Dahlia

Painted there on your arm were rows of old stains,
smocking a six-toed panther behind a sword.
My shaman, my witch, my oracle.
You are the innocent Hebrew child and I’ve
licked the vodka clean from you.

You have shaken me from the shell.
They’ve called me Dahlia.

My skin is of yours, and yours.
It reddens and darkens to the sun
as if I was born to worship the open sky.
My eyes are of yours, and yours;
coffee-brown and bitter to the arrogant.

In a distant heat, I moved my mouth as
my throat stretched and arched to subtle
anguish in the midst of broken glass.

I wept from my womb
a cluster of fleshy petals. I pulled at the
rose from its abandoned cathedral
and was bitten by a thorn.

Blessing the night in tobacco and blood,
we were cradled in a woven basket made of palms.
Outside the coyotes cried for my daughter.
I wrapped her in fox fur to be buried
beneath the peyote stalk.

I spent nights in a box of sage,
drinking cocaine and mapacho.
When the prophecy was drained from
our prison, I began to sleep.

I was awoken by the hunting bells around your neck.
The same smoke that climbed out of his throat
climbed from yours, suffocating me from my place.

I haven’t left you.
We had seen you in the leaves.

Would you deliver my daughter?
Would you feed me medicants like your mother?

Will I die?
Would you let me?

Fern

fern-9

is it in the breast?
I have plowed away shards
of my own sallowed bones-
desperately seeking the roots
to pluck them out from me.
holding a poultice to the gap
in my chest, wetness leaks
on to my hands.
it is hot and smells of rotting lies.
I have gouged from myself the
tarred vessels of another man.
what is left behind is a red flower pot.
I am replanting a fern in the clay.
remember when you taught me
how to throw?
we made bowls and yours
was prettier than mine.

Heliotomb

I am inside a child’s leviathan helicopter pit.
You know, the one you used to climb in and get lost.
I am in a lambently familiar, yet lonely bubble of my thoughts.
The place where my warm breath clouds around my small body,
where no one can hear my voice.
Not even the children.
I’m watching the world.
No one even thinks about gazing towards the helicopter.
Red bulb of juvenile intrepidity.
Heliotomb.
No gears, no steers, just a wonderfully stationary vessel.
Lift me up and up and up.
How fast the fuel runs dry
and death eats at the mind-
soothing each brutal and savagely arrogant
thought within myself.
I will plunge into the ground.

Twelve -another rape poem

it was the first time of twelve.
the clock’s hand slammed and hammered in
the pulse of his desperate, soused breath.
my blooming plum wept.
they had left the house that day.
December’s paternal comfort was long lost
in the convoluted patterns of wetness,
that which flowed from my mouth-
drooling foolishly at the thought of concern.
sudoral beads bubbled to the tops of
his shoulders, his brow.
this was unfamiliar to me, the ways in which
his eyes looked past me, now.
no longer was I his little gem.
(Oh, the eyes, I will never forget the
infliction- that which infected my matrix.)
now, four months before I knew menstruation,
I bled from the sceptre.
I glared at the back of my skull,
fixing my stare on anything but his big, bright grin.
behind me, my hands flew upward in
a futile attempt to crush his throat.
my face met fire when his hand came down.
minute explosions of starry embers filled
the room. Black, black, black.
my sad, white sheets were destroyed with crimson.
the plum wilted with guilt, lulling with uncertainty.
(should I not have poured out to him?
should I have screamed out?)
soon the palliative tears welled in his eyes.
I, the child of forgiveness, welcomed the man
into my arms, into my chest with budding breasts.
did I not please him?
did I not soothe him?
did I not stay still enough?
did I not say thank you?
he purred into me, onto the floor
and promised one day I would hate him
-for this moment.
my little panties clutched in his left hand.
how could I hate him like this?
so pathetic and woeful.
I licked the lithophanic pearls from his cheeks.
my innocence and bewilderment of the world,
were engulfed in his lust, his sickness.
they live there now in the dark corners
of my childhood bedroom.
they are captured within the stitching of my baby quilt.
they are dying in his brain, the ever-relenting memory
of the virgin blood on his hands.
daughter of abandonment.
daughter of abuse.
daughter of Michael.

Daughter

Roots with the blue-corn husk
the stalks of weepy spines bend.
He spits into the plum-smoked dusk
where the tired scarecrows tend.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

Here I am, just merely eight.
The wrinkles on my collared dress
have seen my hard Father’s hate
while he rapes me to confess.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

The little synagogue between my thighs
spills with holy water that burns his tongue.
A spinning wheel whirs within his eyes
and I am, there, the helpless one.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

I’ve plucked the threads from my mound
for he would surely punish me.
When he grabs me, full and round
he makes me red and count to three.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

When I stood in the age of sin
with a dead child in my womb,
my father pulled it from my skin
and sent it to its watery tomb.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

Thank you Father, for my worth.
I am your baby of a bullet skull.
Tomorrow will be my new birth
when I am shipped to that limbo lull.
I will sleep with my palms to the sky.

Violet

I am thinking of the teeth marks
that are stamped across your leather belt.
You were peeling my legs back while
fierce bubbles of spit spumed from my
purpling lips. My throat
became full of breaths, brimming
to the strap, exhausted. With a quick
tighten of your knuckles, the
breaths tumbled backwards into
the washbasin of my stomach.

I am thinking of the threatening heat
in your eyes, settled there- fixed and frightening.
You had encountered your last meal,
fresh and pink with juvenilia.
I was a dead mare.
The neck offered to you, God or Devil,
as a sacrifice on the perch of your throne.
The faint death beat pumped against your
fingertips, beating with anticipation of release.
The dogtooth sunk into the mare.

I am thinking of the low growl,
cruel and inviting.
Part wolf, part incubus. The roses
on my wrists have bloomed in mercy.
On particular nights I can feel the thunder
of your voice behind me.
I am your small child to penetrate,
to destroy and reconstruct (as you see fit).
I am the little doll on the wild lawn
of violet virginity.

 

Lay Down Sally

You always told me that my poetry was too dark and
Depressing and if only I wrote about something happy
For once, maybe I would be happy, too.
That’s the problem.
I was. Some days
Were just sad and fucked up. Some days I just wanted
To run the bath water and slip under the faucet and
Drown because the rest of life- yeah, poor me-
Was too much to handle.
Well, you want a happy poem?
The weather is beautiful today. The leaves on
The trees are turning orange and red and brown.
I can walk outside without a sweater and the
Air on my skin is refreshing.
I went to Starbucks, I had a latte and it was delicious.
I saw a huge yellow Labrador retriever on my way
To work and he was the most excited dog
I think I’ve ever seen at 8:15 am.
I’m having a great hair day, every strand is where
It needs to be. I cleaned my desk and I can look
Outside and marvel at the way the sun is beaming
Down onto the window shields in the parking lot.
I’m sorry I became so negative. I’m sorry I stopped
Listening to Jim Croce and Creedance Clearwater Revival.
Actually, I never listened to Croce much to begin with
So I immediately take that back.
Somewhere, inside of me, I’m still her, still me.
I see me in the mirror when all of my make-up
Has been washed off of my eyelids.
Sometimes, I’d like to blame therapy because
I used to be blissfully ignorant about my deep-rooted issues.
Sure, I had melt downs and I’ve tried to kill myself.
But at least I thought I was normal for doing it.
Don’t think I’m not me. Just because I look different
And I cut my hair and now I wear denim.
I’m still me, and I always will be. It’s just been
One helluva fucked up ride working through
My shit.
And the leaves, yes the leaves,
They are beautiful.
Everything is beautiful.

Pilgrim

I woke up this morning, November sixteenth
And I felt my hip bones protruding, my ribs stretching
Each time I breathed in. Yes, it’s true, I weigh all of 95 pounds
My eyes are swollen
And I am so fucking uncomfortable.
I used to be so beautiful. My hair was longer
And it made me more attractive. I think my skin also
Glowed with something else.
Now I am this.
Identity. Victoria is not the writer, or is she?
Perhaps the writer is simply “The Writer”
But who am I to say?
Pretentious, self-righteous writer who spills
Ugly letters into a puddle of decent patterns.
I can’t breathe.
This body is tight on me and I have a mechanical
Taste beneath my tongue.
I’ve been addicted before but I could verily
Say that it made me hold on for just a little
Bit longer.
I’ve shut myself into a stall with an exacto-knife and
Have carved myself like holiday fowl, bloody
And insane.
I keep tugging at my sweater. I can’t go on like this.
I look at the healthy people around me and
Wonder if they ever hear voices, too.
Last night I listened to the roar of a machine,
Clutching on to her shirt, fighting memory vomit
Of a holiday long ago where a little girl was
Slapped across the face for laughing during Grace.
She’s been exorcised too many times to count.
Who the fuck am I?
There’s 6, 9, 12 of me and all in me,
Beating, talking, laughing, crying, ingesting
The food I eat, but yet they are not the voices
That I hear late at night.
I want to take my clothes off and scream.
I want to smoke a cigarette and paint my lungs
Or maybe I just want to sleep.
Wake up, wake up, wake up, you’re dreaming.
She’s right next to you, chasing a mouse in her dream.

The Career Woman

I have made a vocation for myself.
It is just as good as any other.
I wake in the morning, thirsty from my slurry state.
Then, I disinfect the marks from the night before.
She is the stalk of six faces.
Six mouths and tongues that neatly work together
To construct a mechanic whore house.
I am the iron guard.
The gates for which you seek have been cauterized.
My ribs were splayed open like a test subject.
Small, particular medical tools lined up
Against my bare skin, ready to be picked up
And used.
She, the ram, broke her horns in halves.
These rise like small houses-
Empty inside from an affair long ago.
On the night my mother abandoned me
She fucked a man for a meth pipe.
I am the gambled baby, a product of a
Junkie’s exchange in the lonely streets
Of wet Los Angeles.
When I turned five, I scoured the sidewalks
For just-used cigarettes, wrapping my small lips
Around the filters, sucking away, hoping it would
Connect me to her, to them.
This is my career.
I’m sucking away at black-tar.
I never feel any better, never fuck any better,
Never taste any better, never look any better.
I’ve taken my Bible and have masturbated to Judas.

Insectarium

I am plastered here as sleepy as a mollusk
melted into the floor, waiting to be scraped, peeled.
My saxicoline body is wet with blue anguish,
exploding onto my knees like fat water balloons.
My pearly friends smile at me from my hands.
They smell like iron, or something equally as earthy
and dirty.
Dressed in my clerical calico, I am presentable
for Jesus, or Buddha, or Allah- or no one.
Stupid me. Twice I’ve seen the vacancy signs
lit up like a Christmas parade..
Yet, I’ve whipped my heels around, too afraid.
I begin to think of the things I’ve forgotten before I go;
to feed the cat
to water the plants
to lock the house
to turn off the stove
to kiss my lover
to write goodbye
to say goodbye
to cancel my contracts.
I spin my heels in this way.
Not today. But that’s alright.
I was never too presentable in those moments anyways.
God or Satan would have laughed and spat
for the disgrace that is my mismatched socks.
Instead, I visit in short and intense bursts.
One pill to six sends me to Tiburon for tea with ghosts-
where dead moths collect themselves into a pile
of dried wings and snappy legs.