The Nameless One

Loves- older, newer-
form a cohort,
whisper conjectures to name her love.

Love is ever Strong,
eight months hardly Quick,
and the greatest myth
is that love cannot come again.

Loves come closer, with
Ardent, Intense.
Yet, still they puzzle
on their multitude.

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The long letters that are so cathartic are forbidden,
and why should no one like to read what others heal to simply say?
Why should no one will to listen so well, for so long?
Why am I so rude for asking them to try?

I suppose I am asking them to bear a burden so large
that I would not carry it anymore, so why should I place it
upon their shoulders?

I suppose I should say each paragraph when it’s alone,
even though when alone, it’s always unformed.

I suppose when I don’t know how or what to say, I should try,
and it should be simple, and I should say exactly what I mean,
what I feel.

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What I don’t know how to describe is the pain,
the brutality of saying no,
the agony of walking away,
prying my own hand, and making him go.

I could have slapped myself
for forcing me,
attacked myself
for accosting me,

when this is all I’ve ever wanted,
when this has been six months of aim,
when delight with him is never stunted,
when feelings roar like a hurricane,

when attachment and entanglement
have bonded me through intimacy,
when we pursued and were pursued,
when he was a best friend to me.

Now let me just erase my thought-life.
Let me change my daily rhythm.
Let me alter how my planet revolves.

Am I not who I’ve been ever since the beginning?

Let me shred my universe.
Let me mutilate my heart.
Let me change my hope’s old compass.

Wasn’t I me from the very start?

Why do you think it took me so long,
though always sensing something was wrong?

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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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Romans (2015)

I don’t understand
why I can’t have
what I want.

I don’t understand 
how I want
what I don’t grab.

If I will to walk away 
while I’m longing to stay,
who am I to claim one name?

What happened to me? 
How can I 
even ask?

Haven’t I always 
this way-

“Life’s race 
didn’t cause 
me to break;

I just
stumbled up
to the starting gate”?

Am I no work of art 
but one little part 
of a whole?

Do I even 
at all?

Why am I so distinct
in my dance with the brink
if it causes me so much pain

(and the details fade away)?

‘Cuz something about this 
feels so superficial-
I’ve cued the gospel.

The psalms are repetitive!

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Perhaps this preacher is self-assured
because he’s oblivious
to all he didn’t earn.

He shoves me condemnation,
though I’m not sure why.

I’ve slowly learned
not to obey this anxiety he sells me
for the price of my soul.

Weekly, I reassure myself
that I would obey a better voice,
but in fear I ask, if my faith
only soothes, does it lack works, dead?

This day, I finally grasp
that if this white man isn’t god,
and the oily logic from this pulpit isn’t god’s words,

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