try to talk about it

This line was forced.
This line, I took through the eyes.
This line, the collected dark patches of 2015, yearns to be recalled.
This line is the relationship that led the tip of my pinky toe over the edge of a ledge.
This line lullabied and leashed my thumb, yanked me back.
This line sobbed,
“I’m sorry I almost lost you.
I’m sorry I almost lost you.
I’m sorry I almost lost you.”
This line almost lost me.

This line is made of tiny repeated mistakes, stuck close together.
This line is dressed in it’s Sunday best shame.
This line is a lying hypocrite and gets saved, anyhow.
This line has no real reason to do any better.

This line tried to swallow itself into non-existence.
This line almost liberated the entirety of its blood for the sake of another’s ascension.
This line is not a martyr.

This line kissed a woman and birthed itself.
This line is phallic and sapphic.
This line wants to forget.
This line wants to forget.
This line only knows how to be forgotten.

This line has sex.
This line can’t have sex.
This line can’t have sex.
This line can’t have sex.
This line can’t have sex.
This line wants to know what this line will be.

Once fast, now with fear of fornication,
this line only knows how to be forgotten.
This line was forced.

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even when i didn’t ask, they did it for me

What do we do after we march?”

rub rubble from their eyes, (that’s
actually skin, bombed-blasted empty to seek
salvation beneath 6-year old lids.

actually, a thinly cracked, reddened goodbye
from a mother’s splintered throat,

actually the blackening power of a knuckle
to temple, in temple, tempted to sin by bared skin

actually, hope, chipped off by the slammed
cover of Pandora’s box)

how did humans access
what she never dared let escape?

Hope was an undocumented entity
caught in a box pumped with anti-psychotics,
satiated to stillness by the rhythm of their own tears

hope was not what crawled
out from the base of my spine,
my feet scraped across the veiled-
with-forgetfulness karmic time-warp
begotten by the multifaceted figure
of genocide. lungs raw, i know i’ve
been here before, before i died a man,
arrow to the left lung, before i died a woman,
brown Mary ravaged to rubble to lend passage to
lighter-skinned generations and migrants,
before i died as a boy

who got English crammed into his teeth
until his gums bled and he was called
diseased.

I am
“woke”, eyes bloodshot and
begs to the sky for mercy (where
are the children?) in the same
tissue-shattering language, i call
for freedom with sounds pregnant
with century long justifications
for murder, gums fully bled.

Still, the crowd behind me echoes.
Still, there are chants and repeats.
Still, they see me not dis-eased.

-Stevie Ambroise

 

symbiosis

blue butterflies land on my chest

there had been a hiatus, a break/
newly made log rot where insects
searched for and found lodging. some-
times what begets a crack in the skin/
(or the heart)/ begets refuge for another being.

stop time,
blood flow and CO2

blue butterflies land on my chest

you can do what needs to be accomplished
and still sustain scarring: this is the spiritual war,
one that breathes amongst other warriors,
blue butterflies land on my chest
where the blood-letting is a soft wind that
sways branches,
blue butterflies land on my chest
where the blood-letting is sand grabbed by
a timid wave’s crest, passively submerged,
blue butterflies land on my chest
where the blood-letting is dust motes caught
unaware in a column of light, exposed
blue butterflies land on my chest
where the blood-letting is sun-wheeled burns/
on sensitive shoulders
everything is necessary.

blue butterflies land on my chest,
symbiosis and sufferance

-Stevie Ambroise

what do we name the space between two goodbyes?

did anyone even hear you open the door?

i love the click-quiet fact that you never left,
a halted breath, non-existently still
in the choice to neither stay nor go

(but to be alive is in the dance,
a sacred risk of movement
)

you want to remain to me this miraculous
transcendence of death
(i can tell you do
because i stopped waiting
for the sorrow to come/

and air split
skirts around you,
stuck in the back of my throat,
an overdressed
under expressed farewell)

i am alive. you are
swallowed by light, pale, sculpted
beautifully still
we stare,

caught
in the liminal,
between a move forward and
a step back.

All Because I Thought You Looked Like Wisdom

You’re the latest love to turn me to a poem,
after time and trauma stoppered Understanding

too weak to lift rhythm
from the the waving hands of the word
“waist” (or was it waste), which
type of time tripped me up and caught me

like a baby, shrunken too small
by rebirth to comprehend prison
for the sake of precaution, as I watch words,
mobile, fall from the ceiling before I sleep?

they never land on me
i never taste them

for when I dream I chase
because I am a grown man
who is an elderly woman
who feels like a teenager

and you are a pickup
(or a dump) trucking along

and my heart is a filling moon-sliver of a
fingernail, drawing blood from bumper,
destined to never rip, even
as the force and direction of your speed
and the gravelly inertia of your “no”,
leaves me to flap in the wind,
skinned raw swaddled in tears

all because I thought you looked like wisdom.

-Stevie

Shore

The shore is self-realized, every
minute mineral owned by itself and the others,
and meets but does not need the ocean, although
passersby see them exist as one, like the sky
and that cloud which hangs like bated breath
in wait of either its fall or evanescence
in full embrace of either destiny, while
enveloped by the azure that loves
but does not possess
or own or brag
that it also has it’s entire self
wrapped around the ocean waves that leap
into it’s very center,
to retreat back home,
in love,
self-realized.

-Stevie

The Unheard Pain You Know

you know you didn’t birth the yolk
of growth to a flower’s bloom, and
you can’t wind-shake the thought
of the plagiarization of scars from your skin

this wound is copyrighted, but the world
named me as velvet-tongued martyr

these wind-whispers that touch
but cannot be have no interest to
the bristle-tongued burrowers beneath
rain they summon again and again
to create reasons for alliteration chains
to be swung, then hooked into a groove
for easy climbs and sudden drops.

these rugged scabs are not your land-
scapes, please leave me dry

yet, lasers of enlightenment swept onto dark
holes -irises- to stimulate a mass ejaculation
of breath at the nonconceptual,
the after sound of a gasp, a privileged disbelief

i hope you get lost in the dust
particles’ evanescence

as you kneel
at my healing,
deciphering
what you think as ancient wisdom

i pray this poem implodes.
i pray you get buried
where the words
never know
to find you.

-Stephanie Ambroise