the alligator beneath my wings


my daddy was an alligator wrastler.

i was never dangerous enough or verdant enough to woo.

i used to try to distract him from his gator grappling

with one girl synchronized aquatic ballets

or dangling baby salamanders from my ear lobes.

listen to me daddy,

see me daddy,

pappa, can you hear me,

as you climb the jacob’s ladder out from beneath our toes as we steal

your amber blush rose cross to the lotus rich marsh in the azure.


my 2 cents.

illustratins on a stool.

men hide behind words.

women hide below pictures.

word and picture, mythical, magic mirror mirage.


where is the third nail?

“get off the cross, mary, we need the wood!”

he wonders if it  is late enough at night for morning wood.

he silently admonishes him for being a have playing

he imagines what having him tastes like.

nails across buttocks.

persecution sipped slowly.


cause and effect

purrbaby love scratches

my lower back slowly with

a determined two/four mincing.

her paws dance bring tears to my eye

and a swat.




he raped her with his words.

he licked his lips

ignorant of the taste

of the coming karmic kiss.

tres haiku


drowsy, bland, labored

loud breathing heard by strangers,

wellness pulls away.


good bye

body enemy,

my hateful hands kill myself.

my heart stutters stop.



woozy wishes wane.

waiting wastes. wonder waxes.

what will work? winning?

noir writing prompt & contest: “Casablanca Knight?”

“The bar has been closed for some time now, the neon lights serve as a reminder that the place exists and I should come back in the daylight. I don’t think so. I have spent my hours this evening on a bar stool at another bar a few miles away. Seems like the flashing neon is a sign to the dark city that it’s time to wash away the troubles of today as a new morn is approaching..this is good news for…..”


she enters the room. My eyes go up from the run in her hose to the grit in her eyes. I knew that look of hunger, lost pride, hope’s glimmer. There was a she before her who taught me the pain of approaching a flame that blinds such as love at first sight. The memory makes me shiver on the mid-June Casablanca night. I pretend to look at the broken clock above her head and turn away. Remembering.

My Daddy

My Daddy used to always say no one ever won the Marlboro contests. They were all scams. I just knew the Marlboro man was more true than my old man.

My Daddy died of a heart attack when our shed caught fire in a surprise, summer thunder storm.

The smoke and flame seemed like another creature than on my Marlboro Red tips.

I lost my Daddy without ever showing him I was a winner.

Now, I think about him whenever I feel the clunk of my Marlboro thermos against my leg.

Red fire and hot coffee.

Te Amo

I love you

Even when it’s hard to see you

Among all your talons of hilarity and open smiling pushing away.

I will be here

Loving you

Until you love me with brown eyes wide and mouth pressed shut on mine.

You will see me.

Then, we will intermingle dance down to the water.


Te amo a ti

Aunque sea dificil verte a ti

Dentro de todas tus garras arrasadoras de humor y sonrisas amplias de alejamiento.

Estare aqui

Amandote a ti.

Hasta que me ames con amplios ojos marrones y una boca envuelta atada en la mia.

Tu me veras.

Entonces nos mezclaremos, bailando juntos hacia el agua.


Spanish translation by Luis Oyola


In my spring, Charlottesville, I came to you, seventeen, trapped in a story of potential.


You smiled, knowing my same story before spun with hands drawn to applaud.


Deaf, I thought none came.


In my summer, Charlottesville,I returned to you, thirty, free from the ivory cage of others’ expectations, still lost of my own accord.


As you smiled again, I smile and clap for you.


It was always you. Happy Birthday!

Our Planetary Realignment Songs

Venus rises.

9:32 AM EST, Friday, January, 27, 2012

Charlottesville General District Court, 16th Judicial District of Virginia

The Honorable Judge D, presiding.

He asks, “Why naked?”

She answers, “Your honor…”

 It’s always dark in the beginning. 

Four, she felt solar plexus’ pain when Venus’ children submerged Margot in darkness. All, summer in a, day she (who knew the sun) traced the lutescent, Helios lines clinging to the shut door’s edge. Remembering.

He came to me comforting.

Dissociative identity disorder describes a condition in which a person displays multiple distinct identities, each with her own pattern of perceiving and interacting with her environment.

This is an emotional pathology. She is an emotional pathway.

She is sometimes I.

She is sometimes you.

She is sometimes Maya Angelou.

Good morning, heartache.


Staring at the ceiling’s brown clusters reminded her of an uneventful but riveting third grade class trip to Hayden Planetarium. She mentally recited the planets, then the constellations to relieve her embarrassment at exposing “that place.”

Does beginning at a relationship’s sunset ever conclude at another’s dawn?

What about beginning with a “routine” pap smear at student health?

Stirrups are tools of devil shame.

Sing unto me that secret song

Of kisses with futures blended

Stretching into happily ever after.

Repeat our part

When we were new,

And you brushed my closed, third eye

With your chapped lips

And smiled,

Seeing and opening my poetess soul.

Sing unto me that secret song.


My inner brown sugar momma ignites.

You, sassy girl! He looked married… guilty… and handsome! He did this before, but you were special. Borrowed, stolen, broken. Partners in crime. You are now abandoned, a criminal, alone. You, sorrow’s girl…

Soul shouts, “Cry girl!”

Venus. Venereal.

“Miss, you seem to have contracted-”

Brown clusters blur, constellation names flee, tears burn.

My love’s gone. My love’s remnants cling. My love stains. My closet’s full. My cleanliness’ chased away. My shame envelopes. My regret of tasting the lush passion fruit bruises.

A lavender stationery square bordered with forget-me-not… She composes.

Eros, I know I said last time would be the last time. But, I need to tell you something important to us.

A lavender stationery square torn and discarded.

Sing unto me that secret song

Of us.

Girl meets another girl’s boy.


False light.





It ached, how silent the cerebral monologue became when I recognized my ruination. I heard the blood throb in my ears, teaching me I could not die of shame or even faint from the weight of the grit of my vaginal and spiritual dirt.

A fling becomes a life long commitment, a death gift flung between Ramona’s web of pretending strangers.

An 8 X 11 piece of college ruled notebook paper… She composes.

Eros, I can’t find the words to tell you how much and how specifically you continue to hurt me.

A college ruled notebook paper folded and discarded.

Sing unto me that secret song

We never shared

About love,

About tenderness;

A song making miracle believers,

A song of fields

Beyond our extremes

Where love encrusts molecules

And is sighed in by all

Till everyone falls drunk with

Purity tinged with passion.

A song we didn’t know how to write

As we did everything but right.

Sing unto me that secret song.

Prescription, cold sweat, clutched and clutched again in her right, coat pocket. Two a day for seven days. Two and seven, twenty-seven. She thinks about Jimi dying in England and Janis dying in an unknown place, both, at twenty seven. Shaken, she remembers today is her eighteenth birthday. Her first day as a woman; her first day as a scarlet woman. So much for rising phenomenally.

Rage phenomenally.

A crumpled drugstore receipt…She composes.

Eros, You make me hate myself for loving you. Wasted love. I wish I could take it back! You are a killer of women! You are a killer of spirit! You.

A drugstore receipt masticated and digested.

How do I forgive myself for ever letting someone so vile fill me? How do I look into my eyes without repulsion? How do I begin?

Years and valleys later.

Good night, sweetheart.

“A woman is like a tea bag. She does not know what is in her until placed in boiling water.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

When the mean scarlet of my psychosis met the cool cerulean of the authorities, I boiled.

Another asylum’s tomb. Sweaty back to a padded wall. Trying not to kill.

Star gazing with medically glazed, half-closed eye lids, I trace the constellation phantasms arcing the blank, beige ceiling.

Brooding drool, mine, shames. Saliva baptism, mine, breaks.

I forget him. Laudnum selective memory grays then swallows his oil portrait.

I obliterate our secret song. The Holst’s engulfing, lullaby Venus’ hushed notes embitter then diminish.

Now, I hear my voice, fervently whispering my hatred of her: the bitch, the controller, the lazy.

Her. Her. Her.

The cop, the psych nurse, my mamma.

She is the cruelest thing.

A soft, still response, “So are you.”

Finally found, gasping at the answer I want to deny but know its truth. Truth, finally found.

The soft, still voice continues, “And, you are loved.”

A moment of silence. Tears of gratitude for and fathoming of a limitless grace I had not known.

I am never the same.

The naked lady’s dawn

i know why the caged bird sings.

it sings for me, mother-f…

my very educated mother just served us nuts.

embracing her drills,

she becomes.

she revolves around a tent city in a public park.

there, she finds her moon in the seventh house, jupiter aligned with mars. there, she reminds her community to love and to dare.

then, darkness permeates.

“occupy ousted: cops take naked lady.”

some call her anarchist, fat, indecent, molester, media whore, crazy, obscene, trash, con, meaningless.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

some call her angel, the light, baby, big momma, prophetess, aunty, love, an unscripted moment, by her name.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

sagging, stripping, rippling, undulating, reincarnating hottentot venus of willendorf.

she stands naked in high heeled, coal, mary janes and pink, floral head wrap.

she spans her catalytic butterfly wings spurring a madagascar typhoon.

she carries the world’s grievances on her tongue.

she refuses the media’s artificial suns.

she walks in beauty like the night.

she is naked.

“why naked?”

smiling her naked grin!

“You know your honor…”

William Hazlitt shared, “A gentle word, a kind look, a good natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles.”

belly laughing her naked story!

“You know your honor…”

Maya Angelou bragged, “My life has been one great big joke, a dance that’s walked, a song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.”

dancing her naked hula!

“You know your honor…”

Emma Goldman insisted, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.”

bellowing her naked, honorable truth

We shall feel like a no one. We are known.

We shall feel used up and ugly. We are boundless and beautiful.

We shall feel alone. We are beloved.

Rising, we dawn, naked.

“Why naked?”

Why make this so hard on yourself?

Why so in your face?

Why so radical?

Why so loud?

Why you?


“Why naked?”

“All nonsense questions are unanswerable.”

Rising, she dawns.

She is you.

She is I.