Peaches

I realize the bright billows are from dainty cigarettes held between pale fingers with pink polished nails.
Every great villain wields a cigarette!

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Peaches

Who doesn’t love the sweater girls at the Fair?
They look like peaches.
They smell like bread baking and the icing on cakes.
They are warm, yet delicate like sunlight through a car window that rests in the palm of your hand.
Not solid really—
Their flesh barely reaches the outline of their bodies.
Their edges blur.
They are ephemerally beautiful, impossible to pin down…
and no one suspects their dishonesty.
The lies they tell become orange and purple gas clouds,
lightly wet like the edge of spray from a sprinkler.
I walk past them on my way to the Ferris wheel and my mouth and throat are suddenly full of candy colored foam.
They shake their ponytails and I strangle on their uselessness.
Still, I forgive them.
I swear to God I am made of steel.
Or is it string, I’m not sure no one tells me these things to my face.
No one except the sweater girls from lipsticked smiling mouths, teeth gleaming,
eyes like hard, glittering jewels.
Their soft cheeks briefly distract me and then I again feel their eyes staring coldly.
Surrounded by sensuality and warmth their eyes remain unaffected and unmoved like white wolves’ eyes through heavy snowfall.
Gunshot glances.
A predator’s eyes.
My fear of them reduces their clouds to ash and I think of escaping while the ashes are the color of flowers.
Not grey— not ash colored.
I realize the bright billows are from dainty cigarettes held between pale fingers with pink polished nails.
Every great villain wields a cigarette!
I am a child among them and I decide to run while there is still the possibility of blamelessness.
But I look down at my ticket staring stupid from the palm of my hand and I realize there is no leaving now.
One girl stares directly at me, her gaze a lance that has run me through.
It hurts from both sides and yet there is relief as I bleed my awareness and desperation.
I am left feeling lighter, cleaner.
I smile back at her, my tongue sweet in my mouth from a peculiar birth after death.
It is then that I notice I am wearing a sweater too.
It has a sour smell, and as the girls all turn towards me I realize they all smell this way.
I hesitate before taking a step towards them—
My mind holds a single thought—
“What if I’m not ready?”
I decide I don’t care.
I decide I never did.
I look over my shoulder and see my picture tacked up on a board full of flyers.
There is writing beneath the image of my face but I can make out only one word—-
Missing.
All at once my mind turns completely white and I recognize this as surrender.    A single tear escapes the corner of my eye and slides down my cheek, sparkling in the afternoon sun.                                        My white mind holds onto this as I wipe away the tear, my fingernails now a quiet bubblegum pink.  I link arms with the girl who’s smile tore my heart from my chest. Now eye to eye she is grotesque.                  I whisper to myself—
I was here once.
I was here.                                                                  I turn once more to see my picture fall from its place on the wall. A child runs past trampling it into the dust.

Kimkoa 2018

Black Sheep

You should try falling from grace, it feels better than staying neat and acceptable inside that empty outline our lovers draw for us—
The thin shape of our childhood by accident.

Black Sheep

I see you there with that fat, dumb baby of hers
and something in your eyes…?
That should be enough, except you have to win this don’t you?
I would rather swim through an ocean of mistakes than settle for a world like yours.

Is this what makes us enemies?
When you fall to your knees I stare at black branches.
I am transfixed by how they reach across the sky like wild arms waiting to hold me—
It’s funny falling in love and failing miserably every time.
It’s funny over bottles of beer.

You should try falling from grace, it feels better than staying neat and acceptable inside that empty outline our lovers draw for us—
The thin shape of our childhood by accident. Who knows? Perhaps you have already fallen and landed in front of me half dead, blind to your own ruin.

It’s ghastly when the air stops moving and the smell of everything fills my head and I’m suddenly screaming without sound.
You could never understand that.
While you’re out in the world I can see the fat girls with too tight shirts and too tight bras
and too tight gazes.
I pity them.
I pity you sometimes.
One had blue ruffles like a doll’s dress all down her front,
mascara eyes leaking.
Why this sad reality without explanation?
She was like a stuffed bird—
It made me sick and I had to stare deeper,
past the pretense because I can’t ever let go of the lies people tell each other as if they believed them…
Like a platitude that brings joy
despite an unalterably human condition.

I would rather shrink to almost nothing than fill a space with the absence of what I could be.
I would knock my bones against bars of the cage of my body.
I would press my tongue hopelessly against the teeth that grin rudely keeping words stuck high in my head.
I would fight to eclipse the ballast of you and your enormous face that won’t leave me alone.
I don’t mind floating.

If I left myself as a watermark on paper would you understand then?
No, no, not you and I couldn’t even have that.
Because death is never what it means to be except in movies. Where no one really dies.
It comes down to submitting and God knows I can’t stand that.
I’d rather drown.

You’re a believer in boxes and pieces of stupid little love songs!
You know nothing of love and I tried to teach you but you threw my words away without hesitation.

Regardless—
And still—
My joy creeps up despite all of this. Despite you and your facades.
It weaves through the pores of my skin.
It lives in a different sort of woman staring back at me.
A woman without fear, her heart like a steam train—
Brown eyes like wells as intense as mine.
I am a child again!
This is my space and there is a lock on the door protecting her and I—
Just we,
No pretenders allowed.
We laugh like magicians, like poets…like little girls.
You become a pest.
She’s made you as small as you were all those years ago—
And the relief is almost unbelievable.
Buzz off shit fly!
My time is fleeting and I’m saving my moments for moments without you.

Kimkoa 2012

Cars

There are quiet moments when tears spring—
burning enough to remind me you’re unattainable.

 

Cars

So.
I am disabled as you turn me inside out, that being your pathology.
And yet I dare to think you suffer knowing I’ve caught you as well.
Fantastic, gleaming sea creature with see-through eyes
helpless on the end of a hook.
Like any little fish.
There is something deliberately perfect about the way you remember the details of my countenance…
and grant me entry into your secrets,
fidgeting like a small child would.
But doing so seductively.

It is obvious how I’ve crashed at your feet
and beyond the embarrassing truth of it there is solace in knowing I am not alone in this heartbreak.
In this realization of not being desired expressly, in fact—
filling up the honor of second choice.
The way my son prefers corn to carrot sticks.
He’ll eat both however.
I would say the same of you.
There are quiet moments when tears spring—
burning enough to remind me you’re unattainable.
I am not clearly, distinctively able to let go of the chain we keep wearing and forgive you for stealing my presence of mind.

I need to get to the place where you are not—
and only I exist passionately,
my true nature no longer concealed and the days that remain a neverending orgasm.
Cheaply executed and completely mine.

Not friends you coward!
They know I see marigolds where your eyes would be and lightning bolts around your face.
Oh unspeakable and nameless shape shifter!
I wish you were real always.
Instead of just stolen moments in cars.

I think I just said it all.

Kimkoa 2012

Easter Baskets

We think we know what defines joy and yet we run through the days at light speeds missing each occurence.

 

Easter Baskets

I kissed you today-
And for a moment it was as if nothing had ever broken.
The sun was all around your face and I felt like laughing.
I wanted to stay there- fixed, encapsulated, unchanged.
The heat of my happiness set off  explosions in my brain and I remembered you- drunk and smiling, dropping the Easter baskets all over downtown.
That day you were beautiful…you even pissed your shoes!
We think we know what defines joy and yet we run through the days at light speeds missing each occurence.
You’re sleeping now and I check and check
and check again, to see dark hair strewn across a pillow,
and one foot out of the covers,
While the stretch of your arm reaches out over my absence.
I want to pull you out of the bed and onto the floor.
I want to hold your face and cry out now!
It is now and we may not always have it!
Just today the cymbals were crashing and I’ll stay up all night to feel this in love.

Kimkoa 2010

 

Banana Milkshakes

I will read you every word so you will know I’m smart like you are will you stay with us I won’t be loud I need you even though you have to go

Banana Milkshakes

Foam the milk with fruit it’s not as sweet as I was hoping can we add some ice-cream please I had a dream that you were gone don’t ever leave us pink and red I wore the shirt I know you like and maybe if I watch you closely I can stop the clock from ticking I will read you every word so you will know I’m smart like you are will you stay with us I won’t be loud I need you even though you have to go I’m still not ready it’s ok I know you love us give me reasons to accept the way it is and has to be I need a hug don’t change or grow I love you mom I love you mom I love you
just
the
way
you
are.
Kimkoa 2010

Tight

Have mercy, tornado smile
Wild animal mouth, ferocious

Tight

Oh hell yes, what a show
Gristle, burn black hair falling down
Thick muscle neck, broad shouldered machismo
Damp coal eyes staring
Indecent.
Have mercy, tornado smile
Wild animal mouth, ferocious
Girls faint hard in the aisles
To ride him like a bull exploding.
Good god, hammer arms
Sweet musk stomach pulled in
Tight
Hard legs and a vicious shine from a steel toed boot.
Jesus, even the dykes love him.

Kimkoa 2008

August

We had all summer to fall in love, it happened
at the end of August.

August

You fucked me on top of a mountain
Your tongue tasted like strawberries
Your hair smelled like the ocean
Your face was a sunset.
You called me little sister all day before that.                                                               You made fun of my tits.                           But something happened to the earth and you were turned into my lover.

When you kissed me in the truck I was shaking and you held my arms-
I had forgotten the time by then, I had forgotten my name.
You promised to forgive me so when Hell opened and the Devil flew into my heart I was not afraid of the sound of his voice.
You put your hand between my legs and I kept sighing while we talked about religion.
You said God was someone’s idea of a joke and I secretly hoped you were right…
I’d have believed anything.
We had all summer to fall in love-
It happened at the end of August and when the leaves started turning it made sense that you’d left.

Because
who’d want to witness the onslaught of winter?
Or the hush of the woods when seasons retreat?
Or the space that is left when innocence vanishes?
…or the ashes of a teenage girl?

Kimkoa 2008