what i’ve learned about trauma

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What I’ve Learned About Trauma
Brenna Twohy

It isn’t as easy as being
Something That Happened to You
a package you opened once.

You will wake up in a new ZIP code
have to wander your way home,
carry a few of the things you love to this new place
you live in now.

& so you buy throw pillows.
You put up twinkle lights & have a big celebration,

point at the open windows
& tell everyone who has ever seen you crying –

                 look.

                 look how I have not caged myself.

                 look what I have made out of two paint buckets

                 and the blessing of my still-here body.

but, of course,
trauma leans into the bar cart.

Spills a drink on the new rug.
Breaks off the door handle on his way out.

Trauma sends you letters
without warning
for the rest of your life,
usually disguised as something else –

a medical bill, maybe,
or a box of photo albums packaged up by your father,

just so you remember
trauma knows exactly where you live—

who did you think built the house?

Photo by Cindy Tang on Unsplash

this black rich country

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This Black Rich Country
A.R. Ammons

Dispossess me of belief:
between life and me obtrude
no symbolic forms:

grant me no mission: let my
mystical talents be beasts
in dark trees: thin the wire

I limp in space, melt it
with quick heat, let me walk
or fall alone: fail

me in all comforts:
hide renown behind the tomb:
withdraw beyond all reach of faith:

leave me this black rich country,
uncertainty, labor, fear: do not
steal the rewards of my mortality.

Photo by Filip Zrnzević on Unsplash

there is a light that never goes out

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There Is a Light that Never Goes Out

Kevin Young

Don’t dream it’s over you don’t
know what’s it’s like it’s like that
& that’s the way it be near me be near
close to you crazy for you got the look
what you done done a do run run
run away run away she was lying
in the grass & she was it something
I said I know what boys like a prayer
a virgin girls just wanna boys
don’t cry don’t don’t you
want me don’t fall on me O
what a feelin’ more than keep
feeling fascination hush hush
voices carry too shy too shy close
to me & you don’t you
forget about hold me now don’t try
to live your life in one day it’s my
life nobody walks in LA woman
every breath you take you take
my breath away there’s always
something in the water
does not compute no new
tale to tell me if you still care
computer love went to her house
to bust a move & had to leave
real early tell me tell me
how to be you & me when I’m alone
in my room sometimes I stare at where
are you calling from call me
tell me fall on me let me be your time
will reveal won’t give me time I’ll
stop the world shut your mouth
on mine I can’t I can’t I can’t
stand losing cause this
is thriller thriller night fine
young pretty young thing is ooh
I like it sends chills up you gots
to chill party up you got to let
me know nobody loves you I am
only human & need you back
in love again bring on
the dancing let’s dance let’s
stay together & dance this mess
around dance dance dance
see how we are family I got
all I need to get by your side
to side back & forth word up for
the down stroke me everybody
wants you let’s go crazy let’s pretend
we’re married let’s wait awhile
again spin me right round baby
I’m a star under the milky way
tonight.

Photo by Yong Chuan Tan on Unsplash

the bridge

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The Bridge
Circe Maia

In a trivial gesture, in a greeting,
in the simple glance, directed
in flight toward other eyes,
a golden, a fragile bridge is constructed.
This alone is enough.

Although it is only for a moment, it exists, exists.
This alone is enough.

Translation

El puente

En un gesto trivial, en un saludo,
en la simple mirada, dirigida
en vuelo, hacia otros ojos,
un áureo, un frágil puente se construye.
Baste esto sólo.

Aunque sea un instante, existe, existe.
Baste esto sólo.

Photo by Tim Bogdanov on Unsplash

ut pictura poesis

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Ut Pictura Poesis
Khadijah Queen
How do I fancy a good atonement        Homebound body
so slow to bounce back from overuse, meaning, darling,

A cuff of immensity threads me —                  centrifugal
I could fragment thus a rifle shard in a blood flick, dew
perched upon arrival

Where travel is a future &
not such arts
as ordinary inheritance azure mass — explicit menace
in a wing lull     I try not to take
My mother, grandmother for granted
& not       their elegant fierceness in flight–                How do

I resurrect the excised archive of my relatives
How to use the word
love, mean it          my animal glow–sacred rot
This luxury of time to even ask: Who were they

Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash

Love Song: I and Thou

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Love Song: I and Thou
Alan Dugan

Nothing is plumb, level, or square:
     the studs are bowed, the joists
are shaky by nature, no piece fits
     any other piece without a gap
or pinch, and bent nails
     dance all over the surfacing
like maggots. By Christ
     I am no carpenter. I built
the roof for myself, the walls
     for myself, the floors
for myself, and got
     hung up in it myself. I
danced with a purple thumb
     at this house-warming, drunk
with my prime whiskey: rage.
     Oh I spat rage’s nails
into the frame-up of my work:
     it held. It settled plumb,
level, solid, square and true
     for that great moment. Then
it screamed and went on through,
     skewing as wrong the other way.
God damned it. This is hell,
     but I planned it. I sawed it,
I nailed it, and I
     will live in it until it kills me.
I can nail my left palm
     to the left-hand crosspiece but
I can’t do everything myself.
     I need a hand to nail the right,
a help, a love, a you, a wife.

strange kind of beautiful

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You are a strange kind of beautiful
Rudy Francisco
The type of magic
foolish men run from

and run back to
when it’s too late.

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash