We could blame it on the alcohol;
Instead, let me blame it on the way
your laugh wrinkles the skin around your eyes
and makes my eyes flirt with blushed cheeks.
What about how your hair falls on autumn
and dissolves into cinnamon down your back?
Stronger men than I have collapsed, exhausted,
after running fingers through your seasons,
and becoming stranded with only their rough hands,
I think the blame rests solely on uneven shoulders,
somewhere between wool sweaters and freckles.
I would set myself on fire if it meant
that you would see the way home.
We built a home of compliments,
but I am my mother's child.
Guilty of growing restless
and incapable of rooting long enough
to watch neighbours burst through
concrete and build communities
from the rubble.
I fashioned my own nest
from gusts of prairie wind
and mountain air.
I let it carry me through glaciers
and drop me into icy streams.
Rapids and whitecaps raged havoc on my bones,
broken skin bled into great lakes -
I washed up on their shores,
collected wildflowers and thoughts.
Immigrant nomadic in No man's land,
I weaved a new home of birdsong and buffalo bone.
I found out where my spirit lies,
not between my head -
between my thighs.
What would remain
What would remain
(at four in the morning)
was a bloody nose,
five empty bottles,
and the touch of your hand
on the small of my back.
The Bliss State
There are lipstick stains on your mug
and chips in your fingernail polish.
The plant by the window is wilting.
You have a chapped smile and wistful eyes:
they dart between stipple constellations
and the wrinkles in your fingers.
Light spills through cracks in the door
while smoke billows out to the street.
Somewhere, dogs are barking.
Balancing a dull pencil over crinkled paper,
you begin to write about some bliss state
far away from here.
No one is getting saved here
I clawed my eyes from their sockets
and chewed off the tips of my fingers.
I bruised my knees, scarred my thighs.
In my madness, I must have forgotten to bite my tongue.
I spit my words through clenched teeth
and kissed venom upon your lips.
i had burnt off every nerve ending
and wasn't capable of feeling.
Hollow sockets never saw:
I had ripped off your limbs along the way,
and torn your heart right from your chest.
Our home was littered with brain matter
words hadn't managed to suffocate your brain
and you emerged from the flames
with your self intact.
I am hoping.
I am hoping.
I am coping.
How you did it, I still don't know.
I'm still losing fingernails
trying to pull myself out.
Your body was coffee cups and cigarette butts
with thoughts expressed in a new English.
To probe your mind would be to spill paint
or release noxious gases into the atmosphere.
We talked about Sisyphus and MaddAddam,
Radiohead and Nenshi, until, exhausted,
we could collapse into the folds of the vortex
and feed bad habits.
I could see you between brushstrokes,
and in the indentations left behind futile erasing.
Casts of tormented characters gazing through canvas.
They may as well all have been self-portraits.
Not freckles, you said.