every sunflower has its day.
and you have yours
which sometimes feel hard to hold
and unique.

remember that terror in your spine
like a flower’s neck
will snap.

let all the life and death and beauty and old
break into your hands
and arrange a bouquet after.

keep it in your kitchen
in always freshwater in that jar your sister left behind
and show new friends
so they really see:
see i have survived all of this
and my face is still looking for the sun.

perhaps midnight is an invention
of our own anxiety: we let the clock strike
so that fate cannot. 

 midnight can happen at any hour.
midnight happened to me this morning
when i stepped on old glass and let my blank foot bleed 

as a reminder of everything i gave up
in order to lose nothing.

once upon a time
there was a girl who lived
in a tall glass of water

one day
a witch spun the girl into sugar
until you couldn’t even see her
in her own home
but that home sure was sweet

& sometimes when the sun comes up
you can see this girl
shining on a blade of grass
or holding the insides of a birthday
between her lashes

once upon a time there was a girl
who fell asleep next to a tall tree.

when the sun fell, the tree said
there is some madness inside you
and scratched her all over
trying to discover it.

in the morning,
the girl discovered the tree was made of poison.

so she went from place to place
asking if she could lay down her head
and give birth to Death there.

first she went to the ocean
but the ocean kept running away.

then she went to the flowers
but they were the opposite of her child.

then she went to the wind
and it would not stay still.

then she went to a village
of rough, lonely stones and lay there
and together they were silent.

and this is how graveyards were born.

like most stories this one had no blonde girl when it began.
this one came later:

well after Peter Pan was released on printing press and Blu-Ray,
well after Wendy paved the yellow road.
in the beginning there was no Goldilocks,
only a hungry fox.
but rhyme will spin into sick fantasy in an old man’s hands.

once upon a time
a fox searched for food in three bears’ house,
found a little,
and then wondered what it would be to sleep in a bed
made of dead geese instead of mushrooms.
curiosity did not kill the fox: it only made her sleepy.

but the bears killed the fox–scraped her feet and ate her spleen.
and the dead vixen skin kept their yogurt warm all winter.

It is hard to watch people struggle with jealousy.
Love means you have the same conversations over and over.
Love means you listen differently every time.
I’ve spent the last six years unlearning the ways my parents communicate.
I still have the same conversations with my mother everyday.
She asks me when I’m coming home and if I have a job.
Once a year my mother tells me she’s depressed.
Today I tried looking at everyone on the 6 train like they had a broken heart.
There is something so warlike and old about the people on the 6 train.
You can grow so old just waiting for wars to end.
You can die waiting for wars to end.

My friend who is trying to breakup calls me sometimes to come watch him cry so he can get out of bed.
My friend asks me to help figure out where the pain is coming from.
I point to a place and he says that’s right it was just hard to tell.
His heart breaks so loudly it ruptures mine.
Some love stories don’t end like anyone is right or wrong.
People can just walk away from each other with their now broken feet.
It is hard loving someone who doesn’t want to hold all of your bodies.
My friend will stay put until the breakup is real and bone-shattering.
I can’t say stop because I wouldn’t do different or haven’t tried.
Love is excessive to the point of survival.
I keep telling my friends I love them in an attempt to give the word love meaning.
Every love story is eventually a ghost story.
New York is full of walking dead.
I’m reading a gay book that feels like the words in my own mouth.
Loving other writers means I’m left both jealous and hungry.
Half my anxiety comes from doing things I love.
If you stopped eating love stories back to back you might remember you aren’t hungry.
Half my mouth is always someone else’s mouth.
I’m glad my old lover flew away and didn’t break my feet.
I keep making haunted houses out of people.
Sometimes there isn’t even time to make new language from one person to the next
so we say the same words behind their backs to their faces.
‘I love you’ sounds like ‘I stole this feeling somewhere’.
In just a year, certain parts of New York City have already become my ghost story.
Many of them are ordinary places like kitchens and street corners
where I am witnessing the slow making of ghosts.
When I keep my mouth open in the Village bats fly out.
I love this city and it has beaten my heart senseless.
I have been eaten alive here and so hungry.
Loss in New York City is commonplace and heavy, and sometimes it is unclear who is dying.
My heart only feels full here in the moments I am telling someone about all of its pieces.
Something ‘s in the air this summer stringing bombs and airplanes and hearts and money to a single line of gunpowder.
Every story I’m writing feels terrifying under the surface.
This time it’s not even beautiful.
Like we are just watching each other survive more, and it’s not even beautiful.


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