my heart won't stay entirely in this ribcaging

take it from me

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hello, world
i'm in a poetry class (second semester senior year, what what) and this is the first week that we haven't had constraints on what we write about. so here's what i have written so far...please tell me which one you think i should bring into class to workshop :)


when maps were an experiment
they used to write “where there be dragons”
in the margins, unforeseen continents and unsailed oceans.
today it’s all spelled out, across coasts and capitals and river deltas.
yet i see the sharp point of Baja California
spit itself out into the Pacific
and wonder.

the space from you to me is full of dragons.
unbidden, carried with me as i walk
throughout my day.

what i cannot say – the gap between us – hovers, winged, illusive.
i would never put us together in a picture frame in my mind
floating in between dreams
so why is it that you unhinge me?
you have class.


on some days i carry you with me lightly
stepping between puddles, a smile
for that old man shoveling the path
who knows my name.

on some days your smile tucks itself
in the wispy hairs at the nape of my neck
from where you kissed me
before you left for work.

today you clung to me for hours
tucked inside the plaid cotton of my shirt
whispering, a constant distraction.

you, are loud.
you talk a lot – more than me, and we both know
that’s saying something.
your voice reverberates around corner hallways,
doesn’t dance, but chases.
you don’t walk gracefully, no careful placement
of scuffed leather on the pavement.
the laces are untied (though mine are double-knotted)
and we walk for blocks
before you notice.
i’d like to think it’s because you were looking at me.
i think you’re scared of eye contact.
avoiding the intimacy of a prolonged stare,
slinging a joke, a sarcastic remark, anything.
you don’t intimidate me,
and i would never put us together in picture frames in my mind
so why is it, then,
that you unhinge me?
for every quick comment
the slow trail of your finger
charms my collarbone
the brush of your breath, delightful,
fans the wisps at the nape of my neck.
i’m not cold, but i shiver
and for once, we are quiet

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