All the poems featured on this page are excerpts from my two books The God-like Things (2021) and Moonhold (2019). All rights reserved. 

You can also read my {poem + story} series where I share new poems, art, stories, and my translations of Slavic poetry.

     

     

    say love

    i met a man
    whose hand i held and maybe
    i shouldn’t have

    say yes. say yes anyway

    it is more than skins can hold
    his tending for my small body
    love is such a silent giant thing
    he’s so blood close. week old roses
    watch the floor of our clothes
    my morning looks beautiful in his shadow
    under cold waters i am sweating
    would i vanish steamed somewhere along the way
    carrying confessions with his name?

    say yes. say yes anyway

    his blue dreams, my blue eyes
    a single candle has two wicks
    can i hold a life in a palm-sized photo?
    like a virgin burning of fire
    i run towards my god, before his door i kneel
    open please, open
    and he opens.
    and all is everything
    nothing more to say but

    say love. say love anyway
    say love despite the love

    as if souls twin

    let me be a while yet
    as if i’ve unforgotten to stay

    voices like hands, solid
    as if we’ve remembered how to

    touch

    winter, once

    when even ice curls around the rocking hearts
    and the wild, plunging us deeper

    into deeper

    souls twin like our childhood diaries
    remembering water
    the lives and lives of it
    in the soil as if to tell us, not here;

    here.

    say sea

    say sea
    and say it slow
    say it backwards in my ear

    so that maybe i forget how deep in love
    i fell to kneel
    on cold majolica tiles
    searching for a tiny place
    white enough like paradise
    take me in

    say it wasn’t real
    say we’ve said it all
    until the night

    admits

    the stars

    and the walls so gentle like blue sugar it all melts
    and in every way you
    find me home

    as if i am a dream my body has

    in perpetual seas
    maybe i could have loved you more
    all those evenings i held you
    as if i could hold you
    even unkept
    time keeps us
    like souvenirs, the years
    i picked the tiniest pebble and stayed up late
    muslin rains to gather us
    as if i am a dream my body has
    from time to time we almost touch
    through the hours, perhaps it could have been enough
    to slip ourselves loose from the reasons
    and i’m still waiting for something
    precious, something small
    something more than needed

    only ever you

    say the quiet grows around me
    promise you know i’m still here

    say the slip of light is what we lacked
    to pin my hands on your chest
    for not just tonight

    when senses become emigrants
    and have stopped taking me, say
    the leftover waters will not empty me
    of you someday

    say i wasn’t here again
    because you still sleep on just half the bed

    because lampposts still measure the heavy lengths
    involved in our longing

    say we’ll leave some choices
    unmade
    still warm
    on the pillows beside us

    and i’ll place along my body tiny pebbles
    or fireflies

    so the leavings are lighter
    and then know how to come back

    the god-like things

    from room to room we carried each other
    and our ordinary gestures throughout
    the years, passing by the often overlooked
    the sometimes unremembered

    god-like things

    everything in life begins with noticing
    so here: i give you back the old house
    placed oil jars beside the front doors
    for tender are the openings

    do what the returning do: love.
    because what you’ll smell here is true: love.

    and this room has a lemon dome
    and this room has spiritual textiles
    and this room has curtains of lace fidelity

    it’s an intimacy triptych

    embroidered traditions like warm ovens
    divine cottons, reach far, high
    on the top shelf the tea is still waiting
    now i too am tempted
    to slip back
    into echoing, responding and honouring
    to stretch myself over the sensitive listening walls

    kitchen windows understand:
    love is threaded
    to the floors
    soil-sweat, like us
    pressing noses to skins
    rediscovering, relearning
    the kissing, the holding and the caring

    no, you haven’t forgotten the way to love
    because i heard your footsteps, bringing me water that night
    when you too were struggling with a cold

    do we measure time by love’s approach on the circling staircases?

    count the roses on the bedroom wallpapers

    or try oil.
    because i like how our bodies glided
    throughout the years, from room to room
    how we carried each other
    and our god-like things: love.
    and we do what the returning do: love.
    because what we smell here is still

    true: love.

    delicate blue southern night

    what sadness to finally swim
    towards asphalt

    because that’s how blind waves become approaching
    the steel breasts of summer’s end

    after i know
    what pleasure is
    to be suspended weightless
    in your arms
    smiling
    naked as a delicate blue southern night

    how could i ever love anyone or anything else
    after such pleasure of being yours?

    … i, a stellium
    of water, you
    without words
    like true love

    fate calls me on the radio
    i start loving you again
    i meet you
    again
    even more tender
    in the morning
    loving
    memories sync like an old vhs movie scene
    a dance, a melody
    repeating.

    because you’re gone.

    because the cold northern streets are as clean as forgetting
    like the bed, so tidied and cold as if almost forgetting

    if only for you to emerge
    clearer from deeper
    more liminal
    more real
    more loud

    when drought pushes us
    against blue mirrors

    i leave myself with stars
    without windows

    i like you like

    i like you
    like oltremarino
    a special shade of blue
    found only overseas
    like Positano
    like salt water wearing skin
    bare thighs and shy freckles on my arms
    like a whole slow day in bed
    with silk curtains snaking winds
    holding years of miles
    like a voice that crosses the land of ice
    and changes the course of my blood
    like seconds that enter and refuse to leave
    tracing promised hands along the quiet archway of my waist
    like uncrowded paved streets towards a small white chapel
    like eyes of heaven, so clear
    like a love ritual repeating i do
    each day, as if only to feel
    this entire, this
    fully
    i like you like i love you
    sacred, intimate and always

    a watched thing

    a night
    of love or a love
    of night, a man
    of love or a love
    of man

    a waning moon
    is wearing
    omens
    i swim with a peach
    taste in my mouth
    can’t get better than this,
    tells me the sea but i know
    lovemaking in the deep cool lakes
    past the forest cathedrals
    a leafy path
    that priestess
    often takes

    you should know
    i was the lover of hades
    without fear
    drinking wine not meant for me

    so i oil my body for gentler leaving

    to reimagine the inside of his shirt
    and jasmine
    i rain 9 miles to walk
    upstream to visit him
    beloved bed the wooden lake
    holding branches tenderly
    such tender love is
    hard for some
    because of sound
    tongue put on chest
    slides towards the navel
    turn into a heartbeat, treeman
    standing silverlit
    unknowingly
    in mystery mysterious
    i learn to be

    a watched thing.

    dear lucia

    because a human heart can only hold a love
    as much as was felt through the childhood eyes

    vanilla and ylang ylang are airing from my bathtub
    still within we breathe the old things still
    i am a sensitive night of lanterns
    pulling myself over the furniture where shadows
    have spread their bodies over fragile memories
    & innocence 
    in then of then is now
    of now even the smallest part
    of myself i can’t separate

    dear lucia: you were my last doll

    the one i still hold whole in my hands
    because how can hands ever forget
    the hope that once perfumed them

    here is where i take him
    behind my breasts
    here is where he takes me
    (blood way)
    without hands
    take me
    this gift of mine
    this gentle female heart
    of mine
    this mine
    this ours

    & all feelings hit me
    in the right places

    & this love between us
    never changes