UTENSILS


i am the plott
hound of hell
and hunger


and want


which tumbles
and folds, folds


and


never cleans


all my folly
splayed on
a riddled plate


portioned—


as if to measure
thing with thing


picking my teeth
with a fork,


i pray this weakness
i suckle on
no sin


i am a sickly
pale-pink


from whence
comes my pardon,
covered
in soot


twisting
knuckles,
hands


you become void


as I beg for
absolution


and choke like
swallowing teeth


all those moments
we gave breath
we orphaned—


to the cavernous
dark, the wild


gorging
our children
whole


redeemed
and then—


vapor


without even
my fill


you are abysm


i survey your
delicious throat


and


i guzzle you
with my
straw—

never sated

"Utensils," K.E.B.
"Fleet of Winter White," K.E.B.

"Fleet of Winter White," K.E.B.

RELATIVELY SPEAKING


the truth is not
an absolute thing,
I said


head cocked
to the side, too
long and still—
as if to hold frame


and I’m not talking
in abstractions or
Capital letters


any more
than I ever am


I said,
the truth
is relative


as you draw
from the deck,
measured—you
finger the Ace


You choose.


not the name
of an ex-lover
when you swear
you heard it,


swear you
saw it clinging to
her lipstick, harlequin
in its dance—


but the name
itself


And it was never
there in the first place


It evades.


The truth, yes


is the light of
morning in a
snowstorm


when the Sun
itself is a dull,
shapeless thing


something you chose
to believe


like the shape
of your mouth
in the dark

"Relatively Speaking," K.E.B.

Imagine Dragons, “Nothing Left to Say/Rocks” (from Night Visions)

Jewel, “Foolish Games,” (Live, 1998)

I’D SING A CHORUS FOR THE SAINTS, TOO


Slowing to a stop,
I cough


everything smells
like McDonald’s
and car exhaust


As the tires roll,
garish


a strip-tease
to the asphalt,
the taskless sky


a pygmy


your teeth
give you away


Strung out on
the edge of
the parkway
before noon


a harlequin
in the waxing sun


My brakes squeal
like a rusty hinge


When the offering
is passed,


I have no coin
for his hand


and he, no
voice to scream


He stands, boot
straps folded
like the shape
of God’s eyelids,


and
releases his neck
to the Blue Ridge
breeze, now cold


cooling


bites the dust
of the air
for bread,


a vagrant
draped in
tire exhaust


I blink as if
to say “I too
am human”


or “Cover
yourself, my God”


and


boarish, half-wild
he shakes his arm
white like a


cocaine dream


But I mean
nothing


to him, thumb
not even raised


Suddenly,


something sours
inside me, some
poison in this
crisp mountain air


My stomach
knots at his
lack of shame


or the fullness
of mine


I accelerate,
my feet three
times their weight


“At least when I
want to get fucked
I close the door first”

"I’d Sing a Chorus for the Saints, Too." K.E.B.
"Ether," K.E.B.

"Ether," K.E.B.

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.
Albert Einstein (via quote-book)
Egon Schiele, “Woman in Black Stockings” (1913)

Egon Schiele, “Woman in Black Stockings” (1913)

Fitz and the Tantrums, “Out of My League”

NOTES ON MY MURDER

Siren.
Silence.


I am swimming
in the acid
in my stomach


a blue-lipped
child, finned,
in a cement pool


a puddle of
gelatin and bile


I paddle
without
moving


I float—


God willed it.


Softly I chew
on the color
of darkness


a canker sore
I tongue


and as the
water dries,
I dissipate


A phantom limb
in the sheets, cold


My mouth
is a scythe


my lips…


And suddenly I,


I am swallowing
with chalk in
my mouth


(O, what will?)


The reality of
fear alights on
my tongue,
claw-footed


alongside
the brine
of my tears,
it chokes me


My tongue
a balloon


I do not want
this death, this


no God
could have
willed such


ignominy


Painted in
the bedsheets
of night-sweat,


too afraid
to stir


to bolt the windows,
the door—to mutter
“we are safe now”


fingers arms
supple legs
writhing out


I struggle
against each
misguided step


and convince
myself he is
no prophet


I cannot stand
for it, I will not


Do not cry, china
doll, we are safe


an exposee


the reality of
a hand that bleeds


And still,


my mouth
is a scythe

"Notes on My Murder," K.E.B.

Maroon 5, “Love Somebody”

"Contra Sunlight," K.E.B.

"Contra Sunlight," K.E.B.

BLOOMERS


Once covered
in moss, I emerge
naked—


(lips pale, hair
loose about my
taut shoulders)


My body
unfolding
as if to reveal


some something


to shake to this
quaking sphere,
fruit-bat wings


yes yes
I am a goddess


hell-bent
against


the flow
of the tide


In front of
this clouded
mirror,


I stand,
beaded in
drops of silver
(like something
painted, yes)
as if to burn


in effigy


O, purity
to bathe in it


skin all beauty,
white like rigid
mountain peaks


like you in my hands.


We exist
WE EXIST,
the thought


A mere tremble
in the night, the
soft breath of
a dying child


a whimper


no yes

I was a goddess


but I died.


That shadow,
amber-musked
and tickling
my bare nose


the black lace
floating…


(O, how she must
have worn it
like a virgin
playing pin-up)


…it darts at me,
sharp pain
in the abdomen


(a miscarriage)


A nightgown
hanging on the
back of the door,
neck broken


like something dead


I walked in
on a suicide—


It’s just blood,
I tell myself, just
blood


I bite my lips
for taste


but sense nothing


The blood is not mine.


My head floating
atop the water


in the mystic
green of night


like a child’s
beach ball, limp
and hot air


and


I purse my
lips like a
dead fish


and grasp for
my jeans amid
the lipstick, the
Chanel


…the floating relics
of beauty queens


I frenzy as
the water rises


Where is the body?
Whose?


I wish I had
the words


I wish I had words


to speak—


The blood is mine.


And as I twirl
in a dizzying
not-drunk


I gather my things
and wish…


I’d never left
behind the soft
girl in bloomers

"Bloomers," K.E.B.