join us for a celebration

it’s 4:16 p.m. and i’m staring
at a plastic container of ground cinnamon
and a yellow pages phone book still
in its plastic wrapping

i’m an almost millenial so i could
say what i will
what i would
what the difference between home
and irrelevant connection is

as though the two are intricately connected
excuse me i didn’t realize
that progress was a way to
shame those who are privy to it

occupy yrself go on now
pick up that dandelion & admire its wholeness
we’re so judgmental this way
i was sprouting lil yellow things
across my cheeks and someone

plucked ’em right up said
you’re so silly vanessa
you forgot about a flower’s life span
okay holy shit i’m just tryna

survive till the next day on the
clocks we created
but you’re right no time
like the dandelion

no time like the last petal
droopity droop fall ugh
i’m feeling confessional
so i’ll say: i love

my mom & dad
but that isn’t what this
poem is about
is it
is it

genus: vanessa

look! at those lights at
my feet! they look like
chrysalis dew, watery goodness
they look like toenails
but more compact
like the tip of my
eyeliner pencil against

blink blink – lid – lifting
i want my body to be
a goddess in the making
there’s a bit of work to be done
there’s a bit of shade to outcome
twirling in my muddy new balances
1.7 years old and tearing
at the pinky toe

i met a new friend who
had an iguana as a pet
i wasn’t sure what they ate
i was worried butterflies were
on the list so i looked it up
phew – safe – a completely herbivorous diet
i don’t know why
i thought of them first
wings too much paper on my shoulder
as they hover – hover – hover – land
it’s the patience i’m not used to

insert my ex-lover
oh you know it always
comes to this point
winky, smiley face emoticon
ha ha, i’m out-weighing my spite
black & orange lines across my face
kaleidoscopic stained glass frame
whiskey & spinach for the lady

it was 1667 or 1745 and the lip
dripped a bit of carrot honey
a bit of subtle jean fray
i suppose this is stalling
just to say :
we flew
it happened that such a
butterfly landed on
someone’s shoulder

how could it be
it will always be
orange like a good thought left
black like a forward footstep
it isn’t often that we use the
exclamation point but at this
point it finally makes sense

yes but then again

she is walking through a city
she is tasting the buildings in
their brick and limestone

she is moving toward a rooster
on the high peak, wondering
if veins have crooked feet

she is grazing the tangled web of white
plaster & plastic & an electrical wire
in the midst of high rain

oh breath on the ampersand oh
breath beneath the wet wood

here is a plant that is poisonous to cats
perhaps a devil’s tongue, stout in its base,
dying in the heat and then too much rain so

the leaves bend toward the gravel
the stem is looking for a way to look up
she sees herself in this

hello dimples in sky,
hello wind quiver & slight
blow of dirt leaving a pot

to kiss the ground
that is the point

molars over hydrangea

love me right
chips in my golden teeth
my skin began to callous
against the wet of those
palm trees out front

boy oh boy i can have many more
lips pressed to the rug-burned floor

i’m tryna give up people
who refuse to watch me grow
i guess i had dry roots
or choked on the water

for a while a great, great while

he held me gingerly
ginger to temples
noses closing a space
so sparkling i almost
forgot to look away

that’s the thing isn’t it
i always forget to look away
golden, golden girl
i’m very tired today
love me right

i know he tried the way
he thought produced results
his mind a scattering of fertilizer
his mind a brimming watering can
love me right
love me right

heard ’em say

today was tiny
legs and inexplicable bruises
today was sleeping till three
and saying fuck it i’m still
tired and now there are four
pillows propped in this bed
to help curb the wine junk

i like to talk about how
much i cry – fingers pressing
play, fingers pressing lay / pay
on the mornings that seem so
lovingly insurmountable

how much do we like to
confuse ourselves
how much does ow click
in the back of the skull
there’s a skill here that
i’m failing to acknowledge
you’ve got it too, i see

i plugged in the rainbow
christmas lights because i
thought they were cute
but i suppose i also thought
about light distribution
the “who could see what & why”
even, even when, you odd duck
let’s find a place where
the enter key makes sense

don’t kid those stars
rotating in yr eardrums
there are a lot of fake
flowers in my home
i love them as my own
i swear i do