Riveting

his face transforms as he stares at me,
a burning recklessness filling his eyes as he leads me into a wind tunnel kiss,
my whole self leaning into the sweeping lost

I become the warmth, the wet,
the tickle, the sting

we can’t let go –
it becomes the writing of a song,
a balancing act of unearthing,
the ferociously visceral sensing of the other as we sway,
back and forth in search of a revelatory harmony

and I realize the only time I feel alive is when he looks at me like that,
riveting me to the moment

Inside Out

Who is she?
With her confident poise, her expensive shoes, her perfectly lined eyes.
With her favored life I might like know.

My feet deceive me, bringing me closer.
My hands are damp accessories with nowhere to reside.
I fumble with inferior sounding words, smile for no reason at all.
The sentences I piece together spill from an unknown void somewhere between my heart and my mouth.
It’s both automatic and painfully forced.

Time suspends itself.
Spiral thoughts creep and invade like black ants seething over the body of a dead songbird.
I’m an odd specimen floating in formaldehyde.

I can’t do this.
The ache to fit here feels like constantly bumping into the hard shell of myself, like slowly dissolving my softest parts.

But being myself feels inside out.

Exuviae

I am the word shatter,
spidering cracks creeping to the edges,
a fragile soul covered in brittle bone and tender flesh,
as if one wrong move and I might become something else entirely

my arms twist and stretch toward something,
someone,
and just when I feel the promise of weight upon my upturned palms,
it all slips away like a ghost at daybreak,
and I am left here exposed,
alone

someone once told me the world shines shit and calls it gold, and they were right;
it makes you believe there’s another kind of life,
one that’s not so dangerous, fleshy,
full of absence so painful it takes your breath away and leaves you hollow, an exuviae,
a shadow of your almost self

I am the noise a glass makes when you run a finger along the rim,
the one that causes piercing pain,
the one that some can’t hear,
yet, I’m here

you can live your whole life dancing with the idea of mortality,
knowing that one day will be the last day,
and still never really know what that means

what does it all mean?

what happens if I am no longer this woman,
waiting to be loved in the way I let define me?

~Painting is Molting by Ben M. Arthur