too much content
in deep reaches of
sleep self to be
awake and make sense
to those who do not
dream — i cannot shake
it off or away when
don’t talk to me about pretty eyes
you don’t know nothing about my eyes
with your words like a lawnmower in
early morning before i’m ready to wake up
bringing me out of myself making me
too aware more scared than i should be
more scared than i was just a minute ago
when i was safe and you were a stranger
who posed no threat
now you want to get something
you think me in flip flops and
unwashed hair left my house
so your mouth could talk to me
about pretty eyes
so your mouth could talk to me
about how i should smile
so your mouth
could say more than any woman wants
this will be me in the morning
ignorant of mistakes made by body
in the void swallowed by her eyes
that’s what spaghetti hair looks like
except that’s not angel hair
is too thick
not the right consistency
to feel nice in my mouth
i’m not talking about a penis
or a racist
or a racist rapist
it reminds me of bleeding
soon i will start bleeding
i will become this woman
physical puzzle of parts
heart tongue toe
will weigh me down
on my back
where man puts hand
in gentle sway of dance
or sudden rough embrace
my uncle calls me each day.
i push five to hear his voice.
i come home to letters written
in blue ink that tell me
/know that you are a strong woman
and the first teacher of civilizations–
know that we have not had a bad day
if we wake up in the mornings/
i want to live in a world
where my uncle wakes up
in the mornings and eats
a breakfast of his choice–
a world where men who kill teenagers
for looking suspicious carrying
skittles and ice tea aren’t released
and then pulled over for speeding–
a world where a man who says
is not murdered by police
in a chokehold–a world
where kids aren’t killed
by hunters with guns
poaching in streets
shooting animals without defense
of teeth or claw, but with largelarge
body–the thrill of the conquer–
darkdark coat–how fine
it will look on their wall.
Show me the place where
I should keep your shoes
After you are gathered
By earth. The closet
Will not do. It is too full
Of dirt and litter and cat hair–
I can’t remember the last time
I swept. It was definitely before
You left without saying goodbye–
Time gets tricky like a mind full
Of smoke or drink and it’s hard to see moments
As solid things
That ever happened–what happened
To those feet that I still can’t sleep without
Around me? What color
Did death paint them? Is it true
That your nails still grow, now unbitten
By your teeth and unable
To scratch that itch you can’t reach
When breathing is something of the past?
Was your spirit laughing as it watched
My mother clean our house? Were you sitting
In your chair listening to me shout when she reached
For you shoes?
Was it you who made me
Put down the knife we kept
Inside a bookcase in the kitchen?
tomorrow the owner will come.
he paid for these yellow walls
that watch us sleep.
he comes to do yard work.
he comes to install screens
on windows that have none–
we keep them closed
so the cats will not escape
and be gored to death by a cerberus
on opposite side of fence.
tomorrow night every window in this place
where we live will be open–
we will hear each word spoken
by other couples on their walks, know
which way blades of grass move
as they are touched by the wind.
we will make it easy for anyone
to break in and leave with
a loot of books and stray papers,
pens, art painted by friends with
gifts neither of us have.
sometimes i like to darken my dreams
by reading shadowy things before bed.
sometimes i hope spirits find me
while i sleep and wake me up
so i remember i’m alive.
sometimes i cannot hold
all the poems that live inside me
and they push against my skin
trying to come out and
i keep them in because
i cannot handle them being
words on a paper and
living as material things
in the world where i breathe.
sometimes i’m afraid to write
because i scare myself.
sometimes i kill those parts
i know others love because
the one who matters most
has not been born.
sometimes someone dies and
it’s someone i liked or
even loved and that line plays
in my head—what to do at death?
over and over, and i break.
sometimes i’m sure i’m crazy
and any good shrink would think
i should be on a cocktail of pills—
and i smile, thrilled at the idea
of being a rebel.
sometimes i’m tired of smiling.
We were going to play a game–
Give each other a person
To turn into a poem.
We scoured the air outside with
With eyes and I found her–
She deserved to be our subject.
She was was a writer herself
With notes and strings
And words that go
With gray mornings, perfect
Against the brightness
Of work. At home
Against all these conversations
That don’t know her name–
Bright flame in this darkness–
Yellow shirt, loud aura
In the Twilite that is not real.
It is night time, late. My friend
And I thought we had felt
All there was to feel in this day–
And then we saw you.
When I was breaking up with her,
the first few cracks of us splintered up and around our bodies, climbed down
her long red hair like Rapunzel hellbent
on her own undoing. I propped
your vinyl up on display as if to say
lay me to waste in the study
with the record player, leave me
with Sarah who knows I’m a sucker,
who knows I’d rather be sad
than apologize, than caulk the old
holes in us–
that from here, it’s prettier
to watch it burn than to mend
the broken hem, that I’d rather watch
things with exoskeletons crawl out
of what we left to neglect,
hope that kind of armor serves
them better than it did
you or I.
A. R. Rogers
Hello, WordPress readers–
I have not met you. I probably have not corresponded with you. I ask for your help.
We have a beautiful poetry community in DFW. The woman who is our rock is sick. Giselle Robinson, our center, our peace, our home when being in that place we live is too scary or sad or empty, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. She is the light in SO much darkness. God is playing the worst joke. The most giving person I know now needs help in a very real way.
From one poet to other poets, for one of the best poetpeople I know–
Please help ❤
Many thanks and much love,