Berry Biberman's skin glows phosphorescent like lilac blue blown glass. Pointed ears like elves in tales no one ever told her, but that she'd lived to imagine. Berry Biberman loves Anders who loves Stacy who reminds everyone of Sarah, if it weren't for her longer darker hair. Anders writes dark poetry. Sends them via telegram to Berry every third Thursday and some Tuesdays. He relishes in the letter of it all and obsesses about the tickle of the tongue on the palate from the click of the T. She moths herself to the words like bulbs to burn her out. ode sur ses lévres et yeux. So big that she's taken almost 30 years to grow into them.

dear rusty,

thanks for giving me the catalyst that i already knew i needed.

jeff's ex.

hey, hey, hey, he shouts, from across the street. whistles.
says damn, loud enough to hear.
i don't look. keep walking.
he says, hey you, tell us your name.
he doesn't know that i don't like to be hey'd.
i turn, smile, find your eyes inside my soul like fire and laugh out the syllables.

hey, he says, you live dere?
i turn, pause, smile, say, yeah, i live here
you know'd johnny, he says
and i say, no. no, i guess i don't
mines names is jaffe, he says
and i say coo' jaffee. it's fuckin' a great to meet you
and he says come over later--we're havin' a party
you got a boyfriend, he says
no., i say. no, i don't really know. I say.
and i say cool, man, nice to meet you. have a great night.
as the door slams behind me onto the heel of my shoe, see you later hottie.

[fuckin a hot with his damn self and his shirt off.]

my mom says

(i'm telling you, dogs, cats, and masturbation. no more men.)

Joey the Bull of the memory of childhood and finding things like lunch was bad. Breaking out for what. Throngs of chasing after him on late nights and hours of crawling through fields on our bellies scratched nicks in pale skin from broken fences. The wrong running and hiding, we. Stung tongues like fear was bumble bees. Catch Joey in Chains again bull him proper criminals and fences. Skinned empty belly knees we're dirty free. we go.

of being the last one up checking for any sign, at all

i'm tired

of going to bed with the phone

i don't even try. when he leans in. smiles through slim lips and the harsh scent of red wine and espresso. cigarettes. my stomach turns. avert my eyes and turn away. ball hands to fists and excuse myself. all i can hear in my head is ben folds in the background of the last time i rode in your car.

he discovers i'm gone sits and waits for how long i don't know because i broke it off and he wants more words but nothing matters now and everything i've ever said turned false

hope just died

Dear Eloise,

[that's as far as i've been able to get]

today, eating half a sandwich turned out to be one of my biggest accomplishments

so what if i threw it up later.

i just saw a firefly on my front porch, and i need to know; how did you find that alien to power your ring? cause, see, someone distinguished my sun. and i don't know how to get it reignited. and i'm tired of being afraid of the opposite energy. i need willpower; i don't want it to be so much yellow. anymore. this self-doubt, that is something i know you understand. and i just keep on murdering. my own private sinestro incarnate. i need you to graft yourself onto my soul. power my battery. light my way.

We went to bed together one random night. I remember you were reading, and I was tired. The bed was still tall and against the wall. And we often spent nights held up on its frame losing ourselves in words or one another. Both. This night I pretended to be asleep, and I watched you. Held your face in my brain like the palm of my hands. And you turned to me and caught me short with your electricity. Your perfect eyes. Smiled into me like you were happy and loved and satisfied. And I told you that you were the most beautiful thing that I'd ever seen in my entire life.

there are moments in life when you know for sure that what you need to do is listen harder to your own mistakes.

know i've done this before.

some dreams for insomniacs are harder to wake up from. sometimes i have a hard time knowing on which side of dream and wake i fall.

but still no effing diagnosis


i lied this morning. there are no excuses for lying. i do it when i'm sick.

Henry watches as she goes.

The harsh lines of her spine and shoulders like an upturned anchor to stop ships dead in the water. He puts his fingers in his beard to lock the look of her into a tangible movement.

dear you,

if i find out tomorrow that i'm going to die, then i'm going somewhere fantastic. i'm still trying to figure out where that would be.

regardless, i'll ask you to come.


dear mom

how can i dream without sleep of catching myself in the throat of j like foxes
this morning the toilet wouldnt stop occasionally refilling the unpredictable gush feels like some sinister secret weapon to
keep me unhinged
lately my mouth feels dumb like the empty space between the window and the sill in the living room that sucks sanity like riddles thick and metallic like ive been drinking printers ink or blood
i cant find my passport


aren't we all wide asleep running. she slips through the sheets of slippery june half past 4 in the morning like fingers swimming in long dark hair. the clink of the chains the nails against asphalt of the spoon of her childhood mother's hand in an aluminum bowl. the unhinged metal on metal that seeps between the spaces of every skeletal bone to ache. she the wall cloud raising unpredictable force like dreams. stalks crouched and preying. until she presses fingers and lips against metal. pressed flesh against fence. they howl and charge. patterns of slick saliva. of hair. breath. this exchange of lovers. devastation. the prey of she in every shattering bark. asia dreams of h-bombs and blow jobs. and the pretty play of vicious teeth wrenching skin from bone. rendering fleshy body works in blood stains on empty sidewalks. she thinks. has to be--better than this.

and i'm still pacing about the apartment, like a fool, waiting for you to call. i don't know why it feels any different from any of the other night, every night, that i do the same exact thing, but this time it does. alone. shamefully.

I want these syllables to resonate. Reach into your chest and drag you down. Deep into the bridge you've always wanted to jump off of, but didn't. And hold you down. Place a firm palm against the top of your head and stave off the resistance. I want to make you stop breathing.

the last thing anyone said that honestly made me feel happier and not alone

Point Fucking Five.

The man I'm supposed to be in love with would have known, Mom. And he wouldn't have stood around talking to his neighbors last night. He would have been at home with me.

it isn't like i don't try. try. like i mentioned yesterday is becoming one of my favorite words. yesterday with the orange and a few salty chips in the afternoon. several pulls of bread in the evening. nothing else. just a few bites. this morning i made coffee with milk. milk has food properties. i even made a lettuce and onion sandwich and carried it to work. i even tried to just go eat a couple of bites of it, because my head started swimming. but i can't eat it. a few bites and i decided that between before and now, i no longer like mayonnaise. and the thought of the taste of it makes me want to retch. heh. retch is a good word too. it always makes me think of john rechy. city of night. and of being in love with james baldwin. in part, because he isn't afraid of telling the truth. the coffee made me sick. not words though. i feel really alone right now. overcome. i need new words for alone. and sleep.

I don't include meteor calypso, because I know you already have it. but it's one of the main things that I listen to these days. Even though the lyrics cut me into pieces that I can't hold. Together.

Meteor [Virginia Coalition]
Let it be said that these two . . .
I find it everywhere you go . . .

I keep day dreaming about this lake that I used to go to in Germany. I can't remember the name. I'd take the train through the middle of town and then away from it until something that looked like the sea sprang up all around me. And the reflection of the sky in the water would swallow the world and I thought that if I listened hard enough I'd figure out everything that I needed to know. Because just then in my life I was a really sad girl. I was a really broken girl. And I wanted the undersides of clouds to tell me how to be a woman. How to be a strong woman. And I'd get sunburned and listen to the prattle of German that I could just quite but not well enough understand. Like a music to raise up my soul. And it did. All of it. Somewhere between here and there, between Soln and Munchen and Berlin, and the International terminal at the Seattle-Tacoma airport. I swapped myself out for a newer version. I left death on the other side of the world. Whispered it into the forgiving underbelly of refracted clouds on water.

this was all i had


She wears lipstick the color of peonies and smells hard worn like old dollar bills.

only too bad that they were the things you were trying to get me to recognize for centuries (and loved me, even still). and i tell ginger, drunk and sarcastic, that in another life, i hope that i meet you sooner and that i listen well. she tells me that i will. and even through her false-orange lipstick, i don't believe her.

i'm trying to live life like it's september. and it'll be a decade from now before i sort it out. and by then, even now, it will be far too far too late.

on sundays. i suck.

i'm a really bad drunk.

i drove a car today for several hours for the first time in probably a decade. i drove as fast as my heart was beating and gripped the wheel hard. fast fast. and go go go. afterward, all i wanted was for you to fuck me like you *are* the love of my life and like you've always done since the moment we met. and hard. but i walked half way to you, the other night, only to realize that I have no idea, anymore, where you live.

metaphors for real life make me want to pluck every single one of my eye lashes from my head.

fuck. shit. damn. i miss you.

fuckshitdamn. i gave up the right to miss you.

when i turned away and then looked back he was gone. so, i started shouting wildly -- did he jump? did he jump? and pressed my forehead against the glass. i was only split-second-disappointed that i didn't see a body.

sometimes i don't immediately remember that this life isn't a comic book.

mid phone conversation...
him: i don't know babe. it seemed like she was having a great time.
me: well, what's going on?
him: i'm not sure. she isn't returning my calls.
me: hmmmm. what did you guys do last?
him: dinner, drinks, conversation
me: oh, no. jae--you didn't do that thing where you talk at people about things like the news and then don't really have a conversation. you know? like you just talk at people. and regardless of what they're saying, you just keep on saying what you want to say. and you don't ask, you know, questions or whatever. like, um, you don't engage or seem interested in the other person--only what you have to say . . .
him: [taken aback] what? do i do that?
me: [exasperated] good lord

it's very strange to give dating advice and support to the man i was married to for 10 years. (especially because i look young enough for people to assume that i've never been married. including my very-new-boyfriend's mother, who, i believe still doesn't know.) it's strange, because we were married for so long, and because the kinds of things that he asks me about or experiences problems over are very often the same things i'd been telling him were problematic for me for years--and he still acts surprised and upset by these observations. he doesn't ask me how my relationship is going. although, we talk about my health and about the last man i dated who i can't seem to get over or even figure out why i'm trying to get over in the first place. jae listens. which feels odd.

him: that's the way i've always felt, how i feel, about you.
me: what's that supposed to mean?
him: it means you're still in love with him, stupid.