A Secret Not Even I Know
Sometimes I get to thinking about
trees without leaves and how come
they can make it
when I can’t.
but I remember the leaves wash away in the fall.
He used to ask me why I paint my rivers black
until I took a drag off my cigarette,
crossed my arms,
and just smiled.
Silence is so powerful.
Like a freezing fucking forest at night
near the river your sister drowned in when she was a baby
under the same stars the ancient Romans gazed upon
and who gave them the fucking right?
Those stars are more mine than theirs
and more mine than yours
and mine mine mine.
I get that way sometimes.
I’ve been carving paper
and making clothes.
I’ve been getting so good at being sad.
The knife cutting the crisp white,
the needle piercing the cloth.
this is not about my flesh
although I have thought about that too.
the piano keys being pressed
my heart is a stringed instrument
that not even the angels know how to play.
my blood is clouds.
My throat is a piece of cotton.
I want to float away.
my fingers are feathers trapped in an hourglass
but my arms are iron weights
and he laughs in my face
when I try to save her.
HELP she says
HELP ME and waves and then gurgles
and then there is no more
and that is why I paint my rivers black
because if I put colors,
I am afraid to see her swimming in them
but I would never tell him that
because he doesn’t need to know.
she is mine
the river is mine.
my secrets, my fears, my desires
the day I decide to die,
I will paint a river so bright you could see through the canvas
and fall through it to open, waiting arms.