truth slayer


What I want.


For some


I daydream

when my hair flies

and my pores raise

— he pulls up

because he knows

my routine.

Breathing out,

I close my eyes,

I breathe in,

and I’m pulled back

— houses full of laundry

pushing their smells

clean, fresh


on the lawn in front of me.

But what do I want?

I want to eat less

red meat

drink less

but more


sit at tables

vibrating from


sit among poets

converse with people whose answer is

“No, I don’t care to be famous —

but I care to be remembered


I want to dye my hair to match my



someone to love

me for my foul mouth

and laugh at my jokes

dance in the kitchen with my

socks on

that I don’t wear anywhere else (because I can’t


I want to sniff library books and

hear the cellophane binding crinkle

in my hands

while I highlight my favorite


flag pages

and number them to match their doppelgängers.

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Diamond fence boy.


My mother told me to stop

and see what they would do

when I asked about their intention.

They chased me

but for what?

At recess,

when a boy finally

caught me (I let him),

he stuck my wrists in the diamond shaped holes

in the fence,

looked around at his friends

for a cue

of what to do next.

The thrill of not knowing

his next move

kept me from taking my tiny wrists

out of the large-

enough holes,

paralyzed by wonder

though instinct told me,

he didn’t know.

I imagined a kiss.

I might duck.

Would he ask me to marry him,

like John did

on one knee,

everyone screamed,

“You are his wife now!”

I told them I wasn’t, and

we went our separate ways,

just like the diamond fence

boy did for his next

move, paralyzed by wonder.


If my fingers were wrapped around wrists,

I wanted to catch,

we’d leap over the

diamonds together,

run through the streets looking up to the sky,

screaming at something, though

we don’t know what, running into the wind like it was a security


the faster we run, the more it feels like

a caress we want

to give

each other

secretly racing, so that our heartbeats feel slower

than the pace of our feet,

throwing glances, tripping over curbs,

trying not to notice,


climb over fences — you’d

have to give me a boost,

swim in other people’s

pools without the clothes

we were sent in,

sneaking glances, tripping over words,

pretending we are new to the neighborhood, mom and dad

work late, so we eat their bbq,

and you tear off the crusts;

you know what I like.

Let’s go inside,

and dance to the record that crackles,

though the vibration prevails

like the secret

we aren’t telling each


but don’t

have to

because you trust me

and I trust you.

I don’t try,

but I know,

your wrists are too large

to fit

inside a


so we just hold on

to each other’s


protecting each other’s

fingers from spreading

and getting caught in the



from our past




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There was always mischief in my round eyes,

but the curls in my hair


the imbalance

when the big eyes dropped off


from the news on TV —

my mother no longer allowed me to watch.

With a flick of her wrist,

we’d watch trivia.

To my frown, she would say,

“I know that made you sad, but the best

way to get through it is to

fake it, till you make it.”

When I faked it, I felt it, and if I felt it,

it couldn’t be fake.

She built me with genuine bones,

and the adage translated to us as,

“Act it, and you shall feel it,”

and I held onto that belief

until my eyes were more proportionate

to the roundness in my face,


the curls soften the


of a bad repair,

where the broken pieces didn’t quite fit


the same way

as they once did.

Maybe it’s the added


I’m allergic to artificial.

You can melt it with a small match,

but I’ll take Grand Gestures

for 1000 please.













When my string pulls her to the surface.

At the pool, where I pretend the peak of my belly

touches my spine

if I lay

flat on my back,

a woman swims laps, and all I can hear is the opposite  

of a pattern someone who is just trying to get through the day


Between splashing cacophonies,

I still thought about the times I wanted to say something

different but sometimes I am crushed

ice that I can hold on

to with one hand before it melts,


I think we like things with which we see projections of

ourselves and wouldn’t it be


if we weren’t them

but something just close enough to the surface

of the pool

that we recognize others

in our

reflection too?

My chest hurts when it’s hard to say ‘no’

and ‘yes.’

With each breath growing more shallow, I thought

should she drown from exhaustion,

I was the only one there to

save her.

I imagine throwing her a string to pull her back up to the surface,


Krauss explained that in the Age of String, shy people carried a wad of it in their pockets and used a piece to guide words that otherwise might not make it to their destination.

There use to be a time when there was no moment but the one under the sun and there was no

shift in the universe

that could keep it from going

away too soon.



When the edges curl.

In the pool,

where I brown my skin to pretend

the smoothness will last when the color fades,

the kids splash, but their mothers say,

“Don’t get too close to the lady with the book,

you’ll get her pages wet.”

I say nothing.

But I like it when the edges curl up like they are alive,

I imagine this sentence, “It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky,”

dropping into the water,

Krauss’s words spreading wider until the gaps between the letters

become void when the ink runs together.

The boy says,

“Mom, did you know that sometimes scientists lie?  The earth is actually a big spaceship with a bunch of people in it.”

She looked back at him,

and we sat there saying nothing together.

When I was a swan in the ballet, a hunter took me by the hand, and I followed him

not knowing where he was taking me put a knot in my stomach that I wanted to feel.

He stopped and did nothing.  He wasn’t taking me anywhere, but he looked at me as though I could make things that weren’t possible happen

or I looked at me that way.

I use to say nothing and everything all at once.