hazel

mosaic around irises,
glowing between eyelashes

green, gold, yellow, and brown,
like fresh leaves on autumn ground

each glance I give:
my heart’s footprints

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gives birth to baby in bombed kyiv metro station

When you came to be inside me,
our bodies decided we would survive,
and we chose a supporting role in all their mysteries
when survival meant nurture and shelter.

Our bodies decided we would survive
when survival meant expulsion.
When you came to be outside me,
we chose a supporting role.

My sideline blood, tears,
sweat, scars, and screams could fill
a lifetime’s worth of dreams for the exiles 
who welcomed you here, even as their own will fill mine.

You rivaled our shouts, 
like you’d yet to forget what the rest of us
had suddenly been forced to recall-
That to survive is always to be a casualty.

Still, we decide,
and you clench your hand around my finger,
as if in thanks, as if in love,
as if in solidarity,

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Black Dove

Have you ever been tolerated too much to be loved?
Have you ever been accepted too much to be helped?
It’s easy for you to put up with this-
Your touch is a friendly but fare thee well kiss,
a smiling from over the edge of the abyss-
But it’s killing me softly, this song from black dove.
Must you leave me here to hate myself?

Was it easier to tell me that you understand my lies
than to say you understand enough to get why I would die
for these lies that are “easy”. Is ease easier than freely?
What of peacefully? Truthfully? Unshackled or youthfully?
Have you ever come across these things? Did you stop and stare?
Or if they’re not that novel to you, would you care to share?
Do you fear what I would say? Do you fear what they would do?
Do you fear to feel the deep involvement it’d require of you?
Do you dare to fear the failure of your so-believed truth?
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Ivory

When the sun dried up the moss, and the sea washed over it,
a thick, pale, green milk pooled into your eyes,
and your olive, tan skin glows, and your wispy hair shines,
and you’re too pretty to be any older than a child,

but you didn’t stay a child long anyways, did you?
And when you grow up fast, do you grow much at all?
You are a cowering six feet tall!

But you’re too bold to remain so shy,Read More »

Enemies

You don’t want to lay down, but it’s not time to run, so you arch,
throw yourself, scream, dive, and you hate me.
I bring you to myself and calm your body down.
You tire out but wake slightly, give me side-eye like you trust me,
and I slide you to your crib as seamlessly as I can,
deep-breathing in your ear until you’re
long-down. And you sleep long enough to little more than
recover, sit up in your bed and smile, start whining for me.
I say, “Come here,” and you stand between my thighs,
happily rest your head on my leg, and you need me.
I pat your back. Soon you change your head to my stomach.
You’ve forgiven me. Oh, you see your twin has the doll you like,Read More »

Carrie

I couldn’t tell what Ma was cooking,
nor growing in her flower garden,

but sweet and spicy scents told me
that it was something good.

Neither do I know where Carrie
comes from with extraordinary

aromas exuding from her I would
bottle if I could.