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.

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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.’

An Afternoon with His Niece

I could mother her
teach every fear in my head to pronounce her name
take the dog’s dripping jaws in my side
a too small jacket, but she wanted mine
I smooth her hair back
follow the shape of her cheeks
it’s our turn in line:
“Hayati, what do you want?”
she looks up, his eyes
“Everything, everything.”
and it’s hers.

Realizations from Day 2

I loved like a little girl
too fast and too hard
too open-armed
crush my head beneath his chin
cradled violent
but he’s not a boy
and you can’t love him like he’s a boy
you can’t love him as a girl
you must love him as a woman
and a woman waits
she moves in maybes
she hesitates
she does not come before she is invited
she does not stay passed his liking
she does not cradle
she isn’t violent
she does not say it —
not even if  it’s true.