“whiskey breath”

“whiskey breath”

i remember
body parts
skin, stubbly
rough, never soft
sweat
always there
a slip unkind
my fingertips could never quite

grab on

i remember
stomach, stretched
round, pulsing
smell of beer
steak
cologne I loved
faded
bitter
never seemed to

hang on

to these
pressed lips
sloppy mouths
vodka, whiskey
smell of rum
the only way
to feel you

i remember

i felt us shift
months of slipping
we fell and flew
together
asleep
the entire time
we never did

grab on.

“Here You Are”

“Here You Are”

my poems don’t rhyme anymore
they fall and they rise
or they keep falling
or keep rising
they twist your mouth
into uncomfortable shapes
they are awkward
unkind, they make sense
only to me
but still i wrap them
in myself
and gift them to you
the one with bright eyes
squinting in wonder
asking which words
which sounds
fit together
when do you pause
when can your tongue rest
you do not know
but still
here you are

“Images of My Mother”

“Images of My Mother”

I want to tattoo my body
with the image of my mother
watch my hands master spices
see my calves grow in size
so I too can run marathons
with four babies on my shoulders

When my voice turns into hers
My tongue will grow heavy
with tastes of herbs and te amo‘s
watch my whispers soothe cyclones
remind all daughters to breathe
again and again

When I crawl into her skin
and I taste the church’s wine
I see God underneath my eyelids
feel the lord’s blood join our own
and the darkness would feel warm
for the first time

I want to tattoo my body
with the image of my mother
so when I look in my reflection
I can finally believe
I too have the strength
of a thousand women

“Tomorrow”

a six sentence story

It all started on a day like today. I decided to start a story with “It all started.” These three words, made of gunpowder to an unplanned rushed story, hold more potential than talent. When words refuse to lend themselves I write in a panic “It all started when my heart stopped working” or “It all started when he told me his sister died.” Yesterday told me to write “It all started when it never started at all.” Today, however, started like never before, on the cusp of tomorrow ending.

-tcm