we have to be told everything
he smells good it’s violent and
i recall that x-files episode when
owen lee jarvis
(played by michael berryman) is
dead and agent scully explains
the belief that corpses of saints
smell like roses and she said
his body smelled like roses
i told him this and he just looked

the difference is what i make and think and feel
it matters for all of us differently
but we don’t get that
and it’s sad

please do not blow dry your hair
while in the tub
and do you ever wonder about how this all came about
like who died drying their hair in a tub
and it was pretty recent too
not just once, but hundreds of times

he said: how did you come up with that

i saw the tag and thought how many people died for this tag: i said


“Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”

someone please teach me not to cry when it plays

to not remember his weight on
me as i fell apart
he fucked me until i broke open and some new soul emerged slick with struggle against him

when finally i cried because
i believed he loved me in this world
hiding from god is impossible

you put it on a cd
i played it over and over

you kissed me– my face, my feet, my thighs and my belly and my scars
and i loved you because you broke me
and i’ve thrown that away

i hate it now
i hate the song
i hate jeff buckley
i hate you

“Lover, You Should’ve Come Over”

coming home, or not

This year has been emotionally and physically exhausting. While I do not post here much anymore, I have been posting elsewhere- mostly bad poetry.

I miss this place, this blog.  There are so many memories it hurts- the loss of Theme Fridays, of a dear love and friend, and not having kept up with so many wonderful writers I befriended through this blog saddens me.  I want to come back, to post regularly, to reconnect, but am unsure I’m up to it.

It feels weird.

coming home, or not


it took all day
to reach noon
warmth never came
i got lost a few times
if only you were here

cigarette smoke
swells my chest
this destination wasn’t
what i daydreamed
i’d like to lie down and rest
but haven’t even begun
always so tired

high sun hidden in frost
like the twisted fingers
of plum trees
the sun does what it pleases
we- the trees & i-
are of little consequence
our shivering limbs are heavy
and meaningless

untangling the morning
i found each moment empty
and couldn’t decide
if i find this preferable
to those which burst
with desire & longing
when sadness is a symptom
of millions of tiny cuts
who can tell the difference
between noon and all the others



the capital

there is something to be said
for quiet
but we hear
even in our dreams
and i need some
make me a potion

a pill maybe
something huge
& hard to swallow
make it quiet
just breath
the lull of shadows
come to sleep

the quality of a hand
which moves up
is exquisite
a kiss not of how
but who
but why
no words just nerves
the friction of electrons
and the beauty of everything free
does it occur outside

there are coffee
cups all over the house
all sorts of chemistry
the waste of 8 days
things slam
i smoke to get away

the capital


It’s hot out so I turn on the air so I can lie under blankets so the devil can’t get me. And I am buried. I lie on my back wondering when I will sleep naked again. Maybe a few months from now and probably never. I remember reaching down to touch your hair. I want to say your name. I want you to say mine. I lie on my back, my hands resting on my chest like at my funeral, before I am cremated, before ash and shards of bone are ensconced in a simple and small silver urn to be shipped to my mother because at least someone will talk to me then and I won’t be lonely anymore. I wish I’d worn better underwear. Eyeliner. Mascara. I thought we would talk about feelings and was unprepared. May I be precious to you? I want to be valuable to you. My hands are cold on my chest. They are dead? I don’t have a lot except maybe I am funny. I hear a plane and cars and a motorcycle. Can I go? I wonder about waking alone, about how I would spread out all over the bed- just there a few minutes, comfy, everything thing like ten things all mine. The bed. The sheets. The pillows. My body. My thoughts. Or waking next to you a couple of times during the week. I want to kiss your morning mouth.



i was never pretty:

my bones are too fat
my tongue too loose
fingers too squat
thighs too clumpy
brains too lumpy
thoughts too fraught
hair too kinky

and i walk like a bear



i threw up white after walking

a mile of earthquakes
everyone looked so gold

but when i was green it was then
in a mirror with cracks and smudges
and god only knows
i woke alone with thick seeping
but i don’t know his name



coffee at Zooey’s
the piles of whipped cream we’ll eat with fancy spoons
and sit in a booth by the window
watch women in tied-dye skirts walk their dogs
dirty twenty-somethings play banjos in front of Black Swan Theatre
weather predicted: cold spring rain, and gusts of wind
Will sweep creamy blossoms into gutters
let’s watch and sip coffee
ride with me to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription
pretend it makes it better
do not think of anything beyond the hill or of other people standing face to face until one of them is fucking dead
keep busy
clear the desk
wash the backpack
slip new books in its bright pink pockets
slip my soul into secret compartments


Monster (a draft)

She sits in her car, crying while eating French fries. She looks around occasionally for co-workers. Glimpsing herself in the side mirror, she see salt all over her chin.

Doesn’t the baring of fangs look a little like smiling?

She closes her eyes, pictures her dog Lee-Lee snarling at the neighbor’s cat and thinks, yes, kind of. But baring fangs and smiling are two totally different events.


Home, she showers, scrubs her face. She eats ice cubes for dinner. Lee-Lee hops onto the couch, making a bed of her lap. She strokes Lee-Lee’s ashy fur while staring at the mural she began last week. In a manic state, she went to the art supply after work. It was a Wednesday. She usually does her strange things on Wednesdays, but not always Wednesdays. But it was last Wednesday when she bought hundreds of dollars in paint. Gallons of blues- Sky, Denim, Indigo, Electric, Periwinkle, Royal- and a couple of Eggshell. One gallon of Brick Red for contrast, for the little brooks of rage.

She studies what’s there. She is no longer interested in finishing, even as she sees the faces emerging. There she is, red cracks through the eyes of her flat, ideal self. He is there, smaller than her- not like real life. She painted him Sky and Denim. He is ghostly, faded, there. She painted him small- her private revenge. She’ll get more eggshell and erase them.
In the shower she smells bleach. She hasn’t cleaned the tub for at least a month. Where is it coming from? Her pores?

She dresses and lets Lee-Lee out for her morning pee. She envies Lee-Lee sometimes. The dog has all she needs- quality food, shelter, a warm lap for a bed, someone to pat her head and scratch her little pot belly. She has someone to speak her name out loud.
Flight 370 has sent its ghosts to dwell in her mind.

Did the sky gobble up their screams?

She checks the internet for updates. Satellite images found a large mass in the Indian Ocean, but investigators don’t believe it’s flight 370. She is relieved. She pictures the plane flying into some great brightness, and its passengers are flying forever. That they never knew anything before this great flight. There is no time. No destination. Just flight, and all the moments overlap and are one moment.
Or she pictures children snatched from their mothers’ sides by the greedy sky. They can’t cry because there’s not enough time between seconds. She sees men in carefully pressed suits sucked out from the plane- falling, falling- and still. Brains berzerking, death blitzkreiging.

It’s better not to know for sure.

She needs to buy some Black and Sunburst.
Na calls.

“Are you coming in today?”

She looks at the clock. It’s 9:37. “No.”

“I’ll say you called in, but this is a lot. Are you okay?”

“Thanks, Na.”

She doesn’t shower. She puts on her paint clothes then opens the door to let Lee-Lee do her business. Lee-Lee is whining and jumping on her feet.

“Lee-Lee, go potty,” she says.

Lee-Lee settles at the tone of her voice, and subdues her jumps. Now they are prances instead. She walks out and Lee-Lee follows. Sometimes I’m scared to be alone, too.

Lee-Lee squats and takes a little shit and pees. She kicks grass over her waste with tiny hind-paws. She grabs a plastic bag and picks up the turds. She feels their warmth and gags.

“C’meer, Lee-Lee.” The dog trots past her.

She washes her hands. They are made of dry, stained skin. She needs to trim her nails. Paint underneath, and they look dirty. She looks dirty.

She whitewashes the faces but still sees them because she knows they’re underneath. But the plane is next and maybe that will help. She naps while the Eggshell dries. She dreams about her cell ringing and ringing. She looks for it, frantic. It’s important, but she cannot find the fucking thing. It stops ringing and she is awake- suddenly- with her heart blazing, body sweaty.

Dizzy, she pries open the Sunburst, the Winter Wheat, the Black. She is in the sky, looking at this intruder, Flight 370. The sky feels hungry, or generous, or merciful. The sky is many things. And there is the plane- small in the upper right corner of this mural, dull colors. She paints all day, stopping only to feed Lee-Lee or let her out. She paints until 5 AM, then calls Na and says, “I can’t come in today. I don’t feel well.”

“I hope you feel better soon. They’ve given your project to Corbin.”

“He’ll do a good job.”

“You’ll be out of a job,” Na says. “I’m your friend, you know?”

“Sure, Na.”

“If you need anything, okay?”

“Bye, Na.”

Now there is the sky with clouds which are big and billowy with a blush, as if they are embarrassed they can’t help what’s happening. And they look that kind of beautiful that makes her feel so tiny and meaningless, so lonely and wanting to cry. She painted those clouds.  Here, she is God.

And there are forms, dark suit jackets mid-flap. She can almost hear the sound- the flapping and whoosh of air at hundreds of miles per hour in their ears. They are faceless. She can’t picture the horror that must have sculpted their faces as they dropped out of the sky- if that’s even what happened.  No one fucking knows.  But she is creating.  She is creating death.

Why am I doing that?

She stands back and looks. The paint fumes are thick and she tastes them. She heads out back, Lee-Lee at her heels. The dog pees while she lights a cigarette. She can’t look at the painting for a while.

© cahughes

Monster (a draft)