poem – Trellis

there is a reason my body creaks like a closing casket every time I fuck with the lights left on

it is the same reason my friend burns photographs of birds and watches the smoke with pleading eyes

we both had years when the phoenix didn’t rise

when we slept in beds of cindered feathers and held hollow ashen beaks like other kids held ice-cream cones

I sucked the bones of a songbird’s rotting wing.

and you think your pills are gonna fix me doctor?

think i’m gonna chase this down with water?

my shame as loud as his next girl’s nightmares

I tied my tongue like laces around my little brother’s shoes

like a bow around the gift I gave to my father and mother

and my silence equalled every christmas morning when we were still happy and grateful

but my silence was also his next girl’s eyes

her voice falling like timber no one chose to hear

her roots ripped up the sound eroding to the din of an older man’s zipper.

10 years later i awake in damp sheets to the sound of her voice cracking like a frozen lake

and i never knew her name

never saw her face

only heard the rumour he’d moved on to the haemorraghe of another perfect thing

so now here I sing through cinder

through microphones raised like white flags in war zones through poems I have dug from my throat like fishing hooks

from here i look back at my voice lowered to half mast and how he must have stood there with his dirty hand on his dirty heart laughing like a broken levee while his next girl woke with body bags around her eyes and enough shame in her gut to give the hurricane her own name.

if i could see her face

if I could face the eye of her storm

how would I tell her that I speak for a living?

would I offer my own wounds as condolence?

would I say his claws carved me animal

would I say that at 14 years old i threw my bloodied fists into my boyfriend’s face untill his eyes swelled shut, his lips turned crimson and his jaw cracked – untill I was convinced his hands were not every man’s hands

would I ask tell her I have stood under street lamps

waited for swarming flies to identify my body as carcas

swallow every grain of salt

and leave nothing but the trellis of my untouched bones

I remember the fault lines at the corner of his eyes

the way he shook hands with my father

the look on his face beneath the swollen sun – even his shadow looked guilty

concrete made crime scene by his touch

would I tell her all of this?

would I ask her if she’s ever outlined her own body in chalk? is there crime scene tape on her top dresser drawer from the night’s when her true love’s kiss sounds like an anthem to a dead country and she wakes with rope burns around her neck begging the bodies of strangers to not respect her in the morning

in the morning I wipe my blood from the snow

I wipe my frantic breath from the window

and I bind my breasts so tight that not even the air in my lungs can be identified as woman


are you a carbon copy of myself?

is there a boy inside you painting his soul with the charcol of cindered feathers?


if i could see your face

if I could face the eye of your storm with the warning locked in my voice box that never came 

would I tell you all of this

and even if I could would I have the nerve to say i’d never take my silence back

my father owned a gun

he’d have blown that man apart

my mother owned a mother’s heart

everything would have broken

everything but you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s