I touch people like a monsoon lover nestled in
the folds of shiny valleys. I touch them where
the water runs dry, where God settles down at night.
Flit around a fruit market, pulp of a ripe orange
spilling out of velvet lips and splitting concrete.
I touch the fruit but they don’t touch me back.
The papaya feels like a slick leather forehead
pulsing beneath my spindly black legs.
My mind can’t help but wander—it’s part of my
nature like flight and hunger. The birds have it good,
they’re all up there and scratching holes in space
while I’m heavy and hunted like a goddamn whale.
Colors drip out of my peripheral vision, blending
together like mother’s fingers as she weaves
the spindle round and round, round and round.
Everything spins fast and it feels like blindness.
When night comes, the lanterns descend and I’m
scared the fire will escape and swallow the sky.
Look at these humans, look at their skin glisten
pale gold under artificial lights like ghosts, like
skinned scallops, bodies stacked on bodies, tide
washing in and out, in and out. My God, they tuck
their secrets away so well: in the caves in their nose,
the hollow of their neck, the crevice between their
legs. I hide so well with their secrets but it’s a shame
there’s nowhere for them to hide. The moon is full
and my stomach is empty, yearning always yearning.
teeth on gum, grinding. on the oc making minty-fresh topography with the wad in between my molars. catch a shadow in the window of a girl fading into frozen under the dyslexic reels of eclipsing terrain. wonder whether there is a word for the shiver as the panorama of landscapes fuses together across the lacquer. or is that the tremor of being torn apart?
before every class i wrap a coarse-knit bandage around the cavities that adjoin each appendage. smash my limbs into their sockets & sacrifice a cm of length off each for assurance. my fear is tectonic. maybe that's why i sit so still.
ravens have been winking at me all week. googled psychosis then passerines. found that these wooly mammoths among birds are engineered to perch (phalanges arranged to point, three forwards, one back.) do their twig-like toe-knuckles grow as grey as my cold feet worrying about in which direction to fly?
it has only been 3 lectures but the pile of smoke-black feathers that litters the ground beneath my feet has disintegrated into gradient plumes of ash. i shed statically, a tropophobic, a tree, a gum-stuck bandage-wrapped bird's-nest effaces my reflection upon the windowpanes of the oc.