Wednesday, November 1, 2017

the bright swan between us rises,
a falling star in reverse,
low tide of our shining origin
exposing the trash and treasure
between where we stand and stood
the moon slow-talks its blank verse
makes us repeat it back:
blink and long, the stretch of the sand
how the sea licks your name
licks it from the earth, the damp relief,
the mouth of it

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

You Can't Put That in There

When I was 37, my husband came into the room with a handful of sticks that he had pulled out of the garbage disposal. "You can't put that in there," he said. I was so delighted that he thought it was I who had done it, rather than my 8-year-old. 

When I was 8, the phone rang while I was alone in the house. I picked it up, and a man started asking me questions that made me feel uncomfortable. I thought it was my dad's friend Ken, who ended up in prison; maybe it was. He asked, "Would you like it if I licked your toes?" I laughed politely. "How about if I put my tongue in your pussy?" You can't put that in there.

When I was 16, my brother's friend Jeff came into my room while I slept. He laid on top of me and forced his tongue into my mouth. I physically fought him for several minutes. I said, "no" and "stop" repeatedly. You can't put that in there. 

I was still incredulous that he thought I had put the sticks in the garbage disposal. But after the incident, I became curious about what would and would not go down the garbage disposal. How big could the sticks be? I cut some flower stems and put them in. A couple hours later, it stopped working. I told my husband with a puzzled look on my face that it had broken.  He took it apart and brought me the flower stems he'd found inside. “I think it's from these,” he said. “You can’t put that in there.”

When I was 24 and working at Home Depot, my coworker Angelo asked me to go out with him on New Year's Eve. He made us drinks, pulled down his Murphy bed, and kissed me there. I wanted to leave. He wouldn't let me. He got on top of me and forcibly removed my pants, and then he raped me as I continued to say no. You can't put that in there.

I realized today that I have never reported any of this. You can't put that in there.

I would feel guilty if I included their last names. You can't put that in there.

But then I remembered when I was 21, I put a full pot of beans into my boyfriend's dishwasher after I read on the box of detergent that you didn't need to rinse the dishes. After the kitchen flooded, he found the beans clogging the drain. I told him what had happened. "You can't put that in there," he said.

Monday, August 7, 2017

White Horse

if you are anything like me, 
you are sometimes afraid 
of what is on the inside
without oxygen this can of worms 
would surely die
I sometimes pay too much mind 
to the mind
but body sense is no better
what shall wear
I examine six shades of haunt
bright hauntings are my favorite 
the ones you ride into the east
sword drawn, or pen
the white horse 
is the name 
of my dead ex-girlfriend’s gay bar
she just called it a bar
she liked electric shocks
but she was not crazy
only talked to animals 
held quiet as a positive space, 
not as a negative space
a forest of quiet, you could build a nest of it
she died watching eagles’ nests, 
poaching the poachers
when she was not tracking lions,
she ran drugs
across the border of
kenya and somalia during civil war
the plant was painted on the plane
so she would not get shot down
I saw her call down weather
I saw her talk to birds
once she called a wild horse with
syllables she does not remember
how will I know when you die, 
I asked
you will just know, she said
when she died I just knew 
suddenly I was a bad-ass 
it was all her
a parting gift
I texted her
are you alive
her mother told me no
I saw her in the bardo
we knew we should not touch
but we were used to taboos
so we touched
I will try to find a good person for you
she said
she wanted to be a horse







Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dear Anton Chekhov,

Doctor, I will take you like a breath. You will come like a first kiss. The trouble is, love is my favorite kind of trouble. You are 157 this year, and I love older men. At some point, the age difference becomes negligible.


Yours,

Erin

Dear Sergei Rachmaninov,

Thank you for my sexual awakening. I don't remember how I pitched it, but I made my high school chemistry class listen to me listen to you as my final project. I still remember how red my cheeks got, not realizing how intimate we were until they were watching.


Love,

Erin

I go down on bones and stars and stones
I call down the dead and bring them to bed
I lay down with gods and beggars and frauds I go down in history like any good mystery













Friday, July 21, 2017

I, Colonizer, part 1

don’t call us immigrants, we are colonizers
cannonballs shot across the water 
to crash out past our own keening
who but desperation 
would foment such disruption
we come from explosions
we come from fire
we come from night
we drink the sea as it pours down our faces