Timestamp

I could sleep and wake up
and you might be here
I could sleep and wake up
and you may not
either way the sleep will be hopeful
I’ll hug myself like a girl
and touch the sign on my wrist
and try not to wait for the bed springs to quake.

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Too Happy

Hush, put your heart to rest
do not lie awake and watch the window for his silhouette
do not think of him taking your hand
or the motion of his chest
that shuddering moonlit canopy:
you will not gaze up into it
or be swept by the rush of warm, summer breath
my god, I know it aches
and travels up and through your nightdress
too happy thoughts.

And do not think of that Neverland, your twinkling dream
do not think of being “mother”
not even to an ant
do not think of him as “father”
not even to that ant
not yet, not yet.

Wendy, darling, put your heart to rest
lest you frighten him
lest he leave you nothing but a shadow
and a cold, abandoned thimble.

Angel-light

I watch the blood swirl between my legs
it wasn’t my time, he did it to me
her gaze tugs at my sleeve
please, officer, don’t leave
it wasn’t her time, he tried to do it to her
I cuff him, he’s half-dead
he thought he could smuggle her into hell with him
he thought the red bouncer wouldn’t see
her angel-light burning through his overcoat
they sent her back up to me
I held her hand and took her home
“come, love, wash your face”
three full pumps of soap —
she washed her eyes first.

Sick

Maybe it’s me
who drags my own sobbing body
who strings it up on that far-fetched branch
who watches from the foot of the tree
as I choke on that morning’s epiphany

Finger-paint the word across my own torso
red slur
‘Don’t talk to yourself that way,’ she says
‘It makes me so angry to hear you talk to yourself that way.’

But I still say it to myself in secret:
’You’re sick
and you’ll never make it out of your head alive.’