Next to the ocean I know I am dying Early this morning The adjoining wall of our dreams Collapsed When I drive through A forest I don’t stop Come back to the city Smeared and nothing Gets it off I don’t intend To know who I am Ocean, pulsing white pith Don’t be sad If someone dies They saw it coming At least a beat before you did // No tether to my bloom The root hung I did not know Who I was I escaped the smallest Opening, an octopus Squeezing her body through // They put barbed wire Around tents under the freeway The city is Deciding where people can live I used to pick you up from work Eight miles north I never went in Coffee spilled on my lap I lived in my Hope, it flowed Through my body On the roads I took A giant ugly stain // Power beats its drug In the glass organs Of those Who claim power Someone put god In those camellias People love you They can’t help it No longer does the Vibrating clit of anger Get me off My head is tight with mystery Not yet exploded We bought sausages Burned them To a good taste I forgot my swimsuit Walked down to the ocean Past a pile of dead bees // Becoming a cloud means more Available vastness Growing up is not the same As waking up I used to live In a place that hurt Mostly because Of the trees I was wedged between I’ve loved a few People who refused to exercise The human condition They sat inside the cave Near the opening With drying fur Never dry // I cut a star From the moon’s Middle, made a life Bigger than my Inherited fear Safeway and stinging nettles Last kid Left in the parking lot Hurt tomorrow with my grip On infinity, picked Flowers from dents Flung them Down // In the grief circle I decorate a box With the cosmos When it falls open Oh I say Forgive me The woman across from me Has eyes so kind I’m almost Angry, god is either Inside or outside This room No one chose what They came with Now we sit and pretend To let it go // I am late to my life Why is the neighborhood Still alive with exes Our coping mechanisms Are alienating us from the planet Capes of ash Warming an ancient fire Send an alert I’ve revised several of my stances Dreamed mushrooms grew On a past life I cut them in pieces, ate Technology invented nostalgia Sepia dreams with soundtracks Now hats can’t be worn Without irony I’m wasting a lot of good Sorrow on this relationship // Everyone wants to love you So when no one does Touch your toes Taco Bell a mirage In the city’s embroidery I scratched your back like It was 1970 Sibling love Splashed on the oven range // It’s more fun to have A hot and boisterous partner Though we all fiddle With wound security Scratch the top off and get Back in after the lilacs or whatever Are done blooming // I name you Yellow Heart Mist hangs over the river My uncle died suddenly The trees are as beautiful as they can be I drive with A wish To float gently over the center line // I don’t have to acknowledge Your vest or your choice Of beverage, this is the day I eliminate desire from my To do list Buying a pregnancy test For a friend, I saw your brother A hilarious charade ensued You know how it ends Both of us in our beds Trying to remember the color Of each other’s hair
This poem is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Since you’re here, you probably believe, like us, that work like this should be accessible to anyone who wants to read it. That’s why the entire archive of The Believer is available online for free.
The Believer is made possible solely through the incredible support of a community or readers and writers around the world. Please consider making a donation to The Believer today. Along with receiving a deluge of gratitude from the entire team, all donors are thanked in a print issue of The Believer, and every cent helps.