The Strain Before the Sound

I like to write a thing that
no one else will claim;
like maybe it’s too
ordinary
or like
a poem
or a moment
slipped by
quicker
than you were
able to
determine
whether
it was
noteworthy
or not;

That’s what loving you
is like:

the noteworthy
moments
taste
just like
the others
at first,
but the
sweetness
creeps in
the back door
when
no one’s
looking
and blooms
on your
tongue
in rememberance
like askew smiles
of diffidence.

Recall the
feeling you get
when you see a
bow being pulled
across strings;
just before
striking
sparks
from them,
you can see
the tendons
rippling against
the skin–
the antepenultimate
breath of
nightingales’
melodious
Lydian
songs;

And what
I am
struggling
to say
is:

That’s what
touching you
is like:

the strain
before
the sound.

Give me
a shaded
grove
o’ercrowded
with hanging trees
and a lament
and I will
weave a flower
in the air
for you:

lilacs
like I imagine
you
to be.

Lilacs, though,
in the fragility
of youth,
vapors
preceding
the first
opening of their
star-blooms:

the strain
before
the sound.

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A March Return to Winter

Nothing ever falls
beautifully
like they say it
will.

Limp-wristed lilies
leapt from my crooked
fingers
and
.th.lepped.
uselessly
on a dirt
floor.

I am in
a place
where
quiet things
never happen;
like heel-crushed
lily fragrance rising
to six-year old
nostrils with
swirl soft
inhales;
like hands
warmed by
tea
in old,
worn out
cups;
like eye laughter
or toes curling
in shoes;
like betrayal;
like finding God
or losing him.

Flourish-stroked
graffiti walls
match the tufts
of my hair
and no one
notices
my guilt.

I loved all things
equally
until I chose one
and then I loved
her
less
for the
choosing.

Nothing ever falls
_____bea.
________u
______ti
_______ful
_________ly
like they say
it
should.

Female Orgasm

Imagined
faces of pleasure
float past
attached to every
pair
of high heels
balancing
prejudice
and likewise
drip
from quieter
(oh, so quiet)
white
(red,
black,
blue)
trainers
with their
slow-crumbling
soles
adorned
with scars
like she
is.

(They carry
scuffed
souls,
too.)

Eyes clenched
shut
against
possibility
and fists squeezed
around
seventy-two
cents
on the dollar;
her lips
part,
wet
in places,
and,
in others,
dry from
the sharp
inhalation
of breath
against
sucked in
stomach
and pushed
together
breasts
(or,
at least
disallowed
from slipping
toward her
armpits
while she
lies
on
her back).

Her thighs
are
whispering
to one another–
separation anxiety.

(They are
afraid to make
new friends.)

Moans
sneak out,
but groans
are forced;
romantic aspirations
meet
resplendent
respiration aspirations.

Dresses wrinkle,
shoved up
as they are
in the
small
of her back–
later
she will be
shamed
by her father–
“How will you
ever
get a man
like that?”

‘Moist’
is a word
to be feared
for what
it
connotes.

Her vagina
is only
meaningful
since
it sheaths
a penis,
but
a penis
is the whole
without
complement.

Formerly
fresh
panties
pulled
to the side–
(at which point
do they
lose
their
pristine
crispness?)

Back
and elbows
and stomach
and hands
and knees–
anything
you like.

All is strawberry
soft lipgloss
and watermelon
wet
and
sherbet shame
and cherry clenched
around
berry bedsheets
and apple
apologetic
murmurings.

His sex
tears it down–
then why
should we be
surprised
that
her sex
makes
the sounds?

(Hurry.)

Her muscles
t.
wi.
_tch–
they are not
used
to this.

She must
hurry
to be first
or she’ll
not see that
pink sky
at all.

“I’m afraid
of what will
happen
if I let go
and
let it
loose,”
she
says.

I know.

You may
at last
be
free;

you may
at last
come first,

and
there’s nothing ladylike
about
that.