Past Lives


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I saw through your disguises

back then, in the city,

as we stalked dark streets

in shoes too big for us to run in

in heels too small to make a sound;

All of my dreams are promises from another me

and I can see a different world in each one;

Our tongues were dry and lisping

and our throats were cut, and rasped with each word.


You drew poetry with your fingertips

on my bra line, tracing out the tatoos

you wanted on my body, capturing each syllable

on skin the color of pale milk tea.


I used to watch you in the early mornings

when sleep was hard to come by,

for the light had been climbing up the walls

and plotting its attack all day.

I crack your knuckles for you, bending each finger

in my palm and pressing down, as if spelling

out sign language for the dead,

as if a body’s sense of itself was fuzzy,

the reception infirm, signal weak.


I think this city will outlive the both of us

because we are blue eyes and hazel

and we can’t see clearly anymore.

untitled (k)


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it used to be like this
that we could dip into a shared stream
and see ourselves as in between
two mentions of a moth to flame
our lives in parallel
cinnamon rouged lips to
tasting of our bed
the way you taste below
and on stairs, recline
i like your dress
the way you walk
how you talk
i like your face
and the way you taste
i like how our hands fit together
and our hips
our lips the way they open and shut
mouth wide again with each thrust
i love how you come
i love how you touch you
when i close your mouth with my hand
spread wide your thighs and reach inside
your heart and I pull out with my self your soul
and the little pieces in between here and venice beach
our city our soul leaks
like cinnamon on wet cheeks
i strike deep vast depths
and i know inside I am the last
who will ever know what it is to be this
to see this shadow without a name
to walk, to salt this earth
with bare feet and lisped, limpid sounds
i make your absence into a weapon
and i drive it home when you’re away
i take on a new type of demon bubbling up unto the surface
and i let it boil and become named



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Hands –

my hands, a soft scent of you preceding them,

filled with fears that I hope you will know what to do with,

moving through hair – your hair – mussing up lines, caressing and cascading locks

rearranging chaos out of order, mixing feelings up together with premonitions

hopes, and fevered dreams that reach through time,

and spill out into the night.


Hands –

small hands – your hand clasped in mine, held tight –

a ward against some dark absence that pervades this waking life of

Your skin, your hair, your eyes

Echo (unedited)


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Echoes of an echo

of words and of letters

sent through turns of sun and moon.

Through seasons and leaves, I left

you be, until the rhythm of you returned to me.


Time, it was,

to begin anew

and return once more

in the search for you.


I left you once in a crowded room

and once more ‘neath a waning moon.

I closed my eyes and let you pass –

visage of a ghost, visions that last.


I recall that night

midst waves that crashed:

a beach, a moon, your face, your laugh.


echo of an echo

ghost of a ghost

memory of a memory

you have become

and will, I fear, remain.


I remember the flash of joy,

the spark of excitement

that gave rise to flame –

sudden and new –

that caught kindling and grew

into a bonfire that has kept me warm

even all of these months later –

when my hand sought yours in secret –

the first night our lips met,

and we kissed

behind a home we shared, but did not own.

I didn’t know then (for how could I have know?)

that from that kiss

would rise a fire – and desire –

unlike any I’ve felt for another.

For I could see your face

and taste your lips

every single day

for the rest of my life

and still I would never have enough.

that every time we kiss, when my fingers brush up against your skin

that every time we talk, that every time I see your face before my eyes

my heart skips a beat


comes the simple feeling,

the feeling  that I am going home.

I remember that night

when my hand found yours under a blanket

and your love found its way into my heart.

Lotus Flower Girl


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I think I passed you by tonight

On Sunset Boulevard

but I didn’t know you anymore:

nothing gave birth to nothing

and there was no need for us to part,

never meeting.


I pushed by you (and a friend, I guess)

as your eye caught mine, flash

frozen face projected out from my memory,

(uncovering archival images, hidden glances, secrets:

a dutiful errand boy-librarian, my head)

I thought nothing of it as your eye lingered

longer than I would expect,

your features assuming expressions unnamed

as you turned back to your company

and I, to my gait.


we parted.


One glance was all it took to know

you weren’t yourself or, rather,

were never the person I tried to make you out to be

Family Happiness


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Words that cut, lacerations

barbed wire phrases and empty threats

promises unkept – broken –

promises made still and thinly believed


averted eyes as outbursts of anger,

tears and terror come to rain down upon the lucky few

hands on hips, fists and gestures

whispered repetitions

that accompany regret


‘There will never be another family

that is like this one,’ they all say.

‘This one, this one is unique.’

other memories


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I remember the ocean

waves on the beach

sand between our toes

I remember the wind

rustling the dune grass

I remember your making me wear sunscreen

although I hate sunscreen and it gets into my eyes

I remember our falling out of love

better than I remember our falling into it

and on days such as these

I remember the severity

of those moments, arguments, fights – what have you –

where words were thrown

to hurt, to injure, to wound incessantly

but not meant – never meant –

it was as if those words hurled so hard

were meant to bring us back together again

and maybe they will,

on one of those summer days.


A sadness such as this

can’t last for that much longer.

I’m sure of it.



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how it used to seem like I would never forget you

and that the feeling I knew so well – inescapable, it would seem –

vanished overnight and

one morning, I awoke

to find I

could barely remember your face

let alone the way you taste

on mornings, overcast

and outlook, cloudy,

weather reports on the television

your hair clinging to your cheek

wavy, smooth,

at once familiar and new

now strange, belonging to a ghost.

Stranger still

how I felt better than I had before

without you – Happy.


the remembering


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I don’t remember what it was like

to wake up on days when i didn’t feel this way

when I didn’t hate the day, the light

when I didn’t shy away from afternoons

let alone mornings, wrapped in blankets

wedged into corners trying to beat back the remembering.


maybe it was supposed to turn out this way

our lives, aflame.


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