Please, do not pretend that I can read your mind;
I wouldn’t know how you feel,
I wouldn’t know how you’d want to make me feel.
And if you intend to keep me cold,
while your hands are colored heat,
your digits, as sands in the Sahara, then
wouldn’t remind me of thirst as much as the quenching.
Everything drifts closer, my dear, or drifts apart
or drifts away
— even continents. We cannot stay, we cannot linger
in this stasis for too long, not before
this qualia catches up to us,
and my red is not your red anymore.
Please do not pretend that I can hear your thoughts.
Please do not say “talk”
when what you mean is “quarrel.”
Do not say “dinner”
when what you mean is “argue.”
Just say it out right—
do not say “discuss”
when what you mean is “fight.”

There is a fine line between imagined daylight
and obvious night. There are things that you need to tell me.
There are things that need to be expressed, and not
by the flick of your hand, or the strike of your pen, or
your voice in distress running miles and miles of
electrical wires and some undeserved sentences.
I wonder,
where were your kisses when I needed them?
I need your red to be my red, again,
your pain to be my pain, and your joy to be my joy again,
your sorrow to be my sorrow and your delight as my delight again,
I need to know again. I need you to speak, I need you
to acknowledge that I am still there, somewhere
in the depths of your heart. I need to know that you care.
I need to know that I can still find
myself with each breath you release, with each
heaving of your chest, with each strand of your hair I comb in the
frail little bones that used to be my palms,
massaging every twist, every curl, every
intricacy, like the way you navigate me and my soul.
I need to know that I am not insane;
I need to know that I am not out of my mind.
Please do not pretend that I can hear your thoughts,
let me settle, or let me go, either way,
let me know.

— A. P.

the daily press

The Daily Press

“Listen,” says the canterer, “Go fly and tell your children,
we want them to be innocent.” Be innocent, be innocent,
so echoed the warden. “Listen!”
…says the shepherd, “Go fly and tell your mother:
we want her to be innocent.” Be innocent, be innocent,
echoed the witness oblivious.

The promise of truth’s but a waking dare now,
the colorless preening of ominous sounds,
facetious bemoaning of evident gasps,
while lies thrive in mouths of the villainous crowd.
And true to their word, they spout nothing but blatant
untruths for the sheeple in farmhouses bare—
so many were they that if half of them hurry,
they could form a new flock, they could form a new country.

“Listen,” says the chanteuse, “I could sing this song for days,
and I want you to listen.” To listen, to listen
says the sheep in their pen. “Listen!”
…says the hallowed, “Go fly and tell your brothers
we want you to follow.” To follow, to follow,
the flock cantered steadily with their every tomorrow.

— A. P.

you are my sweetest solace

You Are My Sweetest Solace

I think of you as a silent place —
an aerial, quiet and unassuming,
in a reach too solemn —
I hear everything:
The low rumbling of wind and
the slow shush in the growth of brambles
enveloping every newborn thought
that I could muster. I lack luster, now,
I imagine you have a world waiting for you,
one that features my absence. I can try
to fit in, but to find in you this silent place,
this hollow place,
not hollow as hollow is, but where
wishes can flourish, alive with possibilities,
is a dream I cannot resist.
Let me rest in you, then, dear,
let me think of you this way: that even
in the midst of stasis, you are movement,
a soothing pace in every
erratic heartbeat arrested in panic.
Let me dream of you, thus,
that you are cause for singing,
for writing hymns —
for dreaming goes as dreaming is —
a cause to weep, to put all of my
sorrows asunder, and finally,
give in to sweetest slumber.

— A. P.

take root! ye mighty form

Take Root! Ye Mighty Form

How I adore you, truer than true,
And mere oceans canot speak of this vastness,
And I have hidden evidence in you,
The things that speak of my tongue in honesty
If you accept, gleefully, readily,
Whatever that is left.

And hurts are seas,
Their intrusion as beautiful as the coastlines,
As the skin are sands:
Let me crumble in you. Let me breathe
What deepest depths might you boast that I may drown,
Let the soles of my feet feel what permeates that darkness,
Let fall what might fall, my eyes awash,
As hurts are seas.

Let peel what might peel
Revealing colors of what blindness hid,
Mark into me as ageless wounds inflict the earth;
You prove me frail. Mere words —
Mere words could bring my very composure to shambles;
Mere whispers could stop this heart; it tires,
But not before racing,
Racing, racing, to keep up, it tries
But no, no human was built for this,
Not a creature created to contain this.

And should you ask me if I felt sadness, my love,
What do you think would be my answer?
By your voice shaped to such inquiry, I
Might be driven to dazed silence,
I cannot respond as such,

But I’ve had my years of feeling broken,
And you made for it with touch.

— A. P.



No one wanted to be
a save fiend, stressing
in-between rounds

of this Sciencery,
of utilising sticks,
making sounds

as rough edges hike
the basin of the skin;

sink and twist
and turn creating
little rivers of blood

then condensing into
a shiver-plane;
vanish trust,

a dry tongue, for once
indicated thirst,
not lust.

— A. P.



Welcome, friend, come inside and have a salad.
Have you met this person I haven’t met before this event
but pretend that I do in the event I get questioned by
a curious set of eyes curiously set
on passion fruits passionately set by the tables—
oh excuse me, where are my manners, here is the fork,
you can stab the tomato and the pork anywhere you want,
just avoid ruining the cake for now— we have not taken a picture yet.
What are you doing. Do not loiter around. Get around.
Meet at least five people and high-five them and let us toast
to our friendship and our relationships and let us laugh and let us giggle
oh the music is way too loud I cannot hear you
I cannot hear y- oh here comes Kristine! Kristine, Kristine,
Come over here have you met John nice dress why were you late where have you been
Is the traffic still as bad as it did all these years. I remember you from high school,
oh my god we talked a lot and we made so little connection back then and
we did not like each other. I still feel that way but I hide it because I
am a mature human being and I like being fun. Ths wine is great awesome great
This is a great gathering watch me puke and mispl my txts I think Im drnk
Baby call a cab, baby how about all those years we shared you told me you loved me oh my god
This Pokemon GO thing is great let me get this one thing off my chest—I don’t like you, no—
I hated you since the first time we met I
never liked you and the way you always hung around my boyfriend,
well… my ex but that is not the point oh wow this is great food what is the point of living
I thought you loved me let’s take a dive in the pool. I cannot drive.
Please let me go home…

Oh, cake!

— A. P.