Fickle Heart

My fickle heart, a poison apple
I dare not hand away
Lodged inside me like a sickness
I can’t wash down the drain
I want to cleanse myself of thoughts
Of you, your touch
How I imagine your breath to tickle
Hot on my bare neck
My greedy fingertips, going after
The poison apple every time
And I can never settle down
Never be satisfied
Cheating in my genes
Chasing in my design
Conquering and scoring
And losing every time


They’re Only Memories

In the morning I stretch, pour myself
steaming ginger tea and the mist outside
lifts to reveal sugar-dusted peaks.

Last night’s thoughts come slithering
back: his hands press urgently into my spine,
his breath hot on my neck, his fingers
gently tugging the ends of my hair.
It’s more painful in the dark.

Now I turn towards the stove to watch
flames ignite the gas hiss, leaping blue–
knowing it could melt my skin to
send the pain elsewhere.

But I don’t think that way anymore.
I don’t think of him anymore. And tears
certainly don’t slide down my cheeks
at the memory of his earnest gaze
tearing open what I thought
was strength.

No Princess

why would I

clamber over the bramble fence

Hell-bent Rapunzel alit

atop dissolving cinder blocks

snagging the velvet dress you made

train dragging spikes out of Himalayan berry

vines coiling up calves, bare soles

flattening pansy blossoms like coins

to reach you, betraying my garden

uprooting rare Brassica with

such blank hands

I would