a poem a day.

A collection of words for National Literature Month 2018 by Chiara Amisola.

#30

The aswang, the politician, and the elitist bomberman

i. Asian is synonymous with horror story, synonymous
to black pit and mail-order bride, pretty little
thing but poor inspiration. Asian is synonymous
with playing victim, leaking brain, rolls off
angry woman with stop taking our jobs, or
you cannot touch my daughter. Asian is 
synonymous with beaten children, breakdowns
midday, perfection and linear algebra, with
stupidity and hive mentality; never have I thought
the body would be so hard to please yet easily
standardized. Asian is synonymous with petite
figurehead, with medal and submission, with
win everything but be obedience in itself.

ii. Dead ghostwriters tell me my English is a sin,
that it's betrayal to gold amulet on tanned skin and
free verse. I tell her this is the way I speak, this is
my identity fixated. Says my English is a burial
to my home, to the grandfather carried with dust and
ash to sunken ground. Says my English cannot
speak transatlantic the cry of my people. Says my
English makes me a foreigner in homegrown land,
where my hands have wept and bruised under soapy
water for murky landowners. Says my English is
the discarded daughter, pinned and gunned in vapid
times for hungry bayonet. I dare her mouth to speak
a truth less gaping and whole as the one that broods
civil war in the mausoleum built for the mourning.

iii. We praise a dead language, passed in legislation:
tell me where we are going. Tell me that English is
the foul cry, the black sheep in a nation when I have
transcended my words. When the common man is
as dignified, elevated beyond common tongue. Tell
me that my birthright comes crumpled, the son of my
uncle a mistaken entity brought to power shot under
misconception and tyranny under a smooth-talking
charmer cracking jokes and diaspora. A girl holds
the gun rhyming with her leaving. Crave this unity
at this juncture, this haphazard blessing of impunity
in tongues: the linguistics of betrayal have never
raised the dead of my people so more. I am ancient
historian moved apart, I am the language swept under
grace and collective decry of all pen gone silent.

iv. The massacre I wept was pinnacled in traitor,
my outcry fled my mouth in a zygote camisado.
No words left can reroute my belief--my say in
a partial culture that has defied me. I breach the
clouds and still speak my mother tongue.

#29

Three minutes into the Commencement Speech

Oh god--here comes the words she speaks!
     Yes, silence the only ones who ought to give

a damn. Convince myself I am better. No gas
     station attendant, no certified public accountant,

no one can do what I do. In the elevator ride post
     midnight, all I wanted to do was rub my degree

the mirror. A staredown. Fecal explosion in the public
    restroom comparable the office-framed ivy league 

vacancy. Look, I get it, every statistic has me ought
    to fail--yet everyone wants to be the adderall-inducing

Hyaluronic acid-deprived poster child. Listen closely,
     Chesca, choose the shot or anti-terrorism agencies.

It's not that hard, really. I don't remember the names of
    all those, so why did I want to be them? Listen closely,

this speech I wrote up after three YouTube videos and seven
     pills. It would change your life if you understood.

Convince me in the hiring department, the eleventh grade
    resume against a fresh grad--that this is all it is. That

gestation period or housewarming gift in the sodestreet
    of Taguig would do you well. Life is easy, life is

better when you're an intellectual on Chardonnay
    and ashtray. I coexist with the Masters' in my guestroom,

we laugh ironically and turn B-films wild at Cannes.
     Remember the sound of your feet, the tap

against branded silhouette, the shit quivering at your
     beg for isolation? It's self-choice, they say. Self-choice

to drink intellectualism and lonely, building
     contemporary scarab on your arm, chain-faced anti-theist

and straightedge convenience. Nobody will listen
    anyway, not in the New York convention or

on your front page Medium article. Not the subtleties
   where we list off every valedictorian who failed

to cheer ourselves and the stab wounds better. My
   lesson is no longer inspiration when convenient and

mockery at whim. I speak in mustard gas and reality, a
   common sign where I had infiltrated the system from

the beginning. Listen to Brandon and the flask begging
   for interest rates three years down. Oh god,

listen closely at the sputtering angst of determination–
   gleaming in private charter school where the

pavilion solely beams of the mothers who
   wish you could become more clap half-emptily.

#28

What I learned in Sunday School

Our proclamation once stated that 
we have no consent in our death. This
is the way of life, I guess. In Catholic
school, the concept of hell became more
convincing. I want to live with fear and
tragedy all the same; utopia sounds more
like prison: like legislation barring
my mother and conceiving a morgue in
her own womb. The holy girl, the one 
the angels bowed down to--women with
no right to say no, a story made up for
the man who knocked up the Puritan
outside the market stall. Another boy
running across the candlelight, burning
cities down and wearing a carapace
down. Ask him if he knows anything
about the Holy Land. Of marching men
birthed in terms of deceit, lifting their 
tongues out in the eternal orgy of mortality
praying to taste something, something.
I can tell you what feels sacred. I can
lift up the sins and everything they had
told us not to be, under makeshift runway
within the teenage tragedy in the garden.
Stop time, let men stall your dream and
keep your name a secret in the books my
grandchildren will read. It takes everything
in me to tell them that the woman is never
the holy one. That the woman runs away
too. That the woman is weak and grieving
and is sin itself and is satan with the curvature
of her mouth and knowledge of who she
is. Believe me and leave this, sacrilege intact,
it's only sacrifice when mercy is no longer
necessary.

#27

The Myth of Depression

Look, your unmade bed of eight days
in a row. The only thing your mother seems

to notice, so tuck the razorblade no longer–
let it rest out in the open. Their warnings of

tetanus breaching your wound when you gladly
welcome it: this is not a cry for help, this is

simply a cry. On other days, your towel wrapped
around your breasts, dysmorphia a sin sister,

staring at the wall for absolutely no reason.
Late, no reason to pick up the pace when

we're already extinguished children. I stare
at the wall again for seven hours, a gracious

exchange from the blinds of my own bedroom,
I confess. Her hands are like cherry bombs–

wait till you see them floating and bobbing
in the bathtub, stained and kissed--only a dream,

for now, my darling. I cannot bring myself to
understand why fear incapacitates me, seizes the

way I plan for the death itself. Funerary costs,
mortuary wait, the red band locked and your

mother's false gaze. Like truly, the best gift I could
have ever given her was the warmth of a quiet

weekend afternoon. No bile turnstile in the hallway,
pure silence and empty bliss of hair strands from

the medicine cabinet. My grandmother teaches me
all the names of the statues in the shrine: for fertility,

for blessings, for goodness. At my bedroom, I decided
to become the walls. Enveloping girls seeking alone,

gushing from the street sign with prayer that no one
saw. I am everything she is. I am disbelief in

words, the stringing of outcry and existence only
when it is convenient. I am my mother's daughter.

#26

Eve on Saturday

Found the matchstick girl picking up a curling
iron dotted with period blood in the outskirts of
a town; it smelled of indigestible and bile.

Unclaimed and repulsive, sticky bones 
dotted on the remnants of her skin. Eve is
deceased, you see, free of ribs to pluck,

concubine or martyr (one or the other) made
to bear the sins of men unbeknownst to her. 
We tire of this story's repetition; it is religion's

guide to an incumbent hell where a pastor 
raised his daughter a concubine and empty shell
for ghosts to fill. The next day, we walk

on the skyway with bare feet and heated
conversation. A history of her grimacing and
vowing to kill me with the tug of her fists,

the gleam of the blessing from holy water
always there to fill her whole. In March,
with bare breasts and sunken collarbone the

world slept quietly under her skin. The
grocery store is a silent battlefield with pickpocket
conversation and dares like a masquerade. Look

at your birthright, presented to you in faux
embrace on the Facebook feed. Breathe easy
with the six-dollar step, let her hold the candle,

the only thing gentle, the only thing holy, and
blow discreetly. Count on the return of a mother
wailing for glory: the seal on your womb a

chain, your name rolling in the confines of
the dried placenta and memorial of abuse. Your
body is a relic, learn that it is no longer their home.

#25

Visible pause before the breakdown in the supermarket

When I was born I took a note, from Crosley
and the bandwagon, to throw the skinny

bookmark off the "Invisible Monsters" copy
on the gray desk and table. Like driving late

at night with strangers that share my name,
under the fixation of a sound and the transatlantic

symphony that takes me lonely once more. I
leave my cigarette burns in the side of the

pews, and a name barely visible in sticky
note and peeling walls. A birth on the bad

side of the internet, with old men reeling over
intellectualism and offbeat VCRs, culminating

in some shitshow where everything but me comes
a star. I looked at an ashtray under my bed,

the stain on my office chair, a reigning sense
of dread in the balcony. Tell my friends the

feeling of water pulling me whole, enveloping
me and Eve and the holy water and the passport

lost and gone and all the boys who dared think
I could be salvaged. Teach a lesson in self-embalming,

in praying myself pure like the only body I dissociate
from could grapple with my face. In the restaurant

bathroom, the panic attack and the pills unfound
in the corner where they always were, I call him

only so he may knock and the world returns. We
seal out the bedroom window and no longer

does the hypnic jerk tackle the breaking of my
spine on those Tuesdays. Three days later I

apologize, and always comes the only response.
They say this crisis only comes when half-dead,

so why mark my midlife at fifteen? The girl and
envelope in hand, no life after twenty-one in sight,

like astronomy and fractals are enough to burn a 
failed-out engineering degree. Like convincing myself

there is enough to know in the world and I hold it all,
picking myself up alone at night in the halls of a world

I can no longer breathe in. My mother tells me to sleep
tight, the same tongue before the frying pan burn

to Zippy catastrophe in a letter trove. I run from
my name and my body, with nowhere to rest.

#24

For teen magazines

My girlfriend is a writer, for teen magazines
and lonely people. Bares herself, skin and brain,
lets critics pick them out and waits nightly

for emails telling her to go die. Frames lingerie
with suicidal caption, begs media to be a mirror;
I tell her I love her with her collarbone in my chest.

My girlfriend is a writer, in an upper-class 
publishing house. New York Times approved, if
that means anything. Goodreads devoured, I'm sure,

no, I don't really read. It's something of a story about
bulimia and narcissism from the 80s. Our words
tend to disappear on weekends, mellow as they are.

My girlfriend is a writer, the one on Tumblr. One-liners
and Kaur would be jealous. Mason jars and lace shorts
piled high in the 1400-square feet; Summer Salt and Clairo

on the weekdays. We've done off-prescriptions since
fourteen. I hold her hair for her in the festival porta potty.
On Sundays, she cuts herself and hides in the bedroom.

My girlfriend is a writer, voyage straight from the
writers' workshop and international fellowship. Smokes
my brain for me and tells me pretty words. I feel

her veins like syllables, like every fuck is me piecing
together another collection. Our life is in secret and that's
how we do it. In the courtyard of Brooklyn and on daytrip

to office hours. My girlfriend is a hollow vest; I learn her
when convenient and pile subscriptions on the Paypal 
for diluted vases of toner for passing phases. My

girlfriend learns submission, keeps quiet and rocks
the night to Mara films or Danzig; I fall in love
with her tragedies and look her in the eye--like

every whisper in this moment and tugged bones
will tell me this is why I write.

#23

Featherweight

Take your body featherweight, listen
to me when I whisper, "I want to

disappear easy." My body grazes
empty welcome of a bed, daily I sink

and forget it all--my dreams momentary
fragments I forget as easy as I do names.

…

Last February, "attachment" no longer
picked itself towards me. Every feeling in 

between has come to apathy. I pray
to nothing in particular; I baptize myself

in cold water every morning sunrise. I
try to be like a Christian: no meaning or

serenity in life so I kiss wood and burn
grain with the back of my tongue.

…

I touched the sun after you had left:
it was everything we had promised

and nothing like you'd become. On some
days, I pretend the world isn't a gaseous

golem succumbing to its own force.
On others, I pretend these tiny ghosts in

machines march monotonous again like
the armada of clockwork: feeling nothing,

pretending steel can sheer steel.

…

Two years later, I wept. I had
never wanted to lose a thing, either.

Though I no longer remember him--just
some gaussian dance in a crowd. Home

is no longer here, feelings are no longer
here. Winding the gear was solely a

timesink; something not even
featherweight, that I dare bear for

the rest of our march.

#22

Reminders to Myself

He often thinks about the type of narcotics
it would take to get off this trip, to
remove a name from his lips; only

this sound. A room bare to witness
public breakdown, hospice gauged
to cross mortal man. Tell the poltergeist

all your fears: darkness, death,
submission. Refuse to listen about
the possibilities of love in a mortuary,

red band elevator ride ghost stories
to girls in touch with their feelings.
Say maturity like sin, think hard

when asked what you do for fun.
Pump gasoline without looking
at the reflection lest sirens call

your stomach out, make eighteen
feel like nothing but juicebox
and usage. Rhyme your own 

name with self-assisted homicide,
keep the pill in all your hiding
places--the only thing we've

learned so well from running
wild of spiked fathers and homebound
wreckers. Say an excuse and

play victim well: shut down all
those who still have heart to
fight.

#21

Like antennas to highways

Chase electricity with blind eyes
to count the frets in hertz of a beat,
adjudicated lonely by girls unintact

as two years discarded on false
rims. Pray my name like a whisper,
like mutual confession on how 

we no longer believe in god or
raise our skinny fists. Remember
the sound of a name: each grapple

with diction, self-imposed lisp
to run syllable dry again and again.
Teach me the way ordinary burns

a magnet, a crescendo, a burial
at touch; how sand runs fast with
the descent of our knees. How no

one knows how anger can mesh,
how film can dictate a fall so fast;
an ensign running on ash, a vow

on how long it lasts, a birth laden
from conjugal visits to highway
rides to all I can ask.

#20

eighteenth in an outlet mall

When I was twelve years old I sat down
on a Spongebob-covered comforter where
my mother offered me the one-ply tissue,
told me I meant nothing and my name
synonymous with financial burden.

I would call myself Lady Bird and throw
the National Bookstore-bought Yellow
Pad out the window, into the street flurry
for jeepneys to run over and small starving
bodies to piss on. I would call myself
that except the sound of my name unleashes
tired instinct to brace myself, brace
for impact, brace for wood; it is in this
same line of abuse that I let it happen
all over again. I say sorry, I can't afford
two days without eating but would
have killed myself with the razorblade
to free us from the IV drip that night.

My name is put on a pedestal: they
are running out of ways to hate me;
this is an uproar in narcissism, I think
I'm impossible to do so. The spinning
of the world raptures. No longer do I
believe in God, and this time I tell them.
No longer do I need him to walk, no
dizzy alcoholic coughing blood to 
desecrate my name. No makeup covers
the cuts on my left arm. No time to
tell him that I am the greatest mistake
and in spite of rather than because of
becomes sacramental key to my name.
No time to entomb myself or discover
the tombstone, no time to run around
empty house, judged by a bedroom count
from sperm donors to unwanted tenants.

I still hear the hum of Manila television.
I still hear the sound of seventeen on the
turnstile of life wishing that I never was
because of reasons other than his.

#19

an autopsy in tondo, 1981

CANTO I

a girl is born under a ceiling fan or gun;
she cries amidst lavender oil and robes
of bleach against adderall. her head,
swung back, the lights or roadways the
sole thought before the collision. i can
become every ember of death itself:
and before she is born it is as if her
mother swears every anxiety to her. 
every misstep in dissonance. every reason
to fall. 


CANTO II

momentum—the first day of fourth grade
where her socks tear holes and her tears 
mend her whole and the stomach dies
empty and insideout her memory. "this
is the tragedy before you know it," like
some warning sign to befall all of man before
we are to even know what we possibly could
become

CANTO III

a girl plans a suicide; she is to become a
martyr. there are no heroes in this story. 
tondo is still left with the lights of the
alleyway on, a crevice 

at age two all i could become was the wall
and the capacity and the potential to be who
i want to be and kill who i want to kill
if i had known the master or the monster or
the mystery then the mister would be wiser
and the mother a morbid widow flaking
in the memoirs of her passing. 

at age sixteen i still nestle myself down
suck my thumb and stick fingers in
blenders like how i forgo mirrors
and rub my own blood over my
skin in the shower and in this time
all i could become was myself
and nothing can kill this
nothing can be this
i can be nothing

#18

Let your affidavit be done

and the lord said
i want to bleed out in a
bathroom stall. syringe
of electricity seeping from
the collar with dead skin of
cold boys tugging at 
coke cans. with the third
day, blisters on
knees and all—disobedience
a reminder of false hallways
with running bills. the boy 
holding his own body, feeding
himself whole: like emancipation
wrought on suicide. and the lord said
let there be light, let there be girls
hollow from porcelain, let there be
dying pacemakers holding
the last laps of these generations,
let there be ugly sobbing in the
book's second canto, let there be
art in the body of the deceased 
and do this all
in  memory of me.

#17

A Contemporary Song / Kanta ni Ibarra

of whom i march into death with; oh, whom i quake into hell with,
recite after me: a bloodstained homage to our generation. a homage
to the plight of the defiant, the conformists, of apathy-laden young
boys and girls crooked on growing pains and lies. a homage to the
existentialist, objectivist stewards burnt on pedestals of tomorrow.
a homage to the crackheads at dawn, morning intoxication where
i pit my bones against my bones for strangers in the dawn of
bloodfest yesterday. a homage to my tongue, still stinging of bronze
and nylon rope; eyes that have drowned in walkthrough to hell and
mind that is blessed with the perpetual idea of the biggest sin of all
--hands that await a magic trick, a flicker into a tombstone. a homage
to the deus ex machina of death, i reborn a glass conquered of mountain
 and gods underneath silhouettes of moonlight tables roundabout corners
 of the bible. a homage to howl, an ode to a generation bent n' fucked over
 backwards undeserving of the litany praise discouraged in its throes

we are the immutable scrutiny born of southside american dreamers and 
northside hazmat seekers, tearing the roof off from Bellevue and wishing
our goodbyes juxtapose the frenzy we have left behind in the daylight
drear of mahogany and fervor; where christian men and they raylight
transgressors be born again in the lake of lux.
cascade yourself once more as i have split apart the sea from Charlemagne,
i ran the pythius drone of the sea from three years yonder.
i set sail to the west coast, brink of self-extinction with tar and
shackles cuffed to the tips of my hair. when i went under i tasted the
tinge of frostbite and the boiling blessing of brokeback coins on people
who have always wanted to try but never made it anywhere,
calculating devastation
concocted hellfire off the riverbank of Chicago, unrequited love on the
white sweater cuff off the second column, fourth row; the daze of my
eyes glinted on the light falling apart and breaking beyond cliffhanger
signs and bridges that bring the edge of tomorrow,
rise against Madagascar fury and loneliness, the kind where we joke
about alcohol and cigarettes and play around with the former and
stray away from the latter, where we feign innocence and suicidal
tendencies on the hotel room balcony and say a prayer to the night sky
that has never loved as just as we loved it,
we spill out our emptiness to the stars. we divulge in it, our secrets
spinning like comets crashing down in systematic waves following
through to the ends of the world,
conquested the south barrier of binding bush where apostolic gurneys
drag on cohorts and candlewax,
burn our teeth on amphetamines and Ativan, banned bottles of benzios
bouncing of the room our anti-depressants are the only love we have
ever known the lines and lines of words that they cannot read are the
only conversations i have ever had they are the only times i have spilled
my devotion out and my eternity out and my whole being out into text
and words and chapters and literature converged of semicolons and
quotation marks, i grew up not thinking of my hometown, or the street,
the empty vacant lots or the flickering lights in the afterlife of the party.
grew up with the hues of the cars hurtling at my bedroom window,
blue light bearing witness to my sadness and blue voyage burning
bridges for barters with gangrels and hostages.
concrete fucked the crosswalk stopwalk cherry blossom avenue that i used to call home
like teenage vows in lost parking lots or childhood time waxed and waned and ass shown in front of webcams instead of scarring arms and calves on grilled wire and pavement,
i grew up with virtual boyfriends and plastic breasts (or the wish of such), pouring my feelings out into empty ethernet cables and dancing in the hellfire of adolescence and youth
watched my nation impaled dead and hollow hostile on its own lands,
closed walled cities but open ass with this foul of a president gorging himself into every orifice armed with remington 870 pretend myself alive in hawthorne where costco comes
waltermart and michaels comes luisitas bookstore where no longer do i
have to hear gastropub or nightlife or smoglife or cars in eternal orgy
in the lanes of a skyway damned lost all salvation in catholic school and
learned to no longer believe god there too, perhaps it was religious studies
or hands lifting her hair in the bathroom stall or the casual juicebox sipping stranger
laughing maniacally at the premise of communion bread alone or the boy
crushing the unleavened flesh in his mouth and spitting it into the trashcan
where the only sin was that it was found

believe me again lost and alcoholic of mountain dew and command
lines in a pile of shit over at connecticut, raise me honest on kraft and
goldfish crackers and crack
teach me how to miss myself in a dormroom with no mirror except for the
one cracked and donned with matte cherry chapstick and condom wrappers
dancing in the first snow i've ever seen and ever wrapped myself under
believe me with thighs like weapons and salvia tucked and skirts hacked
off and shot at men. make me wish life was simple off on cigarette lane
or under library named after off-shore chinese billionaire. pretend i'm
pure and vanilla again at cannes or sundance, make me whole in the face
of refrigerator-induced anorexia where hollow boys point me down at
gunpoint living off vending machine tampons and coffee
recite to me my will my diary my existence my twitter feed while i ravage
my lungs dead blurry a hazmat excuse for believing a girl on narcotics
and narcissism raised on false delusions and cultists, give me reason for
existence on a ledge of god or off cliff give me every reason not to jump
jagged into fire when we breathe through this everyday give me reason to
hold on and call this something. 
tell my story on fatbox tvs and projector screen, reel me into the children
who believe in inherently bad governments and gma standing for dead
presidents in conical comical situations pray for me wrecked even when
i am of the wretched see me standing in the aisle of every convoluted
government line wait for me there. wait for me again.

#16

teenage love poem #5 / 15 years from now

Illinois is where I shall settle down:
in a house with tinted windows and
thinned walls yet bare of the sound

of a father scraping his lungs. My
charisma shall finally be as whole
as the man on the television—fake

and edging on the carseat. Your name
still slips when I wish him love, and
I remake my name but still replay it

all in my head. Bilingualism flailing,
the nook of all I have to leave, the
internet teaching me to clean a blade

after the deed as if this wasn't close
enough to death anyway. My love is
rooted in the thesaurus; I teach the boy

"sempiternal" and he teaches me "alive".
Cassettes turn like wildfire, in scrawling
desperation of expiring reels. Tell myself

to love as I was unafraid at thirteen, that is
to say, none at all. A room creaks of empty
conversation and diluted phone calls; your

voice at seventeen the one I place in front
of the mute holiday greetings. My words
stretch across the Atlantic, yours all lonesome

and so longed. Again, in the sojourn, settled
as strangers and memoirs; Evanston's skies
alit with planes. Like halfway across the

world can make what is empty whole,
like bare bones and plastic creaks may substitute
two years too soon.

#15

teenage love poem #4

The girl in the mirror is a visage:
holding the remnants of her body
as tomb to destruct. Our dictionary

can only hold so much
           combinations and sequences
until the originality of skin-on-skin

here is a mere replica of some other.
Maybe the stretch marks of a heart
cascaded to strangers or embroidery

of a nickname licked
         serenade underneath streetlamps
and parking posts tell the only signs

of what this was. Idealizing the lover
with hands full and powdered knuckles
gashing words and running headfirst

gives unneeded symphony. 
          I feel all the lost sounds in sober
daylight, repetition a contusion until

this love is the only thing that makes
sense. Me, hovering over the hospital
bed and burning down our ensigns,

a love glazed like flickering
         television and regrets marred by 
motel signs. This, as innocent as it can

get when you beg for the word forever
to be more than a peace offering. As if
only coffins can hold the baggage blaze

under our sheets, the cemented
        sigh of broken on broken, the whisper
of this is all there ever was and ever will be.

#14

A Father Refuses To Walk

In this heat, lonely is solely a homonym
for the departed. 

The daughter speaks like a vortex: some
say the hymn is all hers. A blown mirror

rests on tightened ribs: deconstruction of
all the nicotine could never be. The man

walks rancid and on fake sovereignty for
glass eyes. 

The demand calls for her on her knees,
stripped of lock and sweat—we can only

exist under the same name when you walk
under mine. Ombres culling of her shadow

pull infractions at the nook of brown-pushed
lips; rhyming purity with scandal until a

voice dares to say not this. Not this in the
nook of tomorrow, in cigarette burns turned

innocence with the hand mauling of alcohol
and rage. In this country, divorce is a taboo

that sets names ablaze. It is a slow burn instead
where only pressure brings us to fusion. 

A man prays with gas lamp on the ensign;
he scorns association with the girl marked

of his blood. She no longer calls for it, she
no longer breeds for the bob of atheists and

rum. The vortex encapsulates a world wherein
home calls a frequent silhouette. Her hair is

not of blight but the darkest paths gone down,
a man cannot call the coo of her mouth as he

seeks to engorge. Prying himself in the voyage
against her shell: a girl cannot succumb to a

boy lying in tie and seats—the world is not
yours with the curtains drawn.

/

Disfiguration is stretched hip in bone across
the fountain tops in a world away. Religion

comes at convenience, crossed arms, carseat
burns, and empty eyes. Desecration in the name

of all who had believed and all.

This is the only magic he knows. Creation and
destruction solely by words; heaving disgust

and clockwork like a birthmaker ought to 
lapse. As if every woman lives on the nook

of the world and it is his sole duty to right 
them all as a lone daughter watches self-proclaimed

god down alcohol and fall.

#13

Waiting for the room #2

Underneath tired sundown
       and the statuette of Mary

he paints a warning sign on my
neck, a traipse of purple-red in 

the slow collision. "I
      cannot feel a thing." I remember

his words frozen in the blessing
of Manila. Our sweat dons like

rosaries, his sisters cry
       of loss and unfamiliarity. I still

remember his name and the vestige
of a girl whole, the suicide note tucked

in stained skirts. All I needed
       was the voice again, on the ledge

out in the southbound or safety in
the whims of a dream. I call my will out

in empty profile and sink deep
      again. I rinse my hands and let the

cuffs of my skirt fall; I embrace it in
coal and never say his name again. 

#12

I cannot play the piano.

Under the light or not, muscle memory
dictates the freezing of my hands: they
open up like a hollow widow. Gaps in
my veins allow for portrait portrayal–

girl in empty coat, dancing on stilts of
black. Vortex unsound and neurosis
waiting in the bonds tugged by mental
ills. Loves barred solely by fabric, a 

city alive on the throes of stilts seized
by the quake of the night. Three months
is enough to wither, break, disappear–
and I, the matter of the living where it

is understanding what it means to exist
for us to truly live. It is the chord sung
from a name, intonation the sonata of
phonemes and other phenomena; rivalry

poised of nightingale and the transparent
cavalry of planes in night sky. Love is a
cascade left on empty lots and trailed by
cigarette stains. Pretense of meaning to

a world devoid of such: the grand piano
I beg to touch, letting go of familiarity
and comfort in silk skin and rough vein
of a crowd unknown. "I wish to play–

as we all do." Crossing the interstate to
interference of a beat; intonation a mere
surrender to captivity in a lonely place,
where the organ shelved by the friar who 

kisses the sea again. No melody is sound
at the bottom. Foam is the marsh and this
place the rest of the children who had all
drowned.

#11

After December

Bombed down the west with only a
reflecting gun: hear quietly suburbia
on its last knees, begging to depart.

A boy empties his stomach, turns it
with sleight just like feigned apathy;

it begins with the fervor of doubt, a
synonym for we were never meant to
be here. Your hands outstretched, all

over Temple Street, wicket and expiry
count clasped in your chest. Tomorrow
is the day deribbed, love let known for

solely the end of times--like history in
its still, or calendar embrace over miles
of landline. I cut the sinew with razor

and sorrow: only man can be man once
made of nothing. Only solace can forgive

the repetition of my gaslight; chamber
in the stall or lit lone man standing. I
watch you cut down nicotine and metal

from seven thousand miles away. I
light the life down on the street, with
rain and mercy and the spool tied;

in the absolution of luminance I
once again tell you that I would
have walked through hell with

bare feet, like everything I had
ever needed comes with blight
ravaged on her hollow vest.

#10

On the Convocation from 1478

Gloria is the sound of my thighs,
cleansing a body hollow      like
chasing ghasts on countertops, 

ricochet towards a fever dream
where cities walk dead on river
drive with the believers on the

harbor. Spot carcasses or spoon
them; desolation  intrepid on a 
bed—ribbed sequences or echo

under the cusp of a chamber. This
is Gloria for the people     and all
Her memories I failed to salvage.

A boy decked on roadside, let
him offer a gun in this heat. I
chased empiricism in a backseat,

beat Kerouac from a bedroom.
Chase sundown against her hail,
the stellar vow of the unknown

lost in the purity amongst living.
We swept Gloria for the lonely,
concealing his     vagabond wept

for me to believe in a thing again.
Try the harbor or washed solstice,
as skies alone never suffice. Seek

time and time again, cross scarred
for the bedlam where theists come
so ideal can fall. Gloria for pen of

man praying for finality’s lapse 
before it can even come. Gloria
for the gangrel felled stuck on

a tombstone.

#9

exploration into the last chapter

exploration into the last chapter

four-hundred men marched westward last
sunday, decked with lace and thursday sung
a memory of the past. hear their elbows

clashing in unison, wind bellowing their
shoulders, ruffling in discontent. then a beast
frolicking in the shades of the moon, vestige

carried of human familiarity, bested the worst
and the worst the greatest; in thunderclaps or
the storm drain feel the guts from yesterday

relapse, oozed from bargain prestige with life
in its discontinuities, or so they say. remove
the laughter, balcony and its hollowness, her

chamber doors and mellowness--the lull at the
death of the world is only a place for the end.
seize man and his rally, proclaim a savior in

the common man. knock three-heads and ask
why god destroys that whom he loves; when i
had suffered i live only to sacrifice and not to

torment. my benevolence is everresting patience,
persecution of the live, ranchor in the token
word. teach me in precision my saturation or

my gear. force the sky in its setting the world at
2pm is alive and unrestrained. best the ghouls of
the unforgiving, give the gift of another try.

#8

#80235

Monday sounded heavily faint of leaving;
the noxious pull of irregularity timed—

not with a bang, 
                 but with the breaking of it all.

Let me teach you how every single person
can be their best and still spend life trying
to come whole: let me teach you that the
notion of completeness is just another void.

Like the way you look for me in every single
body, in the passing crowd, in the lingering
familiarity that you will never quite pull 
together. It's equally improbable for us to
part as we were when we were together. You
repeating your mistakes, saying her name, 
face the inevitability—pretend you know it,
tell your parents it was on you; it really was.

Deconstruct her fond words, shiver again, can
you imagine the carapace you've laid yourself
down on? If amnesia is the poison and chronic
emptiness the tool; one on hyperfixation and

the other on regret. We name these things only
so we can attach ourselves to something else;
learn how humanity is history inscribed on
tongues and virulent warnings. A body is just

as good of a prophecy, like a gun sketched on
the nook of a neck practically as devastating.

"You were never there at all,
         and other things we're tired of reiterating."

#7

Charlemagne and Other Stories

Down now, like the designated series of
concubines—three-feet           depression
over pavement reason. Leap slowly, cover

your eyes, wait for the gasket to burst out:
this is destruction of all streets you have
known. Erasure, or the preparation of such;

removal of the memoir written cautiously
in the high school         bathroom mirror.
Co-existence in this constabulary involves

(not the lingering of a name but) ivy-tested
sun buried on the outskirts of the drain. It's
gasproof and irony, draw a map out of impulse

no wonder        every city we burn leaves this
in its wake. Grit your skin, envelop a body
(not your body) in another; consecrate the

wounds—let the stranger in the crevice of
your hipbone. Worry far, the flared ruin to
upskirts unmolding your scars hold a city I

no longer seek. Come where we have built
all your epiphanies and time-tossed words—
         in the crevice of lace and lies, I am

open and outwards. A transparency my mother
would envy, or: creation mustered in a shell
we no longer speak to. Breathe deeply, this

is your one life. Cordial is the tomb we built,
namesake of glass ligament and static. Sit
yourself down, clasp a window, furrow against

the storm drain. Bury breathless, half-done,
teach this empire              a number to feel;
like understanding presence in the departed.

      

#6

A History of Human Submergence

Human evolution, the product of our
genes and bodies racing against the transgression
of elements: the self-written history

or handmarked tutorial--please do
not let yourself fall victim to one
another. It is too late now; this is why

Jesus condemned science, why man
argues knowledge. Make razor blades
to catch a fire captive, slice a body--let

bits of space unravel, then at the same
time walk the earth with hollow shells
and let the church say evolution is another

fraud. I cannot love you to infinity: we
have yet to discover it. Propulsion becomes
additional terms to never describe a human:

only what we create. Marked, like the
kisses left on silk bodice. Your puberty
and sinew stiffening mocked nightly;

it is 13.8 billion years and mother bares
the fanfare of societal construct. Languid
strands of hair that the stars have kissed

for my flesh, the product of infinities and
uncertainties to be bound in a cradle of
homeshed safety--my mother to teach me

the usage of the razor blade. Then, secularity
for human skill of severance, synonymous for
development, akin of where would god exist

if not here? Let the wise men wander again,
perhaps find king cleanshaven, ear to childlock
radio. Find the product of evolution, tell
me truly if a man could pray for the fallen:

no gospel choir in the pretense of holy or
oil-slicked whisper would bathe me free of sin,
tell me the altar secret of severance in the

gospel light of your room--trace the white marks,
tell me again why we search for god when
we have this.

#5

Great Collapses: Direct Hits from Newer Generations OR Bedroom Warriors

My bedroom has extended an open invitation
to the guttural sound of my wrists twisting, archaic
rumbling, vindication taught from the television,

the world bends and empties a crevice on the concrete:
compensation for a woman's story. Does the bruise
on your palm tell a story? No, but perhaps the bodies

hanging on the clothesline do. One where I was touched
in bad places, one where I accidentally cut something
open that was not meant to be cut open and up left

a bleach stain in its place. Tonight they're too busy
to come home, so I bus the grandeur, steal coins from
the drawer downstairs, and host the party that was never

given to me. It is impossible for the greatest generation
to not be of my own; my depression is causative from
my birth year, my loneliness the technology brought

around me. I was born to want to die. Does the emptiness
of it all bother you? No, but I can pretend to talk existentialism
and listen to sad songs to relate to people. They are all

afraid of dying: they're microscopic and meaningless,
and so are the reincarnations of their beliefs in every
variation. They invented such a boring god, too--he

could dance and run rampant, come satellite to a sea,
but instead burns cities and makes salt ladies. Our
house is empty and the word 'home' is some disparage,

some invention wrecked of malice. Glass made to cut
the hands of someone tired of living: fencing, fourteen,
fucked up. That's all we are. Nights are young and vibrant,

likewise I dream a time where I am happy. Mostly,
they come apart again, the dent--and I heal, in time.

#4

a poem about the fear of the ocean

All seas recede in November. In time,
memorize the gashes of a skin from
burns against salt, dead land opening

itself up, a girl fleeing from it all. Perhaps
find rekindling in its horizon: forever we

hold no idea of who to become, or be, or drown.
It's pure salt and fear of sentience, grazing
hands to the rekindling: a fire in the form

of companionship, in the sole promise of
renewal, a husk of man in the face of
something that can envelop us all. Follow

the sound of a shell, vows lost to the
ocean. (Like a heartbeat, or the major
who had fallen four feet in.) Choose suburban

suicide instead, security, stability, humanity
settling in something so temporal.

Match the whispering of a gun poised on
the nook of the cliff. Fourteen years of people
falling until it is your turn and nobody stops you,

choose the sea and all the boys it has thrown
up, the memories it has broken, the ideas
it has swallowed from rocks to engineers to

planes to men with dreams. The life where I am
alive is one where the ocean has dried up,
licking salt off our knees; never could it take

you from me.

#3

Spinning Tops

When I was younger, I never really had dreams but when I did, it would feel like they'd go on for hours and hours, maybe even years. No matter how hard I tried, I could never really wake up.
the dream where all my teeth are falling
out or my body becoming a morsel for
some shadow creature or the one where
i scream and scream and the only sound
that seems to come out is the one where
everyone said everyone was leaving. 

what use is the night of respite; the world
is broken and chastising dead skin. plucks
at hipbones, white skirt suffocating anemic

chest--there seems to be no use in it all
if existence is a purgatory and the home
the cockpit or bullet shell. the dream where

all the doors i open lead to more halls,
or the white collar job interview where
he sits and laughs and stares or the time

where my father said he was proud. to
come into darkness again i must let the
girl subside. tag the glass of water, the

nightgown, the lights, the time where i
know which mistakes are my own or
which ones i am to make--but all the

same i lay still, dark, counting teeth.

#2

Parallelism

February 1945.
Our men had marched for all the
wrong reasons. The belfry hymn

poured out for the forgotten in night,

or the new scholars and new millenium
with the effervescence of some apathy.

This is how they all had sung. Our martyrs
come as savants, then outcasts, and no

mercy is kept. It is devotion swept under

bluebooks, mangled boys for the charm
of the innocent and the diary marking

revolution of asundered bodies. In the
absence of god we are all holy people.

In the absence of tyranny's traitorous
the children will recede once more—

because here I consume the flesh
of lost disposition below bureaucrats,

beg for forgiveness and alcohol
in the altar for political correctness and

rerouted paths. See, the halls come

a rite of counsel when the dawn has
broken with no fear of what it is

to be alive: it is only when we
thirst for something that the

brothers run.

#1

Portrait of a girl named Elyon

I think I lost my lovers down in sects, all
of them held holy names and no longer
believed in God. That was their commonality.

That, and fatigue crawling on castles, eager
to burn a gun and leave every escape hollow:
this is a race to see who can forget first. 

You see, his nativity can’t really exist: it is
coincidence in the bathroom stall, on
empty hospital bed, edging each corner

we searched for some messiah in. My crime
must have been skinsearching for meaning
in empty bodies. They all liked sad music

and the night. Held vices because they lost
someone in their life. I thought I could be the next. 
I once believed in him, honestly. God, that is.

Tasting his name on my wrist or next to his son's
word, it no longer made sense. They were all
cinder and nothingness; save me with a whisper

or pale carcass—before Mark I felt nothing. Annually,
proclaiming ash on forehead, how miniscule
are your tragedies—father, I am volatile and

breathless. I no longer take words to purify
myself with. I exist to cleanse. I am a stranger's
daughter and canvas of sin. I exist to break

bones and teach men the heart is child's play. 
The better one is the lack of curse, repentance is
to embrace every pillar of salt. The stranger

is the barrel that steals their adolescence. I've
seen it all: every mistaken litany, every vow
synonymous with severance. Where god hides

on fragile kneecaps where girls pray to no longer
exist. Father, I found salvation when my safe words
were no longer holy. My book has no ends and

it does not swear by a man that no longer
knows my name.