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

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



3 until the end of days

this empty mug of sorrow
won’t let itself be poured
out, beneath the penetration of
sun rays thirsty for the evaporation
condensation precipitation
of tears and tea,
and the continuation of a life
at this state of Wait

unlike this mug,
my heart repeatedly breaks for you,
and sorrow swirls ooze out to
paint my aortic chambers with scenes
of nostrils filled to the brim
with white swirls of music notes
that elevate your body and coccoon
your brain from your mother father circled
around you, eyes shut to your slow

my heart pounds out images
in abrupt dull tones,
broken kaleidoscope visions
of tiny outstretched hands weighed
down with absence,
tickling keys to burst the silence
from the air…

knuckles slash air to strike face,
kisses shared in a bed with no commitment

you smile, laugh, dance,
your eyebrows risen up to the sky,
two baby suns ready to break dawn…

tears fall from my eyes

at noon,
i take a spoon and tap it
against the side of the mug.
it rings like your laughter.

2 until the end of days (And if it starts)

The waters that rush with my blood vessels
through my veins would turn to wine,
and like a messiah, i’d invite the world to
drink from me in celebration because what’s being tapped
when the eyes that fill you with joy are so close,
in your bed, in your heart, beneath your lips

remember when we talked of my fairy tale bathroom,
how gnomes roamed around my toilet covered in sprinkles
of fairy dust, that’s what I want to be to you, a fairy tale
delivered to your house in under two days with free shipping
because you finally signed up for what you deserve,
which is happiness and a life free of ease

and an acceptance of this letter of infatuation I write
before I know your middle name, which is the same love
letter I write as I know your greatest regret, which is the
same letter of compassion I write, as I hope you make
your way to self-forgiveness

i know how intimate you are with the fantasy
of your death, how you build intimacy with pain,
as if it’s an egg you must nurture into a species
different than the mother that does nothing but
draw blood. I know, firsthand, it doesn’t grow up different.

My light, I promise you don’t only shine with darkness
draped around you, I promise the joy you are is still true
during the day, and I want you in my daytime, noontime,
and nighttime, all the time, so like a message in a bottle,
I’ll let this go, my love continually existing for all to see
an undying undulation in the ocean of my subconsciousness

and beneath the glare of fire borne from the strike of these
two sticks of strength and ambition blown to an inferno by
the softness of your compassion, I am seen and see myself.
What I feel is beautiful, so I release it, and you have it,
and it’s yours, for you, for all time.

1 until the end of days

can i rip a kiss from
time, time, “time”?
it’s 3:49 am and my consciousness
is wrapped in the under-saturated
technicolor of dreams, my legs wrapped
in your sheets, labia wrapped by your lips,
i breath in time, time, time

every time i inhale you, a blood relative
snaps off the ances(tree), but at
3:49 am, you swallow the pain of this body’s
shatter and my lower back swallows
pleasure this time, time, time

this is a poem about loss,
filled to the brim with faith
and one days, and time time time

to wake up
jarred by the alarm
of the empty space
i wish you filled.

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,
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