The Man With No Skin


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Never regret anything you have done with a sincere affection; nothing is lost that is born of the heart.
-Basil Rathbone


The Man With No Skin

I am only ever just out
Of arm’s reach, where
I watch you paint
Your skin black with the
Steaming, stinking tar
That bubbles from the lips
Of faces who have long
Stopped their speech, their
Names erased from
Record, and you make of

Yourself a sticky, scalded

Masterpiece in your

Gray gardens, in memoriam,

For a misstep, a missed word,

For the guilt of trespass into
Which you breathe life and
From them make your children
Who play their requiems for

You on their tightly would strings
While you mount yourself high
To feather yourself in the sun

And will not be touched.



 Hope is necessary in every condition. The miseries of poverty, sickness and captivity would, without this comfort, be insupportable.

-William Samuel Johnson



The New Moon is coming.
It rained this evening and now
Blue tides of cloud drift over
Her waning face as she
Tick tocks the time.

The streets are quiet at this
Hour on Sunday, and I can
Cross the wide New York
Streets without permission.
I walk carefully, avoiding
Patches of sick outside the
Neighborhood’s restaurant row
Where just one small club
Remains open and throbbing
And a few women gather, lit by
Red neon in their tight, white dresses.

I turn into the Fine Fare and put
A few sweets into my basket,
Too embarrassed to patronize the
Deli closer to my apartment where
I have already been once tonight.
The staff has begun to recognize
My face at this hour, and this, too,
Embarrasses me, so I keep my eyes low
Until I’m handed my bag, and I can leave.

I walk back to my room, coughing into my
Sleeve, from which I have hardly left these
Last few days for the rattle in my chest.
Now, I will read something, I will listen,
I will taste and I will leave my flesh, abandon
These sheets where I have simmered and twisted
In the recent nights, my mind full of vision,
Of voices discussing their battle plans
For the light and the dark, churning
In my swollen belly while I seek the cold
With the soles of my feet.

I will ascend into my thought and feeling
I will hover heavily above the ground
Like a pregnant cloud, dark-bottomed,
Ready to burst into a torrent and wash
The sick from the sidewalk, to move through
The streets in a fog, and cover it over
With wet, I thirst so.



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“Throw moderation to the winds, and the greatest pleasures bring the greatest pains. ”



“You’re radiant,” You told me,
The bud blooming from my
Cracked rib, like a red and purple
Flower, climbing up the rungs
Of my spine and out of my mouth
In sharp inhales and yelping exhales
As we were driven over the broken,
Steaming streets of the Broncs to find

An X Ray that could see the roots of

The flower growing in me, wrapping

Itself tightly around the arbor of my waist.
You squeezed my hand, pulsing, like a
Heartbeat to keep me awake in the
Backseat, and I had so much systolic

Rhythm in me by then, I was an orchestra
Playing in a field, my soil ripping open
To make way for Spring, and I had no
Air in me to answer their questions,
My wet, gasping cough had left me empty
And cracked my shell to release the seeds,
My lips full of apology to water the ground
And make way for growth that I needed



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“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
-Pablo Neruda

Love is the desire to give largely and completely.

A Garden
If I could give as a gift
A garden full of bluebells
Kissed by monarchs
And loved by the rain
Wrapped up in pretty
Paper box with a
White silk bow,
I would place this box
In your lap, but I,
Being small, have only
This single daisy that
I would lay
At your feet.


“In cherishing herself, she inspires worship from her Beloved.”
-Lisa Schrader

pale skin


You don’t know how easy

It would be to run these

Cold, chapped fingers through

Your cornsilk hair, count your

Ribs through your cotton

Undershirt, and let you fill

These hands of mine with

Any absent-minded word that

Fell from you in droplets,

But I have a history, darling,

And you look just like a prince

I once knew when my palms

Were soft and open.

I See Yellow When I See Him

 “I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.”
-Christina Rossetti 



I See Yellow When I See Him

He broke me in half

Against a concrete curb

The last time he tossed

Me out of our apartment

This past Spring, and since

Then, I always brace

Myself when I smell





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“After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.”

A man takes from a woman
And she is to be complimented
In the asking, as though it were
Some honor to be regarded
At all.

poem- perennial



I will not be plucked from the field,

From my bed of greens and the

Wrestling wind, from under textured

Cloud embankments and golden hours

To adorn your table on a seat of glass

Because you find pleasure in my petals.


Come to Bed


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“You must find… someone mild and beautiful to be your lover. Someone who will tremble for your touch, offer you a marguerite by its long stem with his eyes lowered, someone whose fingers are a poem.”

-Janet Fitch



Come to Bed

I want your fingers

On the windowpane

Tracing patterns of

Rain like cold lace

Clouding the glass

As your voice

Rumbles and hisses

And I pool beneath

Blankets, sinking

Into slumber.