I am a successful poet.
I can say whatever I want.
I am word-sounds laced together
in haphazard fashion.
No time taken to smooth out their edges
because who even
looks that closely?

I connect with nobody at all.
I make mouth-shapes, incoherent,
I ask questions
and answer them at you.
My words (not my words)
are followed by voids,
where there should be meanings,
but I’ll leave the actual work
up to you.

This is what happens
when people love you unconditionally.
This is what happens when you’ve earned
all there is to earn.
This is what happens when you are validated
for everything
and criticized
for nothing.

There is no responsibility to take.



i’ve learned to leak acid
from my throat
learned to corrode you
to watch you
melt down

i’ve learned to dissect you
layer by layer
with a tongue so sharp
it makes no sound

i’ve learned to take the skin
that leaves your frame
and wear it with pride
as my own

you’ve taught me that sometimes,
there’s no other way
tact and honesty have no place
between snakes
locked together
fangs to neck
that good love
won’t stay intact

you’ve taught me to leak acid
into your veins
and I’ve learned not to flinch
as you burn



your gristle chin, velvet lips
on the nape of my neck
the pads of your fingertips
the whorls the arches the
hunt-worn calluses
traverse like growls
along my spine
you, starved of meat
far too long
tighten your hot knuckle grip 
at my hips
draw wet salt from my skin
you thrust and slip
thrust and slip

we pant
like dogs
in heat

i feel the canid song
the growl, the howl
clawing at my throat
begging me
to loosen the leash
the moon calls for me
like she always does
to come

it’s a damn shame
these walls
are so thin


because i want to know

water that keeps 
going around things that 
won’t keep going: rocks,
roots, telephone

water that carries
burdens and sheds 
them along the
path when the time
is right,

water that
moves in the spaces
in which it is
least welcome,
unashamed to be
what and where it is,

water that 
falls into the 
arms of the shore
over and over
like a trust game

water that gives life and
takes it back
takes it right back:

teach me how


in light of the recent darkness

When people say
I don't see race
what they mean is
I'm afraid
to acknowledge
our differences
because then
I would have
to acknowledge
that you
have strengths
I don't have
that you
know things
I don't know
and that you
can teach me things
I'm not
to learn.

- in light of the recent darkness
by Alicen Grey