To Dance with Skeleton Man

I killed a fish to eat in an oven
In the mouth the first flesh
I’ve absorbed in 18 years
A thing was alive it squirmed on
A boat in the blood of its brothers did

I like that
I killed it
Did
I like death
On my tongue

There is a shower after fish
Pungent fluids bubble on loofah
Smear unholiness on my
Breasts do not forgive me
What a nightmare to be alive
Reach arms to rinse my ass,
Palms startle when they find
Shallow buried serpents
Muscle ascends spine
Wind through
The trellis of my ribs
Connect body parts
And spook at the
Strength that exists
I twist to reach my thigh
And somehow
It appears I dance
And somehow,
The faces of creatures
I work with violate my
Mind consumed by wonder
Of how they give their trust to me
And out of the void I feel
Somehow I am loved there is
Goodness within twin serpents
Meet forked tongues
At the crossroads of my pelvis
Join polar magnets what a truth
To be alive and what happens
When the snout of dance finds
The lips of the awe of humanity
I recognize the human in you
And the human at the core of me

I began to cry
A body slaps
Wet sand like a fish
And dies alongside millions
Of the tiniest of Deaths
Water floods eyes
A pipe has burst
The Mississippi river
Body heaving
Rips valleys into
My flesh feels this is real
Long hair fans out like
Seaweed in the hissing steam
From a metal hole
Please exit the theater
In an orderly fashion
For close to the surface
A tower of bones collapses
Against a shower wall
That I have never touched before
In the hundreds of times I have
Shivered naked in this space

Cursed the soft form
A newborn snake exits
Some damp egg
Ripe with mucus
Somewhere to go

There is no other option
I can no longer deny
That I am alive


Magdalena
Spring 2020

Don’t Glamorize the Wicked

You’ve lingered just a little too long in the bathroom for me to not be suspicious. There are pink boba, shaped like little flowers there are marshmallows with burnt on smiles in a creamy pastel drink and cotton candy placed as a cloud, blushing delicately above a cup of rolled ice cream.

“Mag, don’t you want a drink too?” Says Genny.

My friend, I am powerless when you take so long in the bathroom. I’ve never waited and worried before. Never waited and wondered before. Your little bones peek out these days your beaming eyes leak purple bruises your lips are cracked and bleed you are too thin. I’ve been there before oh how I wish I didn’t know.

Love is painful when I am powerless with you

Dear, an ice cream is enough for me. Do not feel pulled by the ghosts of my sharp habits you comment on eating 3 tacos on feeling a lack of control around friends. My chere, you are a lily that never dies.

Do Not Romanticize the Wicked Things that affect those I Love.


Summer 2018 (edited and posted in Winter 2020)

…And then Water came with an Attitude and a Diamond Ring

I wanted to, no, I needed to save them all. I was their god, and they depended on me. If they are hurt, it is in my name. I pray they never learn how resentful I am. But look how they sleep, pure and peaceful.

…And then water came, she was beautiful, she shook us up & tore everything down & hopped off to then next highway town with new golden earrings and a diamond ring. We never saw her again and things were never quite the same.

We all miss her smile.

I took a look around at all the babies and somehow they were all okay, tucked in tightly in bed. It’s almost as if they didn’t notice that water had come and gone at all. Maybe she hadn’t been as destructive as I thought.

God- how many years ago was that now?

Maybe she lulled them to sleep.

Maybe she’ll come back home.

Phantom Tourist

Passing gazes,
Intimate questions with
Strangers in the street.
This is what it means to be from New Orleans.
Walking by, visitor, where are you from?
Are you a saint or a ghost?
What do you hope to see here,
What magic do you seek,
What remedy will make you whole?

You ask to take my photo,
A thin rectangle appears.
I tell you to please keep it.

Spring 2019 (Edited and typed in Winter 2020)

Murder You, Anoint You Holy, and Call You Baby

Aware of the fear of the present
Moment that big cat stalks closer rustling
Sharp grasses. Somewhere between
Black gowns in my closet a rush against
Velvet and bleary eyed in bed I fumble
For that flashlight in the hot night & my sweaty
Fingers anxiously find the light.

There is a low thunder from Tiger’s throat.

& my trembling hands swoop a beam of light like a hawk in large arcs through the darkness

Tunnel vision. Rays and Squids could possibly float
In this dark expanse a feline predator lurks
Waits for me. Where might she be?

Cool sheets cling to me as I rise, toes first and spin, flashlight marking the walls.

Then

A parting in the leaves,
Expose
A pair of gleaming eyes
No, but it’s a mirror!
Oh, terror!
It is me!
Simply me
All of me
Ugly and sexy and soft, ready to murder to anoint you holy to call you baby

I wish I could look away

There is no cage

There is fear of the power within.

To Appraise Wonder: The Holy Mundane

I adore you quietly
You rest in slippers in my mind
There is no shaking of the
Walls of my heart
No prisoners, no hostages
You or
I cherish you purely
And yet I am hurt in the
Sweetest way comfort and care
Come along and take pain
Into swollen hands

& Heartbreak spends the night
With compassion and
I fall in love with wonder
At this grassy valley these
Soft creatures, again
And again that
Embrace the pain
Of heartbreak. The
Numb of solitude to have
A glimpse at a lover’s
Messy hair
Each morning to
Hum a body to
Collide with
Something Solid
Something
Human

I fall in love with the fragile pain of longing

This is not a story
I do not have to be okay
A happily ever after is not demanded by some
Celestial editor.
Censoring feelings and desires
Approving expressions of Pleasure
Rejecting the colors of Pain

I meet a tendency to
Chase wonder
Attribute healing
To grandness a possible
Exclusion not allowing the

Holy Mundane

To try her hand to whisper smaller truths
Looking for the drum circle
Listening for the bonfire who’s
Full moon is here? In the less
Exciting the Sacred Mundane
What does she have to say?

Maybe in Houston
In the Suburbs a
14 year old Blonde Girl may also
Look towards the moon she is
The Same moon
I might be dancing around
A fire in New Orleans, nude and
Kissed with emerald paint
In skirts in moss we sweat we
Circle hot air
Carries over to you
The Grasses under
Your Feet may be Manicured
Planted outside a Stucco House with
Broth colored walls. I
Couldn’t tell the difference between
The homes in your Existence yet
Maybe you could Maybe
The difference is all the matter
The Shades of Blonde
You choose to adorn your hair could
Make all the difference

Her picket fence
May look dead to me
Her mom’s SUV reflects
My moon crisply washed
Yet she is the same moon
I worship and maybe as
You gaze towards her
You will choose to live another day
Maybe you worship her in a way
I will Never understand

Maybe someone will find tiny spells
In Cracks in the garden wall
Maybe someone will find salvation
In a gardenia flower behind an Air Conditioner Unit

Those Mockingbirds are as revered as a roseated spoonbill
Those Grasses as meaningful as the haunted cypress

In fact it is I that limits wonder
I am not the appraiser of magic
There is wonder all around me
All the time.

You do not have to prove you are Alive



____
Fall 2019

Who brings Sunflowers to a Moonlit Mass?

Mary,
My beating Heart
It was never me who was broken

Magdalena you saw I was wounded but
I saw the wounds as who I
Was told it was part of my brain

Mary I was never sick

Mag I am not sick

Maggie such normalcy,
not drama, I
told them I loved the drama
dress in black
Adorn with creatures of the night
Wearing sunflowers does not
Kill the freak in me, this part
loves pale flowers that
Only bloom
Under full moons

I am the favorite nectar of bats
Weaving serpents to slumber in my braids

Mary my brokenness is not empty
We tell ourselves what we need to hear
We tell others what we really need to hear

We dance with werewolves at the moonlight mass

2019 (Spring or Summer)

I Don’t Recommend Creating an Entire World

I can make a cage beautiful.

Childhood disorientation in Cajun Country, Louisiana late 90s isolated Family Trauma I struggled to understand what was happening around me so I created imaginary worlds: paracosms, something I could understand, somewhere beautiful and just for me to organize and create rules and guidelines which brought other children to me through creating myself as strange and shocking in the conservative Southeast.

Ability to turn inward from the external chaos, a choice to live in stories live in imagination so the dive into storytelling was natural. I created imaginary worlds with these complex narratives and characters and creatures and whole generations of royalty and history that went back hundreds of years. Saturday nights were for staying up late drawing maps of the kingdom and creating poetry of their hero’s tale. There were wars to mediate and rally my classmates to join. I created special devices that were handheld and carried creatures from class to class tucked under my arm and more and more to create and expanding this world of endless possibility. Other children were drawn in by the bizarre and the ones that were repelled, I never liked them anyway. There was a rush, a power in the polarization I manifested.

As an adult I thought, well, who do want to be? I want to be a witch. I want to be a poet. I want to be this weird, ethereal thing that lives in this strange, fantasy aquarium, a fairy terrarium. Almost a thing of myth, a semi secret character who is shut off from everything and you can look in this regular, inconspicuous home and see this strange little world that just takes your breath away that is decorated with moss and lavender, ivy and animal skulls adorned with black roses it’s like a secret discovery I’m always looking into a weird little world of sorts, usually hidden in plain sight if you just know where to look in the palm of my hand and not only am I gazing into and feeling pulled in deeper especially to care for this world and these creatures, their pure survival dependent on me.

But the truth is I have placed myself into that world so not only am I looking into it, holding it in my hands but I am physically trapped in that world too which was created to understand something, anything in the chaos to feel a shard of agency it is Mine created in beauty and wonder, created in a last ditch effort for salvation. This I can choose to share or define there is a clear idea of my role and my expectations, I am needed and important. And yet it is simple that as I stare as a zombie into this small treasure, eyes in a mirror stare blankly back into me. For I created myself in my perfect image, in my perfect imagination. For I am trapped here as well, trapped into my own perfect creation.

I can make a cage beautiful.

Fall 2019

I Need to Quit Regurgitating Goddesses

Last night something was emerging
From the belly from the depths
Fear was a stabbing pain
Between brows it was Time
Sweaty and retching
There was nothing I could do

Out emerged a sack a pod
Slick with green bile or algae
Hot from the deep shine like a
Clear water balloon

And then she took my breath away
& My eyes full of radiant gold
& She began to glow and shine

Fins wave rhythmically illuminating
Gold and Hot her atmosphere
Holds countless microscopic shrimp
Surround her in formation- orbit as stars
Satsuma scales cast shadows in the curves of
Her delicate marine body
She chooses to part the rich green leaves around her
Chooses to appear just as she is a scintillating hue
Her world lit in the confidence of simple existence

Her eyes never left mine through the
Dark internal waters and in her
Tiny perfect world from my
Belly dark you slithered up the
Tunnel of my throat I never could have stopped you
You are ever powerful, my little goddess

Her gaze both holds me in perfect comfort
& sees me in off putting clarity for
I am not used to being seen as I am
Oh what magic have I stumbled upon?
Oh what magic has been waiting to ascend from my darkness?

At last, in finality: the truth that
Despite all her majesty despite
Her endless manifestation of peace,

She needs help
I must fiercely protect her



Fall 2019