Hour 24 – In which I replace the word “hopes” with the word “feet”

In which I replace the word “hopes” with the word “feet”
after Nico Wilkinson

My feet move me toward a future I am quite unsure of.
But while I ask so much of my feet,
with all these dreams of forward motion,
they cannot answer.
Sometimes, though, simply having feet is
the best answer you can ask for.

Sometimes, I move at more of a crawl.
My feet, forgotten somewhere behind me,
cannot do the work I’ve asked of them.
I must drag myself back to the start,
find my feet again, wipe away the grime
and stand again, bolstered by renewed foundation.

Even so, my feet are complicated things.
Turning numb, stinging, collapsing at their joinings,
Occasionally, I turn my hatred toward them,
wonder at their use. All before I remember
there is cruelty in forcing anything
to act solely at my will.

So, I will be gentle to my feet now,
care for them, give them room to breathe,
accommodate the way they swell
on days I believe in them more fiercely.
Forgive them for being as unpredictable
as this body they are bound to.

I think there is a commonality
in how we treat our feet and ourselves,
how we treat that which is foundational.
Even when we find our feet
cannot be used in the way we wish
should we not answer with grace?

Hour 23 – In which I replace myself with coffee

In which I replace myself with coffee

after Nico Wilkinson


When my partner 

greets the morning with coffee

he does so with gentle precision.

He grips with fingertips,

never palms,

does not want to overwhelm

what is already warmed for him. 


My partner worships

at the altar of the espresso machine

having tuned it so carefully 

to fit his needs.

He knows exactly 

the impact caffeine will have

he’s made sure of it. 


But suddenly, he’s weaning off coffee,

says it is making him jittery,

unable to think straight.

I wonder if he thinks about 

how many other people 

are drinking coffee, his coffee. 

Cannot cleanse it from his mind

despite the bag locked in the cabinet 

meant only for our own tastebuds. 


My partner, he is done with coffee. 

Will not meditate through 

the practice of making anymore.

He is done participating

in the morning give and take

as we decide who has the energy to give.

Done with acts of service. 


He is left unbothered

that my love for coffee remains. 

How I started to cherish it again

in mugs I pulled from his cabinets, 

rather, in the pieces 

I pulled from his view. 

My partner does not want coffee anymore

but I will love it hard enough, now

it will need nothing else.

Hour 22 – Vertebrae


The earrings that play demolition
to the tender skin of my neck
have snake vertebrae as wrecking balls.
The bone, an aged cream,
is still pointed, lightly sharp.
Acupuncture from a dead thing
haunts the body differently than metal does.
But they hang and swing and graze
so close to the first vertebrae of my own spine
the one with bone shaved away.
I can almost pretend that wearing
the rigid organs can serve as replacement
for what I have lost, for all that surgery robbed me of.
Perhaps the fragments of my own body
are out there somewhere, still surviving,
and if so, shouldn’t I survive too?
I am sure I will muster the faith
to believe it is over, someday. But today,
I will let the snake possess this body
if only to move my neck freely once more.

Hour 21 – A Polyamory Handbook Invites Me to Imagine A New Front Yard

A Polyamory Handbook Invites Me to Imagine A New Front Yard


“Even in my own fantasy I cannot see how to love the way the world begs me to. Like a weed, but what we’ve named a weed is just soil surrendering” – Joshua Elbaum


Did you know grass can grow 24 inches tall? Become its own jungle for the crawling? We have been cutting down their redwoods and calling it neighborly. We’ve been wasting water– their water and ours– for the utterance of “lush” or “tidy”. 


I have dreamed a yard that does not honor green at its core, nor a shrowd of white to protect it. One that taunts the lawnmower, lets it rust or run in another sphere of living. I have dreamed a yard that is observed with mouths agape– aghast in horror or in wanting.


I will plant mandrake and alder, cinnamon and rosemary, yarrow and mugwort, belladonna, basil, lavender, even rue. All the herbs to protect each extension of my love. Have an itch in your throat? A stomach that rumbles? The Earth will have its remedy here. 


I will honor the growth through teas, salves, and tinctures. Take only what I need, resist guilt as it gives me more than I expected. The plants expand and breathe and perhaps grow toward me. Can phototropism be redirected to a new source? Can someone grow toward nature, too?


I will name each seedling for a different love, planted by four steady hands. Nurture, feed, water, pray at the altar of their roots for a blooming. I will not blame the wilting on the flowers, nor give credit only to the stigmas and styles. 


We will tend this landscape together. All of us. Gardeners filtering through revolving doors of kisses and caring, softened conflict that mutates into understanding. We will build a word together for all the little things and think ourselves among the bees and butterflies that thrive.

Hour 20 – I have run out of routines

I have run out of routines

Waking Up
[Is less now like a time and more so an estimate, expansive above all else,
who knows how many angles of the sun I will miss in my dreaming]

Eating Breakfast
[Food, too soon, sits in my stomach, becomes its own urgent care on a Monday morning
each particle trembling, shaking their knees, clutching their palms, refusing to leave]

Making Coffee
[Always dependant now on the coffee sitting on the counter, or in the fridge, or none at all
a courtesy that has cracked autonomy open and let brown sludge leak out]

Brushing My Teeth
[My toothbrush has melted into a plastic pompom on a bending stick
and the paste has imploded in on itself, a minty black hole with white and green swirling]

Starting My Day
[When does a day start? At zero hundred? With the incessant clanging of alarms?
When eyelids open and yawns impact the air? When I’m ready to be alive?]

Hour 19 – Decay & The After

Decay & The After


In my own journey away from life, 

all I can ask for is a falling apart that is proactive


let my eyelashes blow from my face

like a dandelion, let them fly, let me fly


let me pretend where they land, 

I will have more opportunities to grow


let my nose melt into anthills

to make my body home, no, many homes


let maggots bleed from my cheeks,

dripping from dwellings of their own creation


let my hands turn to mouths turn to ash

let my lifeline speak before I combust


let my body be 

and be


and be

until it isn’t


until it all falls apart

Hour 18 – Afters



My life is made from afters, 

from endings. 

It is made from dust, 

clinging tightly to the floorboard behind the stove. 

It is made from towels of spilt seed left under the bed

and of ghosts lingering in their houses. 

When I say afters, 

I suppose I truly mean befores I didn’t know would be 



It is made from before the pain set in, 

from before death arrived, 

from before he happened, 

or he happened

or he happened or he–  

It is made from resilience’s decaying mouth,

its teeth rotting from its skull

as it is asked to smile.

It could have been worse after all. 


My life is one of a survivor

who never learned 

to cherish the befores,

who never asked what could change

only did so when it was demanded.

No longer. 

I shall build a life that is made

of life. 

Hour 16 – I Paid $22 For A Burger Or In Which I Guess I Am Not Attractive

I Paid $22 For A Burger Or In Which I Guess I Am Not Attractive
after L. Hart

It is my firm belief
that if you do not think I am beautiful
you should not ask me on a date.

Dates are expensive.

And if you are not
Googly-eye incarnate
we are wasting our time here.

Okay, maybe that’s a lie.

At the very least,
if you are not taken by me
do not let me be the person you call.

Because you planned this.

This over-priced dinner date for two–
that I am collapsing into,
mutating into a fawn once more.

Stuck, or sticking in the molasses of your scorn.

As you smile,
say, “I’ve given up on beautiful women,”
say, “I’m so glad to be here with you.”

A clear line dividing.

As you smile,
say, “pretty women can’t hold a conversation,”
say, “see how easy it is to talk to one another?”

I tell you I am not a woman.

Somehow, it changes nothing.
You spin the word “stunning” in your mouth
and launch it at anything but me.

Reinforcing looks were the baseline you were evaluating.

Thank me for being
more “interesting” than anything else
and look at the women around the room.

Waiting for the next who, with hope, will not respond.

Hour 15 – Home is home is home

Home is home is home

I am home
in the chaos
in the clashing
of lightning and sand
of metal and bone
in the transformation
of a violent instant
into a soft one

I am at home
with ribbons of water
guiding my palms
toward the ocean floor
back upturned
and wading

I am at home
far away
from breath
from life
but still so close to you
you are home
you are

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