time you hang out with someone
and they sit on the arm of the couch instead of next to you.
or when they look you in the eye when you talk,
like they’re listening to you,
the way people think they should but generally don’t,
the way they should ask you questions and express curiosity
and notice all the little motions you make the very first time
you speak — he does all of that.

a hundred questions are unsettling because you’re not used to
people expressing so much interest in you.
and he is so consistently perceptive that
every time a silence comes because you’re uncertain
or you’re uncomfortable,
or you leave something out of a statement because you’re nervous,
he always notices.
he asks you to read him one of your poems, the second time you speak,
and you hand him your phone, but he says he wants
to hear you read it out loud. the whole time you’re reading
you’re drunk and you’re stumbling over your words and
you’re thinking you hate the sound of yourself talking and
when you’re done he’s quiet and then he says nothing about the poem
but rather, “you have a good reading voice,” as if he had read
your thoughts coming into your head like a teleprompter.

he finally sits next to you on the couch and when your knees touch
he asks if that’s okay. of course it’s okay, you’re thinking,
that’s too much, too much, you don’t need to ask,
“if it were a problem, I would say something, don’t worry.”
but he says he’ll ask anyway because he would hate to intrude.

every time you both consume media, he asks you what
you think of it. and every time politics come up, he asks
you your opinion. and every time you enter his house,
he asks you how you’re doing, and you realize you’d never heard
a single person in your life ask that question before he did
because none of them even knew they were asking it.

did anyone ever ask you a question at all
before he did?

he is so quick to express understanding that you’d think
he didn’t mean it. but he always means it.

the first time you kiss, it comes at 2am and he asks permission first.
what an odd thing to do, to ask consent for a kiss.
you never think to do something like that, but
he wouldn’t have it any other way. so you are given a moment
to think before it happens. it’s strange and vulnerable
and so open that you feel as if all the fog has been cleared from your mind.
“do you want to kiss me?” he asks, and after maybe a minute,
you ask, “do you want to kiss me?
and he says, “I’d like that.”
so you say “okay” and he kisses you.

and even after he’s put his tongue in your mouth, he asks permission
just to put his arm around you when you sit together on the couch.
it is so easy for him to read you.
when you’re nervous, he knows. but it takes time to understand
that he doesn’t mind.
all the layers of expectation you built up over your life
are peeled away. why is it that consent feels so strange for so long
before your identity comes back into focus?
this man’s never-ending questions tasted strange until you
realized he was looking for the nucleus of your character
that lay beneath your denial.
when he asks you permission, the difference in tone
between one “yes” and another becomes akin to black and white.
there is more you leave unsaid
than you ever knew.
he wants a “yes” from you that is as clear and sharp
and full of adventure as an infinity mirror.
he wants you, not a reluctant copy.

Headfirst

I was a man in the beginning.
That’s how God should have made me.
I seduced another man, a man who saw my crimes and forgave them.
But when I met the other man,
The one with a shaved head,
I was a woman again.
And his crimes were worse than mine.
He fed me the meat of a human,
Cooked well and cut into cubes
With the consistency of pork.
I felt God run his gentle hands along
The top of my shoulders, and reach
Into my chest to squeeze my heart.
“You are damned. You always know
When you sin, and you do it anyway.”
Strange how conviction feels so cold,
Like He has finally abandoned you.
I was submissive to the man. I loved him.
Out of the mouth of my mind, a voice
Says everybody has unspeakable desires.
If one is a cannibal, isn’t he at least
Somewhat deserving of respect for his bravery?
He commits atrocities in the name of artistry.
That is worthy of admiration.
He faces damnation with no fear at all.
He turned on me, stole away my life,
And told me that if I left he would kill me.
I thought I could escape, but everything began
To drain away so quickly and I thought
That I loved him until he asked for my freedom of thought.
This is the hidden thought.
The goodness in anyone is worthless
Without corruption.

Superpowers

“If you could pick any superpower, what would it be?”

When I was a kid, I had so many good reasons
to become invisible.
First and foremost, I could sneak
into anywhere I wanted,
i.e. Disneyland, without paying.
That doesn’t seem so important anymore.

If I could be invisible now,
I wouldn’t go to Disneyland.
I’d crawl into the backseat of your car
and examine the tiny, thin hairs
sprouting from the back
of your neck.

I know what Romeo would pick.
He’d be a shapeshifter.
I remember reading the line
during freshman year
that everybody in class laughed at;
the line in which Romeo
wishes he were a glove
upon Juliet’s hand.
If I could shapeshift,
I wonder how it would feel
to shift into the wind
and let my vaporous form
sift through the dead leaves
resting on your front porch.

Often, it seems that my
physical presence slaughters
the artistry of observation.
Isn’t it true that humans can
never truly observe?
Scientific studies are impure
because we make an omnipresent
impact on the world around us.
If I weren’t really here,
perhaps my fantasies
would evolve into something
that made more sense.

You ask what my superpower would be.
Such a question
remained meaningless until it
emerged from your mouth.
You ask, and, briefly, I consider
the possibility of mind-reading.
And I chastise myself.
How perverse am I
to consider ever escaping the pure
and human cage of ignorance?
You are not meant
to be read so easily.

Could I shape-shift?
And if I could,
could I be reduced to a pencil on paper
that does nothing but
draw you, erase you, draw you,
and erase you, and draw you,
until you disappear?

plea for practicality

I wish my false expectations
grew visibly out of my skin
like ridges or horns.
If only the river that
sweeps away my imagination
ran through my blood, so that
if I sliced open my veins, my
imagination would spill out
like water from Jesus’s side.
I wish my fantasies were
stronger than the pooling
clot of shame beneath my ribs.
There is no stopping it, no
plug no plaster no tape no
insult powerful enough to
make this indomitable hope
falter. Why can’t it let
my life unfold however it
has been predestined? And why
do I cling to the thought that
my future will somehow evolve
into a utopia in which my
daydreams blend seamless into
my days?
There’s a vision of myself
made wholly out of heaven’s
light. She walks on glass
above her earthbound shell.
She’s an optimist. She’s
immortal. She’s beautiful.
She is blessed with
the gift of discernment
between good and evil. She has
everything she’s ever wanted.
Her world is my hallucination.
If I could touch her, I would
rip her overweening heart out
with my hands.

Dissociation.

Spreading your fingers out flat against the table. Friction stopping your soul from falling backwards out of your body and into the maw of hell.

Reality twisting. But what is reality? It’s shifting. This isn’t the truth. God is withholding the truth. This is a simulation test. Soon, the world will turn into focus and you will face judgment.

You love drinking because alcohol is glue and it slaps your halves together.

Doubt.

Is it your instincts that lie to you? Or your insecurity? Or reality itself? Stop thinking about reality. It doesn’t matter what’s real.

When you imagine having conversations, your words flow freely alongside the current of your thoughts. But when you really speak, time freezes like a Tomb Raider quicktime action, only you aren’t allowed to think because everyone is yelling at you to be clever and by everyone I mean you. You hold reality in your hand. That’s a lot of responsibility. And you can’t even keep up with a conversation.

Your instincts are your compass and your compass is broken and there’s no way, there’s absolutely no way, that everyone else feels this incredible sense of urgency.

Aching self hatred.

Stop fucking obsessing. You pathetic fucking worm.

You know if you could stalk people and get away with it, you would. You tell yourself you’re just fascinated by people. I’m sure that’s true. I’m sure it’s normal to fantasize about someone you’ve known for one week. I’m sure that’s normal.

You can’t even fucking kill yourself. Because you’re so afraid of death.

provoke

you want to envision the whole world
in the brief span of time that it gives you.
to be thrown from the heavens unfurled
cut away from indifference and seen through.
you are translucent illuminating pain
shot through to the hollow and aching
space between your temples. force the rain.
swallow whole every moment that time has taken
away from you. if others exist they are yours
they are yours because God granted you vision.
burn away death with feeling and fire and roar
up into the holy light from which you were risen.
you never asked for this but you’ll take it
whole and wanton and raw and never again
will you allow anything to cheat your spirit.

‎Saturday, ‎June ‎18, ‎2016, ‏‎10:13:06 PM

I’ve found myself struggling to reach a sense of peace.
I haven’t been content since I was a Christian kid.
Dusk felt fresh and everlasting, and on cold nights
at summer camp I would sit by the fire with my
hands tucked into my sleeves. I thought about how
I would die, but I didn’t think about it the way I
do now. I was Christian, so I was guaranteed heaven
when most of the population wasn’t. And I was so
scared that my focus might shift and my worldview
might blend in with society’s until I became part
of the majority that was destined for hell.
Now that’s me, so I haven’t felt stillness for what
seems like a long time. There’s a restlessness
behind everything. Always waiting for peace to come
but no promise that it ever will, just fear and
the intrinsic knowledge that I’ll never really know
anything for certain. It seems melodramatic, but it
seeps into everything. That’s why it’s all I’ve been
able to write about. It’s all I’m able to feel.