I'm just happy to be here.

Tag: zfc


Lighter lighter lighter,
I want to light the dark
with a lighter, light
my two hands, look
at the light between
my two hands, a dark
history is on fire, light
my palms with prayer,
toss light words
up in the air,
light balloon of truth,
lost light of my youth,
the dark is far and near,
I peel the light from my skin,
like a bruised banana peeling
itself to look for
light at both ends, I
whisper in silence,
the light
make it
wake up the world
with the fast break of
light, lighting the unseen
Light for the lightheaded,
Light for the dread
Light for the white lies
Light for the night readers
Lighter, Lighter, Lighter
Make my head lighter too
We eat light foods to confuse
the heavy bodies
of darkness we feed, but what
if we lost the mood to be hollow?
what if we
swallow light? lighten, feel
lighter than light, flick the light
off, on, walk out the dark,
march like a match strikes
sudden light forged into flame,
struck in a straight line, like
the quick light surge
at the end of super verb,
a pervasive verse, a light tongue
persuasive as heat
held inside
the light.

Will someone
light my black hair
in this blacker than
light night?
All the moon and stars
are gone, and so who
is left to
catch the light,
but me
my light bright
palms alight like
the first
light bulbs, light
hovering above
our lighter heads,
shedding light,
the darker the better,
when I say
look at my
new skin
made of light
my light head
lit with radiance
light as patience
it is
another way to
the light
does not lose
a spark begins
a flame spread
the light is loose,
the dark is dead.


At a party where no one is listening,
a woman I’ve never wanted
whispers in my ear, leans over to say,
I know how you are,
And she is a liar as soon
as she says it, as soon as she says
know and you,
the air in the room sours.
She, a fruit fly, a gnat, a small
bothersome thing, hovering
beneath her false certainty,
and I cannot kill what I cannot see:
truth dimmed in half-light
a lie dug in the dark,
invisible, dangerous sparks,
catching fires
more troublesome than the storm
forming inside my throat.

On the phone, a woman I do not want
to want me back anymore says,
I think, I think
You have trust issues,
And as soon as she says it,
am I supposed to be less true?
Is my skin the soil she needs
her words to take root in?
People misconstrue
bloom and blame as the same,
but who gave both my name?

I read a text message from a woman
who does not want me to want her back,
who wanted me, then stopped wanting me,
who kissed me, then stopped kissing me,
who, at once, remains both
blameless and blooming.

She, typing,
me waiting,

three dots bounce like a wave
the blue crash a new rash
now sending
slowly bending towards me,
the words move up, delivered
like the river leaving the ocean,
the words touch the earth of my skin,
leap off the touch screen, unleashed,
touching me without sound,
I think, I think
you felt more for me than I felt for you,
And as soon as she writes it,
I read it, each single syllable of
her words jump into my body,
barrage of silent cadavers
pierce the paper on my skin&
all I can do is weep in my garage,
inaudibly alone, sitting,
neither beside or outside,
but as my disgusted self,
listening to Azalea
croon out the wicked moon
of Louis Armstrong’s cratered
throat, a songbirds words
blooming off my tongue,
the garden of my blues
recoiling, repeating
the melody
of m’lady melancholy.
I confuse so many
sounds for hope.
Is my heart wrong?
In the dark field of my longing,
all the flowers are dead.
I know who you are,
the pain says
the pain says,
now and always,
your hurt
belongs to me,

the pain of your name
your long history of blame
now and always,
belongs to you,

and all I can do is murmur
alongside the sideways summer storm,
yearning to unlearn,
still not knowing what to do
other than follow
the soft curve of my palms
form around the jawline,
like a poorly written sentence
I don’t want to write.
I know who you are, and
I know who I want you to be
the pain says, but you’ll
never know the difference.
I say,
How do you
think about yourself
when no one is there to witness?
when your grief stays, unanswerable,
never beginning, yet always






When the blender blade I left out on the kitchen sink
grabbed onto my skin like a midnight conviction,
I could not refute its symbolism.
Sloppy universe, I smile to myself
while the steel burnished
dagger grins, bedaubs the taut tarp
that keeps me buried within.
The crimson song hurries out
deep enough, I witnessed
the white breakable body beneath me

picture this: the entirety of my essence exits
from simple exposure.
You should know,
I concentrated the blood until it dried like plums
until aplomb is all I would ever become,
ablaze by the harvest moon, conflagration
of certitude, long overdue, all this belief
no longer absconding but leaving the body
alas, turning blue flame true.
Imbued by the imperative nature of my own leaking,
the thin tissue, indignant at the incessancy
is now a precursor of how I’ve come to be. A leaving
behind of what makes me lighthearted
suffice to say there is a surplus of
ordinary sadness in whatever I say
whether it be silent or amplified,
there is a history of empty
staying alive.

There are an inordinate amount of words to describe leaving the body
but they all lead to empty, a extinct future of eventually, this is the kind
of goodbye no one likes to memorize, you know,
the kind of death that spring performs
the erasure of winter,
dead trees
daring to be great
when even the air they make
turns against them, their bodies
forgotten. My body forgets its make up
all the time.

You should know, when I saw the bare minimum of me,
my own blood was all that I could think of, leaving, cells
succumbing to oxygen, color by breath,

the radiance of it—

This sounds improbable, and it probably is
if you’re anyone but me but you should know
how I stopped the bleeding, the leaving.
I wrote L-O-V-E in blood on paper,
watched the trees swallow the plums
in seconds, and just stared at the only thing
that’s ever left me and still spoke love
and let it last.

Let it be the last of me.
Oh please if I am not to last,
when I am empty—
please dispose of me




Everyone keeps asking where I’m going like I know direction.
I have been lost so many times I forgot what it means to lose.
I may be a story of defeat but that does not mean surrender comes easy.
I’m not leaving, just taking my love with me ‘cause nobody’s gonna stop me.

Not even me. Crowned King of Broken is breaking away from the tyranny
of himself and I can’t wait to rip this skin off and start anew. Spring will
be done soon and when the summer comes, I will remember the nights
where all I had for supper was whatever my mouth tried to swallow.

I have dug teeth into myself, broke into my body like a bar-b-q pit
Ripped the meat clean from the bones, took my heart apart like brisket and chewed the fat with a Texas fury.
No part of me passes through you without taking your tongue too.
That’s why I’m not leaving. I’m just taking whatever the fire didn’t.

I chewed a toothpick until I had to pick the splinters from my teeth.
Spit the soft wood off the tip of my tongue and watched a piece of something vanish.
I have decided to do the same. Most of me anyway is a broke bridge too tired to burn.
After a long while, you forget what you don’t have.

Don’t expect me to arrive anywhere anytime soon.
This Spring has been nothing but knowing a new softness.
You’d be surprised how much my teeth taught me tender
All my mouth ever wants to do is learn to love without having to leave.

But oh, the tongue is a running river that will not stop itself.
I cannot withhold what happens when I tell stories to strangers.
But oh, if all my fury goes forgotten, I swear to lose my taste for rotten meat.
Swear to smile the kind of smile that shows all my teeth, and nobody’s gonna stop me.


I am singing Usher’s U Got it Bad
under my breath
past midnight
at a coffee shop
when the table I sit at
suddenly becomes the cafeteria
at my middle school which
on some Friday nights
became the dance floors
I would find myself wearing
a Ralph Lauren polo
and shoes that are not built for dancing,
but my sixth grade body don’t know that.

I am looking at a picture of my eleven year old brother
before his first middle school dance alone in my room
when suddenly my heart forgets its
hard promise, pours clean from my chest
like a punch bowl drunk with fresh fruit,
bodies ripe with sugar and the want to spill
I imagine the celebration that becomes of the cafeteria
as soon as he enters.
Wearing a striped Ralph Lauren Polo
with dark denim jeans, his hairstyle so slick
He smiles like he’s trying to earn his first kiss.
I imagine his ankles turning to air before all his friends
find their hips, and the girl he loves to tell me about
laughs at how he knows every lyric
to every Bruno Mars song that comes on
and I have already lost myself
thinking about how he tries to shake
the linoleum off the floor. In fact
I have already wept twice while writing this
but that’s okay cause my boy Kyler,
oh he is a King of loving things
even at eleven,
a boy believes in his body enough
to watch it burn down one night
only to have it back by morning—
That is my favorite part .



I burned my throat while looking for you this morning
but that isn’t fair to say
because I was drinking coffee too.

On both sides of my coffee mug is a typewriter
with the words Just My Type beneath the brim
and before I can smile at the wordplay, I open my mouth
for a kiss. My lips slobber sleep, my tongue sits still
a tired ribbon pretends to do the same, as it stays
wrapped up in picturesque porcelain until it is
ink free and all my teeth are stained with something
remarkable to say.
But your name taps out before I can even say
good morning.
I type your name out, each letter lost keys,
turning into me, a jagged memory,
a picked lock, a space bar struck by a thumb
over and over again, the distance within
being without you
will always be a burning bridge
a fresh brew that caffeine chews the type
of silence you wish to remain so,
but even the rot rises, like it too
wants to be forgot,
a lock turning into a chimney,
lost love learning itself in these
letters of mine,
I have let my tongue bear the mark of brimstone
because my coffee mug is a typewriter and
I burned my throat when I tried to spill the stories like steam
because I wanted to say what mattered the most
and then watch it leave
but nobody knows how to do that
and how is that so?
That is, how do you speak the very thing that swallows
you whole?



Sorry, meet your mouth.
Your mouth is my mouth.
Sorry, our mouths have met
a thousand and one times today,
at least. Let’s skip the pleasantries.
We both know what we’re doing
isn’t love making.

It’s a scuffle of skin, I give, you take
I bleed and you make the red disappear
until I no longer crumble crimson. Fuck
I want so bad to be fixed
but your mouth made me forget my own
and now I don’t know whose teeth to trust.

Now biting my tongue is the same as feeling sorry
for myself, and silence is an apology I never meant
to grow into but the roots have already adapted.
I confuse truth for what refuses to leave, self-included.
What’s included with most of my self is a stairwell
of sorry’s, all leading out my mouth and back into it.
It’s a stupid kind of stuck, having a sorry mouth
It’s a stubborn kind of love, having a mouth
that is never enough and always sorry
for talkin’ too much.



It is Saturday night in Elgin, Texas and I have mastered
the art of standing still while spinning violently

I won’t blame the moonshine because there’s no need
no need to name the hands that take you from tenderness

Besides it wasn’t like that. See, what I did was soak what
sunk me in matrimony between the people that let me go

Without ceremony. I said a few words about how I’m tired
of loving the leaving, left some sentences in the form of dead skin.

The wind picked me up like a good friend, said things end
and set me like down as if it was the beginning, again.

I was so drunk I stopped recreating the past and didn’t even get sad.
I was so drunk I stopped recreating the past and just looked at what I had.

Looked at the night sky pinched by starlight and stillness and
couldn’t help but see myself similar. Hasn’t this body always been

Strewn about with bits of light? Skin so thick, it has to be borrowed
from the night. Heart so bright, has to be all alone with all that light.

I can’t blame the moonshine cause now it all makes sense. The stillness.
The spinning. Oh, I can’t blame the moonshine when I am the full moon




It is 5 AM, and I am holding a woman without fear of what may come
when the morning does, and this is the first time, since the last time which
no longer matters, except to say I have become an expert at holding on, which
is to say I am terrible at letting things go, and this is nothing new, but oh
the way she cracks my body open like allergy season is, and that ain’t nothing.

I should rewind.

You are on your bed and this is my first time in your room and
I don’t want to do anything to mess it up so I just lie on my back and listen
and watch you sing your favorite songs to me and oh now you are bright-
eyed, now you are a lighthouse, and I never even had to tell you about the

I should rewind.

I loved a girl before you who never listened to my favorite songs because
they were too sad. Then she stopped loving me back and oh, nothing prepares
you for that. Except the sad songs, and there is never enough ice to break
the irony.

I should rewind.

Depression is an ocean and I thought since my father was a sailor this might
save me but it only made me more dissolve faster and that did not solve anything,
so I lifted my body from the bottom of my bed, and tried to make myself happen,
like how anything happens to anyone in the course of a day, but no one noticed
so I went back to bed and buried myself dead.

I should fast-forward.

We spent Valentine’s day getting drunk and eating tacos from a truck outside
next to a jukebox that played nothing but love songs. Just My Imagination
by the Temptations became the soundtrack at 2 AM for stumbling lovers and
I held your hand ‘cause sometimes my worst fault is falling too soon, and
oh darling, I didn’t want to ruin the music.

It is 5 AM yesterday now, and like I said before, you are gone, and I am terrible
at letting things go, but oh that ain’t nothing new.

Oh, I think
It was just my imagination,
running away with you.



Waiting for the bus in the rain
sounds like a sentence that belongs
in a story about nostalgia, you know.
Trying to remember, as if the mere
mention of memory does not make us a history book?
This doesn’t take that much work, though.

I am waiting for the bus in the rain.
With little effort, everyone avoids drowning.

Except me, and that exception applies to the entire
previous sentence.

With much effort, I am still no one avoiding nothing
which to say today is Thursday and I am waiting for the bus
in the rain.

Goodness, now it sounds like I’m trying to remember
but memory for me doesn’t work like that. What happened
is still happening, as always with me, an unhappenable being
and this mostly gets confusing due to the speed at which
I speak and that has to do with memory, too.

I’m afraid if I forget what I want to say, I will lose my tongue one day.
Once the letters and words begin to pinball I don’t want them to drop
like jaws. I want to say everything all at once.
Oh, my mouth is my mistress
and I want to make love like teeth
and fresh banana bread. Have you ever had fresh banana bread?
Well if it’s a no, you haven’t made love with your teeth like I know
and let me tell you, that’s a love you have to show. What’s the point
of being able to speak if you ain’t gonna sing? What’s the point
of being able to eat if you ain’t gonna make the food sing to you?

Goodness, now it sounds like I forgot what made me remember
which I didn’t because I don’t have to remember,

I was waiting for the bus in the rain and nobody drowned
except me but that’s mostly because I was born next to the ocean
and my father was a sailor and you know there’s something about apples
falling from the shipdeck and boys getting apple flesh
caught in his anchors, well that’s me.
The only brown boy who made himself a ballast and still drowns
in spite of it. In spite of the buoyancy he was built with.

I am waiting for the bus in the rain when the bus stops
like I don’t know how to do and now I am
on the bus with the rain outside when I look up and see a poem
by Jill Wiggins. The ending it went something like this,
“Into dark water—
I could drown
in words”