The Gun vs The Thorn

How many more bullets do I have to spit out to show you that I will not be silenced?

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The Path

“Where I’m going you can’t go”

he says

Me too.

I say silently.

I dive deep into myself. Blackness enshrouds me. Shapes and colors that I have never learned before appear, circle, engulf me. I am arguing with a an entity. I feel like it is god like. I am saying I need to go. I have a plan. I’m not meant to be here. Last time was a mistake. I am going to die on xxxxxxXxxxx

I can feel that the entity doesn’t want to argue. It isn’t mad. It isn’t anything. It just doesn’t argue. And so, until I will not argue, it let’s me go. I can feel it letting me go. I wake up on the bathroom floor, and I am crying.

People come and go in your life to teach you lessons, so you must be brave enough to leave your door unlocked to let them in. You also have to let them go when the time is right.

Where is my body now?

Watching from above
You are out on the lawn &
I am Trying to reach you through the panels of glass
Separating us

I can look down &
See blood & stitches &
A stranger is holding me still

Am I screaming inside my head or outside?

My hands hurt as I bang on the glass
Glass & glass & glass & glass

I blink
Sitting by the railroad tracks where you asked me
To have sex with you at
But my body is mine first and
oh It is cold and shaking in the wet grass.

Do you see the lines on my arms?
They are memories of A space between h e r e and nothing
Body put out like a lit cigarette
To be relit again & again

Oh holy sky,
Do you carry my beloved?
Why have you forsaken me?
& the sky stares back without an answer

As I claw my way out of the dark
Up from the tracks
Up toward the window where you no longer reside
Upward on the wet hill
Toward the voice that is calling me
Back Into this body
Relit like a wet cigarette
That some God wanted to take a final drag off of

The sky is silent
Then comes the rain
& I have found my answer.

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 8.48.48 PM
I am thrilled to announce that my book The Secret Language of Crickets   will be published by Ampersand Books in 2018.
I have been working on this book for 10 years. It is a diary, a journey, of metamorphosis, of synchronicity, of heartbreak, of loss, of love, of becoming the person I am today.
I cannot wait until it reaches your fingers. I hope it connects with you. I hope you underline it, dog ear it, spill your tea on it, get it wet in a thunderstorm, read it out loud to your lover, give it to a stranger that looks like they have had a hard day.

I will keep you updated. Thank you for reading.

All of my love,

K.

Echinopsis

When my abuser put his hands on me
I had two choices—become small, turn

inward, and wilt like a flower (I am not
a flower. I am cactus. I may prick

whomever I touch, but I will never harm you unintentionally. Please know this. Please.

While you were outside catching rain
through your fingers my mouth was

open swallowing the blood. Know this: I am sometimes a forest fire. I burn everything

in my path, but you, darling, are not
made to be an ember, some creation

of my destruction. You douse my flames,
hum my burns, whisper my smoke away)…

When my abuser put his hands on me
I had two choices: to bloom or wilt.

How beautiful is a cactus in bloom.
You cannot touch it.

Things That Must Be Magic

The lady at rehab asks me what I want to be when I die.
I tell her I want to be a tree.
I look outside at the leaves falling, singing to the ground. I want to be born and reborn again.
The class looks at me oddly.
The boy in the black jacket says nothing, doodles furiously on his paper.
I think of the third floor of the apartment building with the great balcony that I wanted to jump off of.
I think of car crashes in slow motion.

Tell me about yourself, they say.
I am afraid of too many things.
When it rains I don’t leave my house.
I can’t go through drive thrus. I
can’t stand in long lines at the grocery store.
There Are Too Many Scary Things In The World, my brain says.
There Are Things That Must Be Magic, I argue back softly. Softly like a hum in a hurricane.

The boy in the cemetery is reading poetry to me. I think, this is what love must be like.
I wonder if the trees are listening. I wonder if the gravestones creak with each turning page.
When I die, I say, I want to be a tree.

In the desert there is nothing but the sound of your heartbeat.
I listen to the 9,198 days the machine in me roars.
No matter the wreckage, the scars on the body, the soft taste of metal under my tongue.
The boy in the car holds my hands during certain songs.
He looks at me like there is magic under my eyelids.
The cacti tell me to go home.

I want to be a tree.
I get up, I leave class, I wash my dirty palms in the sink.
I stick them to the soil.
The machine in me roars, not yet.
I step away from the edge of the balcony.

The boy in the bookstore reads me children’s books.
I think this is what love sounds like when it rains.
I wipe the soil from underneath my fingernails, I think, this can wait.

The Butterflies Are Broken Again

The boy on top of me says he loves me.
He holds me down because he loves me.
He grabs my throat because he loves me.
He screams at me, and, he loves me.
I want to scratch him with my wedding ring.
I want to kick at him, but think of the damage back.
My lungs scream as if they have a cause, as if to say, get me out of here.
But. He loves me.

When he packs his things I stare at the broken glass on the floor.
My wrists burn.
The police officer asks, do you think he will kill you?
But. He loves me.
The only reminder of him are the dishes, still clean and tightly packed in the dishwasher.
I do not touch them.
I eat my food out of cups.

The light shining on me is checking for bruises.
In another language, bruises mean love, right?
In the most dangerous language, a language taught over years.

I change the locks.
I sleep with the lights on.
I move at every noise.
In between two people, far away, I am wide awake, the image of him screaming at me taunting my mind.

I am afraid he will find me.
And tell me he loves me.

This Isn’t a Poem, I Just Remember You

I had a dream this morning.

In the dream we were lying on a bed, facing each other and just holding hands. You were looking at me. Happy.
The feeling of holding your hand made me so deliriously happy.
I can’t find words to explain it, it was just like a big flower blooming in my chest.
It was like all of my lifetimes melting into one.
Your hand felt so good in mine. I ran my fingers over yours.
When I awoke, I could still feel how your hand felt. I laid there. I did not cry. I looked at my empty hand. I looked at my empty bed.
I went to the sink and I washed my hand very deliberately.
As I scrubbed, I thought of The Red Thread that is always connecting everyone that we have ever loved. Always there. Always invisible. Never to be broken.
I can’t ever wash you away.
I know that The Thread was tugging on my heart especially hard today. I wonder if it was tugging on your end, too.
I asked The Red Thread politely to stop pulling so hard, please. I told Thread that was so old but never frayed: thank you, I know you are there.

I went back to bed.