The blood of old idioms
climb my suffering like ivy / feral words
that slide from my mouth sound just like you,
impersonating the vernacular of your curiosity
which trigger how forcefully you squeeze your
fingertips into my fossilized knees / you whispered
my thighs once belonged to Proserpina

I flee from your dirty hair, damp walls
that study the humidity in our individual breaths,

You monopolize the air, you pervade
everything / a child’s mouth, the last dusting
of an Olympic wave / a divergent rhododendron,
the pain in my voice / love, in sallow hands and
hurricanes, Pluto occupies everything, with touch,
with fever & flush / without boundary or inhibition

If there was more of me to find, you hunted it down
to reverb into my soul, to use as pillows,

In one night—you saw the moon tumble from my waist
into the hours of nocturnal waters, you slipped in
thru the sea, in silence / you hush each caustic cry
pushing one mouth to another     naked, of your
permanent pride / naked, in blue vein & eye /
you never left me, but smeared the syllables
of every timeline until it was just / you & me
Beasts of current, fed off the constellations,
you left nothing behind.

Five Thousand Cancers

Palm Springs, an envious devil
scratching my skin with sand scum and cactus soap—
still I love desert kin and a 97° shade of palm,
            the way two lovers sing broken off psalms
with the crests of mouths reminiscent in palate of
blackberry dessert in a grandmother’s kitchen

How deep did you center yourself into the recesses of the fire?
            lleno de tripas             muriendo de amor

eat, and make love like your body holds seven sets of souls
and one memory            the heat            the cross
she starves money and browns in the sun,

a pattern of green, an echo of flaked orange on the lips,
architecture of stolen rosary embroidered on the belly button
where the south is receding and impregnated by the devil—
tattooed in nightlife neon from around the corner
and a temperament disfigured by the sour diesel,

Five thousand cancers are alive in your lashes,
ella se muere de hambre y se pone al sol.


You were born to be a Damocles.
It’s in your name / you share the same
snake-like entendre     you lure, into love
and linger the sword of your lust, provoking
strokes of luck into fire and your rotting teeth
grind on spongy hearts like punch-drunk birds of prey

At dusk, your hands spring into fever / your mouths
(you have seven) sing communion into the chasm
where you once left my swollen virginity and your
stolen identity / the back of you sprawls,
shoulders collapse, wide-winged and white dust
spilling from my chest cavity as you crack my soul
in half in the malevolent sleuth of your unhinged jaw

I wait to be swallowed / as all other men / they wait
for your cataclysm, the cautionary verb of your
intimidation, the missing N—a symbol that slides
from your thenar like Judas hiding inside a throat,
consuming fates made of flowers you plucked off
the flats of my feet as I appear next to you / a wraith

Your anatomy is nothing more than an anecdote / and
sleepless allegory

Two Cannibals in a Blackout

I am a mirror image of what is inside you.
Violence and a bullseye—subliminal sacrifices
being antagonized through ticker tape and cartographs,
velvet Tourette’s and phobic of reactionaries, our fingers swell
in the exact same way when our blood pressures rise and
we sweat the same nonsense which makes our pores smell alike—
without baths our biology is evidence of inbreeding wastelands.
But you wear my perfume when you are alone because you
want to remember what coffee smells like while you’re in love.

My husband says he sees how I am exactly like you.
The more he hears, the more he talks to you, the more he knows,
the more he notices the niceties that we have overlooked—
it’s in the way we speak, a catchphrase, a gruff sigh and
an anxious need to be left alone—exigency impales our mouths
and that is why it is dangerous for us to breath the same air—
two cannibals in a blackout—a ferritin drip of the same
flaring nostril and the rotten leftovers of a person telling the same
inside joke time and time and time again because nothing is funnier
than sardonic comfort and a bowl of porridge, a sunken belly—we rub all
four eyes and blink until eyelashes loosen, we return to kaleidoscope.
How small are my hands? How cosmic, like the vowel in our names.

I press the letter N, and while you’re miles away in Hong Kong
you turn it into a song that no one else understands but me.

Which one of us has been coddled more by the other?
You leave love notes regardless of descent, and I impersonate
your voice in my head—the one that always told me “nothing is a mistake.”

You read my mind. I say nothing—but you hear me
and it makes us questions why we use words at all,
why call and exaggerate the wobble of your knees
in comparison to flat feet and lack of sleep—tell me
repetitiously how I am not the same, but neither are you,
and it angers you to be different from the person for whom
you divided your life into two—it’s not you, it’s not me,
this isn’t us and us isn’t we and when you look in the mirror
it’s not you that you see, and my husband agrees that he doesn’t
see me—but neither of you ask how I feel about not knowing
who I am, or knowing all too well, which are the same thing.