There is (was?) nothing
(there) to forgive;

your tiny,
laughably small


could never have held any of me at all.

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(a little) truth (at least)

Part 1
Look up from the wine, the
half open book (with its cracked
spine, is it wounded, or
well-loved, and is there a difference?
Are dog-ears  any better, even a little, or worse?
If you find highlighter marks inside,
is it the book you forgive
or does she become unreadable?
If you find ink leaking through her pages,
do you feel suddenly the words of other men
writ(h)ing inside you, uncomfortably?
I am curious, so tell me),
and unmade bed at least
a little enough to feel morning
(filtered through the city’s tallest buildings),
chastely kiss your shoulder.

Part 2
As a rule, people are (usually) kinder in the mornings
at breakfast over warm bagels and
coffee with a little too much cream
(at least, generally)

unless you spend the night,
masticating memories,
in your too-full mouth.

Words are only water,
evaporating; I burned my tongue
once upon a time, a long long time ago,
there was a girl who never forgot anything.

Part 3
You never grind your words;
anger is rarely grace, and often survival,
so I wonder about where it all goes:

Maybe there are pockets
made of people
holding you.

(Are there?)

Part 4
“Are you afraid of heights?”

“No ”

I found my apologies lying
a few feet from the windowsill.

“I’m sorry; I don’t remember much”

At least, I told the truth, a little.

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I want to have (be?) enough,
to  give freely
give indefinitely and forever
without ever emptying.

-coping skills

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Janus Lady – Five


They say that we darken
our hair and eyes
with spells

But I would tell [you] that
it is quite the other way around,
that the hair and eyes came first
before the spelling.

I would tell you that our hair is black
and stronger than any wire with
eating karuvipellai, stripped from
the garden, and coaxed them into
the thickness of our braids,
soaking up the darkness from the leaves
because our grandmothers willed it – which
[I suppose] is a type of magic.

And I would tell (you) that
our eyes, [are] dark
with the balance of the universe,
the distilled debts and broken promises,
made to us  by  men who, [confused],
blended,  compassion with amnesia, crushed
into kohl and that to meet our gaze
is to fall into nothing, [so] most people

(prefer to) talk to us over the phone,
and to talk (only) if they must.

Until they feel the minutes (tremble),
whispering other things
against their eardrums;
(until,) they begin
seeing spring through glass wing
butterflies, and [start] finding
what mirages are (made of), and
how (dust,) sand come to storm

they hang up.

I would tell (you)
that we read people into the future,
write them into the past; we pull the threads of
herstories, through a telephone and [an email],
finding the detail
in needlepoint, in knitting
is a long overlooked skill

I used to do wordsearches with patti,
(eventually) playing Scrabble,
sitting there, on the divan, how many
words could I find in those rows
of scarf she wove, and
we took turns, knitting, and spelling.

I would tell you
that the greatest magic we work
is to (become), unbecome, by weaving
and unravelling
time, and space, and (memory)

that there are sentences lyning
underneath every word we say
like wartime code and witchery.

That wool is to words
what knitting is to poetry.
That a good scarf should work
[for] at least 3 seasons in a year

and a good poem finds at least
3 people tucked inside a body.

They say that [we have], with two mouths,
two tongues, and if not more,
one [of course] for pleasure, one for pain,
a clever tongue, a forked tongue,
a tongue that laughs and moves,
[drifted] through dreams
a tongue that licks wounds
[away,] that what we say,
we say with all of them.

They say women born
under my sign have
at least two faces;
at least, and if not more.

but we are not really women at all.

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