Hey you.

While I Was Brushing My Teeth

I want to brush my teeth

With you.

I want to see your face in the mirror

And I want to laugh

Spitting toothpaste into the sink.

Wipe it on my face and

I wipe it on yours.

I want to brush my teeth

With you.

Because I am in my pajamas

And so are you

We were both eating chocolate before

You smell like dark chocolate and mint.

I want to brush my teeth

With you,

So I leave a new toothbrush

By my bathroom sink

And hope that you’ll pick it up.

So I make my bed

And put my cleanest t shirt on

In hope that you touch it,

Clean my glasses so I can see

Your eyes,

And smile my squinty eye smile

So you’ll know I was waiting.

My Ocean

I swim out to touch your smooth

Skin like sheets beneath my fingertips

As you wake and eyes flutter open.

Cold to the touch like silken glass

I float over waves of it

My mouth above the water

My ears are below so I stop listening to

The thrum of it all.

Waves come and sometimes I let them

Take me all the way under so I feel the bottom

And the bottom feels me,

Tumbles me, until I lie on the sand

Breathing heavy.

But I go back out and float until

I see the next one,

Hoping it will be nice to me this time.

This time.

There is scratch on my cheek

As I lay my bones out to dry

But I know I will go back.

Salt dries on my skin like waves too

He has marked me.

Little crystal towers form on my arm

As you lick them off one by one.

As he watches me and beckons

And I know this time I will

Swim out and not return.

Elmer’s Glue

Let me tell you about time darling,

It’s not real

Momma says.

Because when you want to see somebody

Again you just have to be quiet for a while

And close your eyes.

She said that the grains of sand shouldn’t fall

Like that, in a stupid line,

No grains of sand would float

Because gravity just has to do

With our feet not time,

That’s when I look at my feet,

And notice my shoe lace is untied.

She ties it and keeps saying

So when you miss something

You ask your thoughts politely

And they’ll take you by the hand

Leading you back,

She starts pulling me away and it hurts

It hurts because I’m going to see them again

But darling you mustn’t fall in love with grains

Of sand because they are just that.

They fall into the sea eventually,

Don’t let the shadows of time lure you back

Just tuck the grains in your pocket

Shatter the looking glass

Because darling time isn’t real,

We just have to pick up the fragments,

She gives me Elmer’s glue.


The Moon and Back

I was outside walking home and suddenly

I missed you so much

That I wrote you in the air

“I love you to the moon and back”

I got a coffee in la taberna de besos

Up the cobbled stairway and to the right

In the courtyard with flowers y olor de canela

And I wanted to see your face across from me

“I love you to the moon and back”

I was sick of writing so I ran outside and walked

And walked and walked until I was above the city

And out in the pine trees where it smelled good

The dirt in my nails and the cactus below my

Fingers so I could touch them if I needed to

Wild flowers in my hair and lemon rind in my pocket

“I love you to the moon and back”

That’s what we say to each other–

When she’s heartbroken even though

She’s the most beautiful girl in the world, mi hermana

Como un ángel

Or when he brings me my favorite chocolate

Because he knows I’m lonely

Singing me the family lullaby

When you remember the little things

And keep the big things quiet.

It is so hot today and I need to get away

A stranger calls from his step

“ay guapa déjame darte una bebida”

He brings me fresh squeezed juice

He needs somebody to talk to,

He needs a body to love him to the moon and back.

A little boy kicks his soccer ball against the house

La señora yells from the terrace

“Stop niño! Esta mente es antigua”

I kick it to him

And he cautiously rolls it back

He wants some one to love him

To the moon and back.

And we must say it to each other

We must kiss it into our collar bones

Shove it down torn pockets

Drink bebidas con la luna

With sweat on our necks and words

In the blood,

Just tell me, please just tell me

“I love you to the moon and back”


I have my backpack on my shoulders

Another bag slung across.

I thought it was heavy.

I’m pealing an orange,

The skin falls to the ground like shattering glass

But there is no sound.

They give me my passport back

And tell me to walk through

I’m still eating the orange,

There is no peel now,

Just the flesh against my skin

My fingers are sticky, there is no water.

I see the fence,

Barbed wire, there are three fences

There are so many cars

It smells like exhaust and people

I see them looking at me through steel

Eyes. Steel eyes. The juice is running down my arm

I keep putting sections into my mouth

I can’t breathe

My bag is so heavy

But I see them like mules through the fence

They have so much more than me

There are orange peels everywhere

I keep eating oranges

The smell is intoxicating

The guards are looking at us

But they’re eyeing them

They’re flirting with us

But they’re telling them no.

I want to throw orange juice in their eyes.

There are lines of people

Women. So many women. With bundles the size

Of their bodies. There are men,

Lined up on the fence watching my back

I put more oranges in my mouth.

I eat so many oranges.

On Walking through the Alpujarras

There is red dirt in my fingernails

And I’ve never felt so clean,

There is sage in my hair, leaves sticking out

Of my head and purple flowers in my braid.

I left the orange peels in my pocket so I could smell

Them, the juice dripped on my leg

And now I smell like oranges and dirt.

I can feel my heart dragging toward the tree

Branches. To the building below me

But it has no roof,

Like me.

My insides seem to be floating up and up.

But I feel so good.

I feel so clean,

The sun is turning my skin to husk.

I just want to role in the mud

And run through the sage

And peel oranges and leave them in

My pockets and refuse to have a roof so

My heart can fill to the sky.

El Cielo

I’m at the top of the hill,

Do you see my teeth like ivory in the clouds,

My yellow skirt blows in the wind

I have a smile on like two red parenthesis

My hair growing longer by the moments.

There is music in the trees darling,

Like leaves hanging and brushing the wind,

Everything is vibrating and I can feel it with my bare feet,

I’m alone on the top of the hill,

And the world is moving and I’m moving too

We’re moving together but this time my eyes

Are like river stones

And my heart like feathers and my ribs like ribbons

My fingers like silk and my hips like water.

And slowly as the leaves fall into my mouth and

Tickle my throat, they sprout roots in my stomach

I keep smiling and my ribbons wrap the tree branches

Until I grow upward into the sky

Dancing and singing into the sun,

The sun stretches golden arms around

My face and swallows me whole,

So I can live forever in the sky.

Eyes Full

When you bury me under darling,

But just before when my eyes feel droopy

Like the dusk sun in the long summer days,

I’m going to say to you all my questions

That I locked here in my chest

Do you seem them?

I’m going to ask you how you saw me,

And why I saw it so differently

Why trains are so dangerous

Why he left his apple sauce and chocolate milk behind

A mess of a girl to clean up by myself

About my grandmother

And why you took her away without asking me

Everything, I’m going to ask you about the time

When I was left alone and I couldn’t breathe

About my english class and my angel

About blue eyes and people who were lost when they were born.

But the answers don’t exist do they darling?

You’ll take my face in your hands like feathers

And tell me I am the way I am.

Even though there are tears burning my cheeks as

I catch them in my hands,

You’ll kiss my nose and say that life

Chose to break you in a way that leaves

Mosaic in its midst and maybe only a few

People will understand because they have the patience

And that you’re job is to always wait.


And to be kind and to touch their collar bone

Like spring,

Even though you remain in the shadows.

Carry the load on your back

Carry the load in your bones

Until they turn pitch like the night

And then seep into the ground,

Let no one love you

And love everyone else.

But tell the story until your hand aches

With writing and your eyes are full.



Unfaithful Garden

She’s before me blinking and breathing

As I blink and breathe but I swear she isn’t me.

When she moves her mouth to talk I think here it comes

She is going to say something worth listening to but instead

She closes her mouth again, as if there were birds nests inside,

As if there were feathers in the inside of her cheek and she didn’t

Want anybody to notice.

I smile and she grimaces so I try to touch her,

But the glass is cold, so cold.

So I scream and tear and bite and kick,

Until I am out of breathe and a feather lightly

Flits through the air and lands in my hand,

I try to open my mouth but there are nests inside,

So I close it and try to speak with my eyes,

She’s trapped now, behind the mirror,

And I’m stuck trying to cover up my feathers,

And stop eating strawberries because maybe you’re

Skin will get seeds and then God knows what will

Happen when somebody sees you feeding strawberries

To nests in your mouth.

In my mouth

In her mouth, the mouth behind the mirror.


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