I see your tongue tremble
on caressing the snowflakes,
I see my hands dust the crumbles
as if they were a sheet of dandruff.
I hear your breath sing to the stars
as if they were your lover from the twelfth grade,
I hear my voice spit disgust
at the night for breeding ambiguity.
I watch you prance around your mansion
with more windows than hearts,
I watch my steps shield my shadow
lest it gets lost along with the cobwebs.
Maybe I am unappreciative and cynical
and live in a box of rodent-infested hell,
but the quietude that’s music to your ears,
strangles my sleep, exacerbates my fears.
The neighbor’s dog, the community pool,
the informal people and the town’s fool
make me long for faces with no names—
the world where I can be alone in company: New York.
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of clouds and moons against the windowpane
and realizing thirst, realizing the dangerous
orange hum trickling across the carpet
from the little peeking woodstove window there
and all is so silent
that my heart just hurts
rolls against the clustered nerves of heaven
tucked up inside my head, and heaven being youth
and youth being long spent, receipts stacked
like watercolor paintings from third grade in a box
inside ol’ mom’s closet, collecting dust and ready to burn
when the house goes up in tinder flames 4 years
from now, but right now it is time for wondering where
this darkness comes from, and why it pulled the sheets
right off the couch, letting in cold air and doubt;
nobody needs the moonlight unless you’re
gonna cry or you’re in love, or you’re about to die
in your sleep but wake in time for a flash of blue
before the big dream starts, and all the fires in the world
dissolve and trickle back to their ashes in the dark shadows
cast by clouds and moons shuffling ever onward
to the next karma midnight awakening
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a knee-high cutout in my room covered
with a nailed on piece of plywood
painted to match the walls. Behind it
is a rustling, too loud and singular to be mice.
Squirrels, most likely, but I’ve heard stories
about an attic full of bats, an apartment
overrun with breeding opossums,
a woman who had absolutely no idea
there was a homeless man living in her crawlspace
until she opened it during some home renovations.
I imagine all of them on the other side
of that makeshift partition, hunkered down
in the pink insulation. When night falls they’re roused –
raccoons, bats, possums, squirrels –
by the homeless man frying up bologna
sandwiches on his camping stove.
They chatter amongst themselves
while we day-dwellers dream, praying
that we never become unsatisfied,
that we never find a reason to open the door.