Carbon (we burned parks once)

The garden must pluck poise
from the nakedness we’ve become,
in the bearings pale-covetous, dressing
black carnations on morning’s palm.

We burned through all the public parks;
I watched as the others expressed
beliefs until the trees caught fire
until after which, there blossomed

carbon flow’rs in the conflagration,
in their state most rudimentary.
There trapped with us, in our juvenile cells,
a corollary consciousness.

— A. P.

Musings on Love for Burnt Toast

Musings on Love for Burnt Toast

I believe you are the fire that could burn an eclipse,
that could bring me to knee-shaking, mouth-watering highs
with only crumbs as bait. How my tongue
anticipates the velvet
texture of your edges: the mellow meshes repulsive, while
the tempered yellow inviting,

it is akin to
a stalker grazing a gazelle just right
that it could run but not so fast
that it would be out of sight — and the hunter
is actually at the gazelle’s mercy;
a prey merely in play.

I believe that butter is as sweet as sweat on skin;
that oh-so-rough skin that housed needles, that I
but tasted once and stupidly let go.
I believe the brightly-lit field melts as quick
as lightning-emotions that start a heart
racing, galloping through that satisfaction, knowing
that all fullness leads to emptiness.

I believe that you are the manifestation of my hunger,
and that in consuming you, in feeding on you, I confess my need.
I am but a waiting fiend, with terrified eyes and lips,
an old soul privy to what these feelings have in store:

too aware to crave,
too weak to resist,
too untrusting to seek help,
too shy to boast,

too discouraged to begin,
too lazy to move,
too proud to admit
that I have ruined toast.

— A. P.

a thing

among the thinnest twine,
finds a red scarf untrimmed,
this thing of only claws,

his mornings are composed
of arguments with sun,
the thousand candles burning
at its core.

on the forest floor he wept,
eyes open; ‘how mild,’ he thought,
the fertile bloom of realizing
that he was not alone.

if he fell in love right now,
what would the forest say?
what would the forest say
if he fell in love today?

and his footsteps looked beautiful in the snow.
it matters not that he did not wear shoes,
that he did not wear socks, it matters not.

— A. P.



The force of a horse
is equal, of course,
to the number of doors
it can kick up yours.

A gnat on a cat
makes more sense than a bat,
for a bat is just that
when there’s wings on a rat.

And an aardvark’s snark
can murder a shark,
but a dog and its bark
should not make any mark.

Like a pig in the brig
of a ship twice as big
as a disco band’s gig
with thrice as much jig,

a goat in a boat
should, in theory, not float
no matter its coat
nor its throat on a moat.

And the beeswax on bees
should have just the right grease
under pressure, at ease
to wake flowers and trees.

Then the weasels of war,
who put justice in jars
would trade nectar with bars
when they travel too far:

Why such want for a continent
is a mystery pertinent
but to say they need condiment,
is a crocodile’s argument.

— A. P.

I Ran Out of Vitamins and I Feel Cold, Says the Country After Mistaking Mushrooms as Energy-Giving Umbrellas In The Hopes of Revitalizing Its Rotting Skin While Learning the Concept of Free Radicals

I Ran Out of Vitamins and I Feel Cold, Says the Country After Mistaking Mushrooms as Energy-Giving Umbrellas In The Hopes of Revitalizing Its Rotting Skin While Learning the Concept of Free Radicals

…and I felt lofty; a draft caressed my ears
in the rapture of a forest and the calm of a pond,
in the cloak of ceremony, where like minds struck
a deal with the sun, praying, “Hold them, there.”

And what would I trust? Would I trust words
from lonely pages torn
from a worn-out book,

from where brumous eyes
would lay rest, my conclusions, or worse —
from lips.
I walk with cranes,

their souls on stilts, minds on legs,
that set their underbellies too high from the brush,
with feathers that seawater could not touch.

And the beasts thought they were making changes
to this sanctuary, but they’re not;
their beaks write on water, and live off
what little fish they could catch.
And the silver-skinned creatures, they bask, and they border,
embracing the idea of extinction amidst plenty.

It is not surprising to find one’s self in a dream
where the chaos of forests feels like home,
where the morning alarms are all primate’s howls,
as animals lead the people now.

— A. P.



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.