And he said there's no tryingI've changed my words so muchthat they spread across my skin like lace,like fabrics that won't cover my innocenceand even when I peel them away, I don't look any better.Cold tea and cold fingertips and everythingbecame a winterland and I've been spending so much timeswaddled in my own sheets made of bombs and bonds andso much of the uprooted pasts that I don't even knowwhat time of day it ever truly is.And with blood clots along my chest and fevers in the bath,I hold on to the ceramic versions of who I think I am;mirrors and broken tiles and empty cups of creativity.I brood over my inability to hold these fragmentsso that even if they're never placed right again,they'd still all be there.I've changed my tears so muchthat I don't recognize them in the flooded landsand with desperation, I traipse through them blindly,seeking myself but hoping it is changed too.
EnnuiHere's where things got hazy:you talked about pulling the stars closerbecause the bigger they got, the less insignificant you felt.I presumed it was because I called you mine.Bottle caps and paper puncherswere the things we made love on when you decidedto live life more dangerously.Indentions were made on my skin and not byyour touch, but by distractions - carefully planted, unlikethe way you used to kiss me. Your lipslost instinct, but still tasted as they always had; softand pure, in the way no one else before me understood.Maybe simplicity pulled you from me.Or maybe you felt like I was too easy,too predictable, and my endless sunday morning-coffeeoverdosing lifestyle didn't feed your fingers the wordsyou'd slam into the typewriter. Maybe you really needed meto anger you into spiraling verses,until you realized that we spilled the words on the floorand never bothered to pick them back up.I feel like I've finally learned you, or possiblyunlearned what I'd taught
TorrentsI retain you and swell at the lungs,I cover up the stretch marks around my thighswhen you've gone away.Through historic hikesand around seaside wars, I lay uslike home-bound sighs awaiting the brewed catastrophesthat bring us together.We crash onto each other's decaying boneslike territorial wavesand I keep myself against your billows, feeding off your breaths,barely alive on my own.We are undulating whispers,savage lovers.
Codeinei remember thinking of bruises as just visiblediscolorations,i thought it meant that i might bedisintegrating, deterioratingfasterfaster and it wouldn't take so longto disappear.i remember youand how effortless you would make dying sound.and then there were some marksi couldn't trace. and i wore them like garnets.i wore medownuntil all i could rememberwas how to mark at all.
DimensionsYou can't know how my bones have trickled themselvesinto fractured glasses on the sinkor the words I've slurred onto his freckled backas he sleeps against my walls.You don't remember the aches I filled up the spaces withjust so I could pretend to be whole for youand you still talk about coffee like it's the curefor it all; for you and for the us that never grew.And some nights, I watch my hopeless thoughtsdrift off like dust in the moonlight,like fog around the tires of my immobility,like the tiny particles of you I still keep in my drawersso the rest of the world can't find the worst of you.You can't know how easily I make the transitionfrom confident to helpless when you only know my smilethe way I know how unhappy you are by the shape of your bracketsor the length of time it takes you to write me back.And you don't know how terrible it feelsto know someone like I know my scars and the timelines on my skinwho wishes they never knew me at all.
AffannatoIf my ribs were weighted keys,I'd play you an ocean song that tips youright off the edge of the earth,and clinging to my last phrase, you'd say'what a tragedy, what a helpless dreamer,such a beautiful pair of lungs gone to the dust'.And night would hold us in that distant desperation,playing our heartstrings so we couldn't keep up,no, not with that soulful, off-tempo portraitof who we could have let each other become.I'll crawl back to bed on my bare boned kneesand when I wake to the black holes you've burnedinto the sheets you and I were 'us' on,I'll write you a desert songabout how I jumped off the edge of the earthand you weren't there.
latethe worst part is standing at your deskand being asked to do the hardest thing.i wish they made me talk about him,so i could splatter these watercolored wordsinto something that might make sense;a waterfall frozen in mid-disintegration,seeds that fought the soil only to be plucked away,love that became as necessaryas breathing.i wish they asked about my poetry,and how much i hated the way my penmanship lessonsmade me neat and error-lesswhen all i wanted was to make a mistakethat someone might think was brilliant.but they tie my braids,strip me of clothes that covered everything,and ask me "who are you?".and i don't know yet.
Smoke alarmsI stopped smoking cigarettes on the day I realizedthat the more I tainted my teeth with itthe closer my lips got to tasting like yours.The thought of our tongues; plastered with a layerof rebellion and faulty filters,wrapping around each other like ribbons that keep wordsclose-knit and silent,was unsettling.I couldn't blink quick enoughbefore the fugacious images of the waysyou could fit yourself inside of me hung over my eyelids,like a direct beam of scarlet sunlight on my skin.You are the cafe patron I had last night;a creeper that boils in my stomachand floors me when I try to stand on my own.I am the Light Weight.I lit up today and put the ashes in an envelope.You liked to lick the places I sealed your lettersbecause you could taste me.Here's hoping my kiss tastes as terribly right as yours.
self-portraits of scorch marksi peeled the paint away becauseit terrified me. and at the centerof quiet when every moving thingis still and silent you can hearthe secret alarms consuming your head-space like the wind chimes of dying.like wallpaper, an adhesive for your limbs;you wear thoughts like a floral coatso the ugly can camouflage withthe petals of hopefulness you havelong discarded as understatements and falsities.you left a handful of paint swatcheson the kitchen table. you had been collectingthem from every place you've lived in:the washington sky an airy greysoaking my fingers through, massachusettslike the color of your eyes where they meetyour pupils, except straighter at the shoulders,and paris the glossy red that stained your shirt sleevewhen you thought you would never leave her.i think we could be more dramaticin here, am i right? dropping them on the tableand turning to leave, always leaving.so i've become colorblind in your grasp,and can't differentiate between stop
white noise.sometimes i turn off the greasy yellow lights and run the water lava hot.the quiet porcelain is an untouched coffinfamiliar as the look in your eyes.i can hear my heart beat in my earsand i stare at the ceiling until it darkens and blurs at the edges.my body is heavy as leadi cannot remember the weight of movement.sometimes the closest i can get is the suicide between each breathand the apology unspoken on the inhale.my skin is a ladder i keep climbing,i can see through the rungs to the fat cells that weigh down my bones.sometimes,my hand becomes his when it creeps uninvited over the landscape of my bodyand across the staircase of my ribs.i can't erase the feeling of his body pressed like a bookover my flower.my head is white noise that bleeds red,but i'm tired of all the blood.tired of all the memories like channelsi keep flicking past.sometimes i wonder if i cut enough slack in my skin, &
summergirlNow read aloud over here. Do give it a listen, won't you? i. summergirl,you are crowthroated and tumblingthrough the aspen grovehair on fire with sunrise, lungsfull of sky.eyelashes like wildflowersand every morning bringsa new spray of frecklesand a sharper curve to your collarbones.the cornfields hold no shadowsfor your lighthouse eyesand there are no endings in thatsurefooted smile. ii. you have grownso fast.autumn finds you with broken anklesleaning on an oak branchand watching the skies.crow to sparrow--you are quiet.summergirl, there is peace in silence,perched treetop,fallen antlers in your hands.you will come to mourn your deer.keep them close. iii. by winter you have paled,and like the streams your eyes have frosted over.you feel the chill--there is no need for sight.summergirl, th
SeashineSacred skinwhere heavens and oceancollide,an imprint on salted lungsan echoof aching, ofa moonlit yearning upon therolling tide.
voice trips across heartbeat,i want to anchor my spine inside your gravity.your smiles have been thinning down to pencil lines. there are no words between them. keep it that way so you can be a charcoal smear around my ribcage, so my body can become gray but still have color in the dead spaces you inhabit. we are both quiet. we sometimes have nothing to say.you cannot practice tragedy, but it came to you in the white noise between our words. we do not know what we want. we are not decisive. we are young and our dreams are too big. we try not to talk about it.you can buy sex if you want it, you can buy stars if your life is dark. you can let your knees hit the dirt but physics will not care and it will hurt more every time. you can let my eyes blink like the letters on your alarm clock at 3 a.m, but the abyss of a dark bedroom will not care if your lips part and you have nothing to say.if we become the horizon, there will always be enough time. it is the only thing i can trust, the only thing i know lasts forev
the speaking of hipshis vertebrae clickwith mine, a slow symphonyand i am alive.
ConnotationsBetween pressed sheetsI am laid out before youwith spine splayedand my soul bared.I ache for your eyes to see my truths,plead for your fingers to explore me;turn me and grasp at my edges, my corners,before folding me down, to mark the placewhere you'll return.--5/8/2012Copyright © 2012 Jen FowlerAll Rights Reserved.
Worn Out Siren TalesI was once the moon-rippled, crystal cleardisturbance at shoreand you found hope, restingon the borders ofsand and wave.When I moved, you breathed,It just isn't worth it,and IwishIhad listened.I was carved on ship hulls for areason,and I was summoned from sleep todrown myself in the clutchesof a sea that disowned mefor one too-and I wrote on woody parchmentsfor more attention thanstory-telling.So when you moved, I stopped,Tell me this is eternal,And Iwish-I reallywishI had not.
ApsaraFind me sunken into thelotus field, bathing skin silvergreen,waist-deep and pinkin sunset, and we will cry:for three-faced elephants,for rain,for the dancers threading gracebetween their fingertips—until I dress in the heaviness,a sarong of heat.
FactHeaven knows, but it won't tell.
I hope you are reading thisthe person I love loves music much too muchand the person I love loves that I love the quiet and easy days loves that I like to stay up late (or early) till the birds sing of morning andthe person I love loves that I love to hold hands and hold a body but only when I know them fullyand the person I love loves listening to my songs and listening to my voice and to my poetry and storiesthe person I love has songs to share too and a voice that melts my heart and words that mold it back into something nostalgia old and inspired newand the person I love loves to look around and take it in once in a while and wonders why we can’t just run away to a secluded place in the forest with a cabin that harbors all of our needs, keeps you and me in a space apart where it rains when we’re sad because we would always be sad together and where the sun is warm on our skin when we are smiling together and laughing together because I made a spectacular pun out of seemingly nothing sp
Satelliteit seems you wander aimlessly—like the white blinking lightbetween the branches of that dark treei see when i open the backdoor to smokeanother desperate cigarette—orbiting so far in the distance thati cannot fathom your purpose,though you must serve one in the livesof many.
072i ached enough that dayto salt the atlantic oceanthree time over
astronomer's insomniapour in milky waystir until planets dissolveturn, avoid the sun
The Poetical Condition1.30.13When I was eight,I was absolutely in love.The brown eyed boyhad stolen my heartand slid it into his pocket,and I thought his lovewas in the rose he gave methat Sunday morning,so I wrote him a love letterthat I thought was as goodas poetry, I penned out,"I like you. Do you like me?Yes or no."When I was eleven,I gazed at the skyromantically and counteda new star with each step.I thought, "Even the moonwants to fall in love tonight."The boy I admired thoughtI was silly and waited forme to trip on a rock.That night, I learnedI had a condition thatno one else understood.When I was fifteen,I loved someone who barelysaw me, and I cared for himin silence, as the unseen do.The first night I recited my poetry,he hugged me and told meI smelled nice and I thought thatwas a poem in itself.I wrote him sonnets anddreamed that he loved me untilhe graduated later that year.When I was eighteen,I was all lips, fireflies,and heart beating irregularly,an
novemberthe sun is a dim pearlbeneath a blanket of grayhung low from the heavens;i'm your yellow tremorpaled by the cold, achingfor a proper sunrise.
Mid-month momentsthings i have done today: crawled out of bed, hands& knees scuffing carpet, collectingdust encrusted memories inhalf-healed grazes. lost myself in theshower, soul wandered offup the exhaust chute& left me staring atwhale-bone tile. broke my dam over lamb& chips, salt on salt until my lipspuckered under the assault andyour name came tumblingout, acrobatic.
.a lover leaving hishome for another, a sparkthat becomes a flame
. becoming a mermaidthe thing about mermaids, i must explain, is that they are not always born in the sea.i.nothing.it was nothing, she reminds herself, leaning precariously over the prim white balcony. the breathing ocean moans and sighs, sighs and moans against the fragile coastline.all of this is nothing and it is everything.she takes one, two, three bitter sips with a wince and leaves the salt air to find her sterile, cold bedroom. the new year is cursed, she decides as she falls limp and helpless into the wild mess of sheets that swallow her small body whole.(she closes her eyes and imagines the pale blankets to be rugged waves, breathing and gasping, gasping and breathing across, around, inside of her bones. they pull her deeper, deeper, deeper, like the myths of once-mermaids dissolving into sea-foam. she can almost feel herself become the ocean, when…)ii.real or illusion; was it a memory, a dream, a hallucination?"why?" he had asked her."everyone deserves to know if they are loved," s
Take me homeyou live in me,cancerous white noise,high tide of danger.you consume me,oceanic burial ground,reddened memories,love-making stranger.