elenapoems

there was something in childhood
how it lasted longer than it said
it would, a pot of water boiling hot
and over the rim — remember that
voice, flexing with i’ve-been-around
authority. the clothes you bought
all by yourself. shoe laces undone
if you want them undone. a paycheck
with (eye-roll) taxes and your hours
filled with your choices (even if
they are hard and/or ugly), until
feral bedtime kicks in— you only
know this now, that you were still
childhood, boiling past the limits
someone told you were real, you
only know when you look back,
see there, the mess on the stove.

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i hate the things to write
about. a hostage. a gun. a donut
a long line for donuts. a gun.
yesterday a man followed me
six blocks through the city and
then i got my hair cut — we were
in a pandemic and he was
upset his phone was following
him and i was upset that he
was following me. i could not
console him—his phone was
following him, still is. you are
as big as a scary house, and
you have no home, mister
and we
still are in a pandemic and
i cut almost three inches off
in the mirror my face, a mask
and the hostages were freed and
a gun. a gun. a gun. the line
for donuts is still so long.

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the drum that belongs to us
it is a heart
released into a body
a clock, removed from
instructions. our
space — the coincidence
of coexistence—my dust
and your dust and
the wider world, spinning
did you read that the earth
is moving faster on its axis
a day is shorter now, and
we are closer to some kind of
—endings are invisible
they happen after
every time we reach out
to catch one, open our hand
inside, nothing, nothing
but a drum beat, one clock
with no instructions.

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my poems are lead
my poems are lead, heavy and
i feel them in my pocket: rocks
jagged and clustered and
separated from the long, dumb
ground. my poems are
wood. my poems are yesterday’s
tree. bark, rings, moss only
the north side of my poems
are soft and verdant and
my poems are sorry. my poems
are so sorry, in hiding, in sweat
my poems are history, my poems
are longing. my poems are
young and incomplete and
lucky that way, like us.

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a long day inside
i read about a breeze
the screen wouldn’t lie
about a breeze (would
it?) i see summer is on
august arrived, like
a tail in the wind
halfway done with some
thing, are we doing this
the best we can do?
drink in the hot air and
the sway of the leaves
let the gravel scrape
against our funny toes.

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keep thinking about the smallness
what is smaller than a letter
the soldiers of words
beams of meaning
droplet of sound
humble line
the arc
and
i
keep thinking about the smallness
what is smaller than a letter
the soldiers of words
beams of meaning
droplet of sound
humble line
the arc
and
i
keep thinking about the smallness
what is smaller than a letter
the soldiers of words
beams of meaning
droplet of sound
humble line
the arc
and
i
keep thinking about the smallness
what is smaller than a letter
the soldiers of words
beams of meaning
droplet of sound
humble line
the arc
and
i

________________________________

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we could go more gingerly
into a world; a day
rising earlier than the sun
as if we know something
she doesn’t know:

as if we know something—how
the earth spins under our feet
a sky is untouchable
trees weave a language, we
don’t deserve to learn

we don’t deserve to learn
more about things we destroy
don’t deserve secrets spilled
red, dead guts; our battlefield—
grinding beautiful into dust

she knows better:
ignores our clocks and measures
whisks our gods into the clobbering seas
grinds dust into beautiful, into beautiful.

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have you ever been hungry for a feeling
to go away. haunted by an echo of a sentence
constructed by another someone (in their head with
their point of view) that snakes around your
being and chokes the air from your lungs—
are you even still here anymore? are you sure
you are not made of wood, a puppet
in the shadow of their fleshy sureness?
their words (constructed not in your head,
not with your point of view) come like sundown
trick your soul into an apocalypse and, my friend,
release them. release them, this is your time.

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elenapoems

elenapoems

hey these poems aren't gonna write themselves (on twitter @elenaperez)