“An ars poetica, is of course, articulating one’s raison-d’être for being a poet”
- Ocean Vuong
It is impossible to hold all of myself –
my hands are too fragile.
Suburban Massachusetts sidewalks, pale-lit with street-lamp radiance,
as he walks me home,
my red blood cells dance
tipsy off the gentle smile that plays on his lips.
Her hands glazing my thighs and the wine-dark bloom that
she smolders onto my neck.
I didn’t know teeth could feel so sweet, so free.
The crush of body on body, so grounding, reactive, igniting
a new nuclear planet,
from the collision of terribly delicate, luminous foundations.
Myself is too much to hold.
For waves keep coming over the boughs and holy rain keeps blessing me as it torrents down and
my mouth opens like a soft pink tulip,
begging to be drowned by its beautiful wet sun.
Palo Alto at 6:00pm in November, a perfect rosy dusk. Paris at 2:14am, unbearably
musical. Brooklyn, 85 degrees
at 7:00pm on July 23, when you slipped melody and rose and the sun
melting into the East inside the inlet of my lips, tasting
like whiskey, caramel pretty and burning me dizzy.
I cannot help but crave the bittersweet salt
of waves french-kissing my tongue.
My stomach begs to gorge itself, full on the ocean’s storms,
but can only cradle
one tsunami at a time.
So I bail myself out, flood, spill into pristine, waiting white.
Licks of Austin sun radiating on sunscreened calves – June wind hugs and humid grass tickles.
Autumn smells like a fire burning and perhaps that’s why I’m always more breathless in fall, falling in bonfires of leaves,
exquisite explosions as
their tenuous paper bodies tremble
down into dust.
Endless iterations of fresh snow on a tender hill, downy pureness
that I’d turn blue
just to nestle into.
And dark, brackish water seeps into my lungs sometimes like suffocation so I pour
out the liquid obsidian in my chest and place it in crystal bottles.
I remember too many 5:45pms in this cold cold bathroom with ugly white tiles.
My bones haven’t lost the memory of being frozen.
I feverishly daydream sometimes of these bottles greeting the sun – wondering if
love song prisms of light will be symphonied
out of the glow of glass and
decanted scars and saltwater collarbone pools and memories
of an unstable house shaking with anger.
My mother who hugs me like I am the one who gave her life,
whose missing me
soaks into my skin, damp and loved.
My older brother whose world is instinctively colored a perpetual yellow sunshine. His joy
smells of banana pancakes on a Sunday,
and a five year old’s smile on a face six feet tall.
I plead for more water than this frame can swallow, spilling over
my skin, to continue to float in this flood.
The way dawn always quavers with the light of new morning.