the mountain ages.
young blood heartbreak feels like shingles
like your skin wants to slip from you
like you are already bare
and it is winter and frostbite burns.
when you are a colt—heartbreak
looks like you tightly wound on the floor
of your mother’s car
while she drives you home.
a ruin of a city.
mothers hate to see their babies
now older—drying out—
heartbreak is a spider’s web you stumble through.
it is soft, fragile, but encompassing.
you cannot see it
yet it sits on your skin
and you brush it off
feet and chest hardly miss a beat.
at most, swat your
hair, a moment of frenzy, paddling through
scared a spider is holding
on but it is only your fear.
it is only heartbreak.
it exists only in your head.
suzie says: love is not shelter
but then why do men always run to me when it rains?
is this how you are
supposed to hold a lover,
open your shoulder blades like an umbrella
and turn your ribcage into a woven nest,
bones as sticks and cartilage as feathers?
is this only hard for me?
do i shy from holding dear just because
mother held me too tight,
trapped either in arms
that would not let go or
within crib prisons
where i taught my throat to scream
because babes must be schooled in self-soothing?
have my roots gone rotten?
were they always?
has this soil gone moldy,
the mycelium gone quiet,
can nothing grow here?
i mean to say:
this was no walk in the park.
maybe i walked out. he brought the rain inside.
i could not endure
another day of his storm,
of his flood, he wept so much water.
i wanted to be my own cyclone,
gliding along the sea,
always moving towards blue skies
glued to the horizon, i never make it there.
perfection is undiscoverable.
in this story, he had weary feet
so i placed myself a mountain peak.
friends say there is nothing
wrong with that.
“you always were a shitty valley girl,
do not wallow in sediment
when you have already become rock.”
so i took my temple as high
as i could,
knowing elevation made him queasy,
inflamed that already swollen brain.
if i am a cordillera,
how can i keep a lover with altitude sickness
even if he sings like the spring?
don’t you see—
i was always impossible to hold.
i ask for a drop and a river falls out.
a wind whistle between rib spaces—
maybe i need room
to breathe so build a
an extra floor like a slanted top hat.
it on my skull.
learn to walk with
books on my flat head
because knowledge is heavy
because a lifetime is enough to shrink
because this is longer than you would expect
and tired becomes easier & easier.
if i open your hands,
i am so sick of the sea,
the ocean only ever
waiting seems like a slow deadness,
plum purple stains on
i keep walking into the
end of this story only to find it a wall
not a door.
it is the sort of water
where you can only sink.
these sandbag feet were never good
except tripping and now,
when a river falls out,
maybe i never knew the meaning of heaviness.
maybe i learn the reality
of roots, of being rooted, of sinking
so deeply that everything merges.
Oh this fear
of losing distinction—
of becoming blended,
blurring into the furniture
and the coastline.
if i don’t want to be
a part of everything—
does that mean i will always be lonely?