eating is hard sometimes

this morning I woke up and I ate coffee

but that wasn’t really food so I ate

three small potatoes.

I drove on a long highway

and thought about eating but I didn’t.

then I went home and I ate

an entire order of breadsticks

which sounds very enjoyable but it wasn’t

because I thought about every single breadstick

while I ate.

not in a cherishing sort of way but in a dreading sort of way

and I thought about the bread inside of my body

and I quickly thought about how happy I was to not be gluten free

and then I thought for a long time about my dad

and how he would comment on my weight

when I would help myself to seconds

and I thought about when I stopped helping myself to seconds

because I didn’t want my weight to be commented on anymore

then I thought about when I was on Zoloft

and how I didn’t eat anything for three days except for an apple.

I had never enjoyed food so much in my life

I had never hated food so much in my life

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Inner Tubes

the lake my parents live on

looks like the accumulation

of their neighbors dip spit.

a moat surrounding John Deere

tractors, pickup trucks,

lawn signs that read “Thank You Jesus”.

sewage run off carrying

McDonald’s bags and NRA bumper stickers.

 

small wooded islands are interspaced

with the sounds of frogs and Fox News

playing on televisions.

devout naysayers huddle on boats,

sharing stories of one-

sided celebrations with right-

winged viewpoints.

 

if you pray hard enough, drowning

victims will be saved and fish will be caught.

bread will be broken

with those who float

above the deep subaqueous silence.

 

 

College Hill

Chryste says we are our own planets

inside of a dive bar,

pulling men into our gravitational fields.

but I feel like an astronaut,

invisibly free falling

on the fringes of every celestial body.

I lock eyes with a trail of comets,

ensorcell a protostar,

blush in the presence of a red giant.

in the slow descent,

my beer boils,

forming tiny crystals

that encircle my head.

cosmic rays permanently toxify my body

through string lights and neon signs.

 

I am illumined

or maybe I’m drunk.

Samwise

some mornings you wake me with a call

to arms, or a crawl as if in deep trenches

perhaps just your color wakes me,

as it twists into my dreams

then envelops,

becoming my dreams, pulling

the blackness from behind my eyelids

into the bed, taking shape and texture

 

you are a soft fiddle head fern

that runs through the wind,

imitating an ash-throated flycatcher

 

your forgiveness comforts me

and wakes me at night

 

Turbulent Wavelengths

if we meet and I seem mute,

it is because I am trapped

beneath crashing waves, in a rip tide

that swimming techniques can’t release me from

 

a pearl has been stuck in my throat since birth

creamy light rarely reflected

against my tongue, in quiet spaces

a shore is a gift unknown to me

but if ever I am graced with it’s broken landscape

I am pounded by dust devils

of shell and seaweed

 

like the sulking pier,

releasing barnacle ridden scripts

into shark infested waters

inviting a sunfish to take my place

for a sacrificial rite

moored for nights under moonlight

folding my entire being into

the natural order of a seascape silhouette

 

may hope follow the wake

through estuaries curtailing what proceeded

our linguistic bobbing

that first caused this muddy mess

ahead, in the dunes

a flock of gulls lifts the arching sunlight

in a dance of the daytime

 

Bottleneck Plot

idling on an asphalt river,

I saw what first appeared

to be rows of vehicles, yellow

from sunlit nurturing.

no,

I was resting in a field of sunflowers, metallic

in procession with the wind

blinking, right or left

transmitting their desires to those around them.

I thought,

how caring of those star-imitating blooms

to care about my safety

as I started to roll forward.

Spring Garden

in warmer times we are

overwhelmingly minced up

into large rolling

dew drops gliding

over asphalt and screeching

to a halt with metal

bones and rubber

senses pounding our metal feelings through

glass or air that was once glass until it fell

away from the rusted skin

buried deep inside of a secret

compartment with an unknown depth

 

please open my hood

the light is on again