a poet was i

there are things in this world               that i could be. 
         heavy things like the road 
         spattered on by blood & bones & 
         cross-country hopes                  ( the ground is never green 
                                                              where you drop your heart.
                                                              you’re always a slapdash 
crime scene, waiting on 911 to get back to you. ) 

or       soft things           like        —         like —

right. you’ve taken the soft things out my hands,
freshly cut hair to the sound of wings taking off,
shaking fruit               tree             limbs until there
is nothing left. 

my list of things keeps getting longer.           flowers. frogs. fruit. 
open ended conversations. invitations that never pick up. the 
silence of dead air on the phone. soft things. hard things. the 
edge of his palm, the absent air — exchanged over and over 
inside lungs that loved 

and hated                     until they had nothing left. there was a 
belief that there are so many things given to you. air. steps. voice. 
use them wisely. 

                        and i stand here as none of those things. 
only hard and soft.                         the static in between. 

                       the split between road / kill.

Fire

Your roommate rushes through your bedroom door and
shakes you awake. You’ve got to leave right now. the
apartment next to yours is on fire. You get up, grab
some shorts and a shirt, toss them on, and run
outside.

now, You weren’t thinking right when You got up,
so it isn’t until You’re a safe distance away from
the fire that you actually start to to use
Your head in any
way.

You start to think about a couple of different things at once.
is it okay to wait for this to blow over in a restaurant?
is it too late for a coffee?
what’s open right now?
what time is it?

not once do you even think about the people around You.
You haven’t yet stopped to consider the lives that
have just been changed forever, or the smell
that is going to haunt the family next door
for

far too long.

well,
to be fair,
You have thought about the smell,
but only because You’re going to have to smell it from next door.
You’re more worried about the clothes you threw on than any of that.

which
is understandable,
because why would You
want to wear that bright orange
shirt with those faded, lime green gym shorts?

You
must feel pretty embarrassed,
everyone in the complex is outside
right now, and they can all see that You
can’t manage to put on clothes that match.

forget
about the dog the neighbors are calling for
or the police officer asking if the victims had
any enemies. because all of that’s going to be
over and done with just as quick as it all started.

soon,
the people next door
will be taken to a hotel, the dog will probably
come running around the corner, the firefighters will find the
cause of the fire, but You’ll still be the guy in the green and orange.

the
news vans will
be here shortly to take interviews
and point cameras so that they have
something to air on their morning news.

and
heaven forbid
someone catch You In something
that doesn’t match. so many people probably
watch the news every morning, You should’ve grabbed some jeans.

You
aren’t thinking
about the people next door,
You haven’t done it a single time
this whole night.  but who’s to judge, right?

You
are in a
pretty bad spot
Yourself, one that
insurance doesn’t cover.

Abiding Servitude

The fairest of all angels I do serve.
With a blood most pure and a will most strong,
Such a fine master I do not deserve;
For her to praise me is all that I long.

Behind ashen hair gleam pale azure eyes;
Those grave features in all do awe inspire.
Yet I, her night who brings her foes’ demise,
Will answer her every whim and desire.

To see her in pain is my greatest fear;
From the slightest harm my queen I will shield,
Shrouding her soul in my own mind to bear
The doom to which she swore to never yield.

          And although her death rendered my heart sore,
          I shall stay by her side for evermore.

as much as i hate admitting it to myself, i still do type your username on the search bar. i still remember your birthday and the way your blue eyes shine when you smile. i still wait for a someday where maybe we’ll cross paths again but deep down, i know someday doesn’t have a date. i still lay on the floor, listen to your song and feel my tears filter through the cracks of my broken heart. no one told me getting over someone would be so damn hard, if only you would’ve come with a warning sign…
—  i long for the day i won’t see you in my dreams anymore.
Repelling Draw

‘Til the end of time within our realm
All of us thy glory will overwhelm
And none other shall ever match thy skill
For grim sorrow through great art thou can heal.
Resting during day, thou shimmer by night
Despising the sun, I bask in thy light.

But such fame is no gift to desire
No one but thyself doth thou admire
Many previous ones have drowned in their pride,
Yet by thy lethal pull I must abide.
Beware, my love, for contempt is a sin
To the simplest souls blissful death has been.

How wielding such wisdom doth thou ignore 
The dryness thy loss could bring in my core,
In which distress would be all worlds marine?
Still for an enslaved life I yearn and pine
And though in harsh salt thou tear me apart,
Twice a day to thee I will lose my heart.

3

On November 4, 1918, Wilfred Owen (b. March 18, 1893) was killed in action. Owen wrote some of the best poetry on World War I, with imagery that unflinchingly details the terrors of trenches and gas warfare. Imbued with confidence from mentor Siegfried Sassoon, much of his poetry also refuses to shy away from his feelings as a gay man. A mere five of his poems were published during his lifetime. When Owen died one week before the Armistice, he was only 25 years old.