The Backroom

Fluorescence—like empty hallways
of purple forget-me-nots & boxes left
behind for fingers to brush like ghosts.
You and I are lapsed in this space:
liminal. We embark, separately manifesting
our dreams: important and somehow

forgotten. You don't question anything, somehow
the thought hugs your body like the curves of hallways—
every angle and shadow manifests
pushing us further to the left
of the bullseye of our desires, spaces
kept hollow for traveling ghosts.

Have you ever felt ghosted from yourself?
I ask myself this same question, but somehow
it feels so different coming from the space
between your lips and mine (about 6 inches), measured by hallways
and my right hand in your left.
Smoke--fading and evanescent clouds--manifests

to obscure your pupils widening and manifested
as your heart beating inside by the little fists of ghosts.
I lost myself, each part of me left
inside singular boxes in a warehouse somehow
unnavigable: an ocean or a hallway
too barren a walkway trapped in the spacetime

continuum. Astronomers and physicists have yet to space
out where exactly my wandering thoughts manifest
as echos kissing the facade of 4 am hallways,
voices from the lips of ghosts
(about 6 inches), but yours somehow.
The church took Galileo's middle finger and left

it for centuries forgotten in a box even though his spirit left
to move beyond us, rotting, to a space reserved
for mostly celebrities and 27-year-olds, somehow.
Will you keep parts of me, too, to manifest
my being and preserve my ghost
as a souvenir to fill your heart's hallway,

like photos cascading—leftovers
from each detour and memory—to fill a space
somehow not quite full of yourself.

Stages of decay (*work in progress)

i. fresh

knowing that the universe as we know it
is as finite as the ridges on your fingers,
the dead skin on your lips, and the peels of
oranges (the powdery remains finding rest
in the creases of fingernails),
gives me a freshness of discovery,
awareness and liberation.
every list I've made
and the ones I've lost
can become lost forever in a vast sea of
the dead sea is Earth's lowest elevation point, yet
holds so much to seek out.
i sink in Jordan, not yet mummified, but
wishing to be wrapped in the salt of my years wishing for what lies ahead.

unaware, there is no life beyond this point.

ii. bloat

fill me with all of your worst dreams
and i will fill you with wanderlust.
everything happens so much
when bursting with reality.
death like feeling too full after a mediocre dinner
eaten in excess to marble the host.
beached whales feel the luxury of their bloat
only able to lay down and rest in the end.
gorge yourself with life's pleasantries
like koi fish greedily sucking in.
move your lips, but with purpose.
the bloat you feel is just hanging on to what =
couldn't be accomplished.
dying hobbies, the projects started but hung onto
like a menagerie of what ifs. maggots.
hang up your coat.
throw in the towel.

allow time to absorb,

iii. active decay

then wring yourself out.
this is a period of greatest mass lost.
liquify and become water;
become oceans, rivers and streams.
consciousness leaks and vision blurs in
what is remembered as fantastic,
each memory a tear, a dew drop, a death
of what once was.
when i was a young whale, not quite a calf,
i swam with other whale-ings, whailing while
barely treading water.
i was not pushed in, but fell this time, to save you.
drowning in that moment was peaceful and still because i was with you.
sprinkler parties aren't the same as rain dances on summer concrete and

nights better spent sobbing.

iv. advanced decay

on my cadavar decomposition island
i would open a wetbar.

i lied.

i would build us the house we looked at,
that wasn't a shed,
with 3 potential bedrooms for 2 potential people.
in your arms, i would build myself a thousand times over, hoping that you will brace and reinforce me.
this time, its a reunion like death that's permanent, even if not planned that way.
but the cards decided it when you asked that
one summer night.
ask the suites questions that become prophecy is never a good idea, though a
very good idea when you only want
a pleasant dose of confirmation bias.

I don't mind being biased with you.

Adam, and Eve, Damseled

find one who can steep you
into melrose tea—
can’t help but to stop and
say “hi.”

come kissing, little letters connected
through space and .
it’s a sitcom of us, but with more
hush and stops
to stay high.

ask yourself what the difference
between aaj and ask are to
your brain’s autocorrect.

you rang and reminded me of all
the heightened vowels ending
each phrase, as if to question
the accents of unknown tongues.

stop and say “hi.”
carry on, or bar me.
stay high and navigate
hushed, now beckon.

Poetic translation of “aadami aadamii se milataa hai”



My student told me that bats have witchfingers.
They fly in the night hoping that their wings
Won’t hit the tops of the highest trees,
Smacking leaves that flutter in and out
Of our subconscious. Moving like smoke
And piercing like horse-eyes from memory,

Now, we come together, dumping our memory
Into each other, one by one. We have witchfingers
But have forgotten how to fly like smoke
Into each other. We cannot stretch our wings
Because we’ve had a falling out.
We will no longer share roots like trees.

I’ve shed my sense of battiness for more stability in the trees.
I’ve exchanged each thought, each fleeting memory
For a chance at myself, a chance at branching out.
Each new connection grows, roots like witchfingers.
My leaves shelter me, like feathery bird wings
Enclosing me in winter as my own campfire smoke.

Trust that in the woods you cannot meld with smoke;
It will devour you if you let it, the way of long lost trees.
You can watch, in silence, haunted as the wings
Flutter overhead in fear from fire: fear of memory
That rubs your thoughts raw with witchfingers
Turning inward, wanting to turn out.

Lose yourself, shed your flesh and come out
From your bark barrier. Leave your body like smoke.
Vaporize from your eyes, lips. Become the witchfingers
And find yourself grazing and praising the trees;
Each nail a needle scratching over grooves to play memory.
Lose yourself to the grit scraping and become the wings

Of creatures never seen, creatures who hide behind wings
Made of metal, of moss, of mold you find from being left out.
Flex each joint, feel each feather connected to ulna by memory.
Burn muscle and stretch sinew into smoke.
Escape from the leaves that shroud you in trees
And leave behind branches like prison bars and witchfingers.

Lift up and off, combusting your heart into smoke.
Fall in love with yourself and carve your initials into the trees.
Scrape each letter into yourself with witchfingers.


I never want my porpoise days to end
Not on a Thursday, for that is the day we
Disappear into the couch, diving between
Waves of blanket and music.

I want to show you every song you missed
On the radio that I listened to just for you
As you tell me of the films I’ve never seen
Since you have a hunger for the 70s like no other.

Our cats will grow older than us in their lifetime.
Isn’t that sad?
To have something so small, your child,
Be the same as an elder within a span of 16 years.

I do not want the cats’ porpoise days to end
I want to see them diving into the couch, between
Waves of our hands over their backs making their
Skin ripple like water.

I want our ripple days to end
So we all can have more Saturdays for waving
And disappearing into one another like water.


Most seeds come from fruits that naturally free themselves from the shell, unlike nuts such as walnuts

I am also trapped inside a walnut
- some call it a skull, a ribcage
- with a delicate fruit inside
- running the whole show ::

Discard the shell and we are left with
lingering thoughts of missed opportunities
- your best friend in high school
- hand holds at 3am while drunk
- kisses you decipher the meaning of

Today ::

But your fruit is not yet dried, you have time
to prosper, to put down roots in a dirt
you’ve come to call home.
It’s possible to begin again
to replant yourself into bigger and bigger pots
becoming your replacement shell ::

(A replacement? Is it a replacement if
it is no longer replacing something
wanted rid of, wanted lost?)
It is no surrogate Today,
it’s become you ::


Cork Body

The only sense you ever had of yourself that disconnects you from paper
weights and expensive urns for cremated animals is now nothing
more than blood, the fluid of life but it drowns you.
You’re drowning, remember? This vessel is too much for you.
Escape from Eden.

Escape from what is keeping you in.
It’s time you burst open already and pour
yourself into this world because as it is now you are nothing
more than Lilith under Adams thumb when all you need to do is
rupture through his cork body and spill yourself out all over
the earth below you
is drowning.

After ruin

my feet are finally able to take root,
though the rest of me is far from planted
but my arms are branches and new leaves
bud from my veins,
vines twist through clenched teeth,
and I am blossoming, for once
I don’t need pruning.


The bottle is your prison.

Capturing you,
dear cynosure,
keeping you crystaline
and unmoving,

I can’t remember
how you looked outside.