hope

desperate woman

leaking a hope so stale

that you grin and brace

for the overtaking.

where do you go when the unforgiving street lamps

come alive

when greedy eyes probe

when you’ve nowhere to hide?

maddening, migratory

woman

with your cracks too wide

for any man to hold

the ceaseless ache

in the souls

of feet

forbidding familiarity

do you tire of planning escape routes before the sun breaks through blinds?

oh willful, wandering woman

you make love with finality and purpose

you leave ruins

in the wake

of your candor

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hyacinth

your

twine bound

bouquets

bid me undue

grace-

rest your jaw

on my

hyacinth-bruised

knees

(unlucky lover:

our shelf life

passed

sixteen yesterdays ago)

i’m always blooming

pain

for your

small comforts,

but

rain shed from

these leaves

falls

just the same

island

i remember

my mother is an immigrant

when i hear the island

curling her voice

when she speaks to

her mother or her brother

it took them

seven years

to get to america-

they waited

because my mother

and her mother

are stubborn women

with stubborn

hair

coarse,

thick and

frizzy

the same hair

she told me wasn’t

to be seen in public

she spends hours

battling it

but the ends always curl

and my last name

is “amador”

or lover

but texas took my name

stretched the vowels

spat it out like chewing tobacco

my mother would tell me

“this is right”

and I believed her

until I heard a woman

say my name so gracefully,

curling her tongue around the “r”

I knew it couldn’t be right

I am constantly

trying to unlearn

all the ways my mother

taught me

to contain

the waves

in my blood-

the crests of

my hair

the troughs

in my

hips

compass

the truth is this:

when first impressions 

take place in 

a trauma unit 

you cannot feign 

an affect 

the collective result 

of papercuts-

I want to know you 

like a jealous God

I want to give you 

compassion like 

warm honey 

and coarse salt

drenching your being 

blooming orchids 

where your purest 

intentions dwell 

I will gaze 

into your potential 

stitched together 

redemption 

and moonbeams 

I will be

the dusted compass

pointing

 you 

home

carousel

on this

dystopian

carousel

horses and

lions

conspire

to manifest

their

will

unbeknownst

to the bears

whose

paint chipped

claws

shackled, bound

to this brassen

spell

marbled eyes

ache of swine

spinning faster still

pray

one day

their poles collapse

eternal motion

at last

resting

repose

and

fulfilled