in me you are a secret
this phenom under a lyric wresting
profound to me and only a few we know
but once to words the words will live as they are meant

you is no matter of fact
scared to be holding on and out of control
i laugh big tears
the outside is asking for you to be
from a tense head, i must admit
you are meant to be expressed
what will contraction sound
born from me and pushed through my mind



i have to let me be
delivered without plan
squeezed through my palms
gross strain in the shoulders, in the back
storm-dropped fronds
what i’ve learned is


my life is returning to me
through the sensation of turning corners
in different cities in different stages of light
innocuous sites untethered from why

i find, i am living through peripheral people
watching high, knowing them without any of it
being true
finding my self at an old job,
but the furniture has moved
all configurations tried
another girl in my eyes

june comes closer
but my head is down, i am carving through the past
a finger on the network
without why

i’m just trying
to read about the future, in fact
it was an article about
the end of the world,
but she contorts my vision back
a tick, a latitude
registering each synapse
the will to fire



1. the identification of key words,

widening, thinning, effacement, sweep, contraction, transition

2. the discovery of minimal context,

She can’t remember going through it. She can’t remember pain, blood, or mucous. She has nothing to say and, further, she had no problems. After I was born, she was happy and nothing more.

I think this could have to do with being a rape survivor, but I don’t know. I may tie too much to her rape because she ties nothing to it. She describes it too as a moment she moved on from, or, she does not remember grieving. Or, she has never grieved. She does not make much of it.

She does not make much of it. I fill what I perceive to be the voids of her depression with explanations, rationalizations, analyses, and interpretations. My goal is to tell her what is missing. I am programmed like this.

I sunk into those depressions with my form. From far away, we form a composite whole. As my smallest parts vibrate, coerce, and produce, I fidget with her. My fears are for her.

In the doctor’s office, I begin to panic if I am left alone for too long. I fearfully spread my legs. I sweat, and in the past, I pass out. I cannot stand being out of control of my body. My mind tries to go away.

3. the choice of appropriate transformations,

It will be all my own, and there is not much further I can go than that.

4. generation of responses in the absence of keywords, and

Characterized by the willful positioning of one’s feelings into a subdermal form. This pattern is in a language that some other programmers will understand. Results in daily periods of high-frequency anxiety, worthlessness, and “nothingness.” Prior periods of sexual confusion, followed by sexual malaise. Codependency. Criticism.

5. the provision of an ending capacity for ELIZA “scripts”.

I have no control. The program ends.


for now, you are more fish than me
your belly full of liquid
i breathe it, i eat it
and you swallow it

i hear it, and you hear it
muffled and meaningless to you, underwater
but you’ll stick to my translation
you have no one else to listen to

will you want to keep yourself? or, will that come later
when desire inherits your head
taken with the theme of living

aren’t you frightened?
i am afraid to fall asleep
to the darkness you are feeling
kicking at the soft cell of me
hands gripped tight and wondering,
without wondering
what time it is

there is a hope in this project that makes
a contradiction of me
asking to keep something i promised to borrow

but the cat appears, and she seems
much more content to let love go on without reserve
in its extraordinary coordination with impossibility



way out

i want to always have a way out
i’ve twisted out the grasp of a nurse
lied to get my place, my way
to be fed
resorted to methods in quiet
instead of saying what i wanted

you asked me to talk about this in the dream i had again last night:
i laid in place on your poolside bed. you walked by, on your way out. you said “i’ll see you later, okay?” and it was saccharine, it meant: you’re still mine and i’ll be back to get it. i said okay instead of saying no, which was what i felt but i let myself go to you to get away from someone else who said: you’re still mine and i’ll be back to get it. in the end, you didn’t like my disappearance and you tried to make my world unloved…a retaliation that said much of you as it did of me

this is where i get my shortness of breath
when i cannot escape
airplanes, arguments, politics, and my cervix
when i am backed into a corner and i am willing to be coarse in the mouth
to try anything to twist out of your hands
in what i am willing to give
in how i prefer to hide
in how my cowardice moves
as long as i am alright
because i can do what i will not say
i cannot say what i will do

sung to the tune of a swooning 40’s love song:

harboring you…
appearances are…benevolent 
but you
are confined, mine

i saw you the other day
in a soft prison
you were asleep, you have slept the whole time
since i found you

grief must make one tired
eating energy to know
what matter will be made

in a burrow, so light, floating with the tide
cradled in white, dense pockets of fat sand
seeing that lump at the shore, you,

i could say
it’s the restrictions, the limits
of what we know
that make us who we are

but knowing that
you are eating from me
moving my way
captive, you see
what can i say
of kindness