Poet & Thief

Calcium Ca, 20


She tells she me she doesn’t leave her room much anymore.

Is sleeping, cannot stay awake,

Cannot remember if she dreams.


I picture her hair, how she pushed it back

from her cheek, hair she no longer has.

Shut my eyes tight and I can see


the way the sun spilled on her floor, smell

autumn in her hair. Shut my mouth and I can taste

the milk of every word she’s swallowed


to protect me from this.  She never told me

life could feel like drowning,

holding my breath, no shore in sight.


She never told me knowledge could feel

like shards of coral

buried carefully under skin.


She never told me sadness

could cement my heart,

each new sorrow thicker than the last.


All I know is that our bodies betray us.

And in the end, as we leave

are teeth and ash, love and bones.



One thought on “Poet & Thief

  1. Bravo. Well done. It reminds me a bit of a Maggie Smith Sonnet…

    Good Bones
    by Maggie Smith

    Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
    Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
    in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
    a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
    I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
    fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
    estimate, though I keep this from my children.
    For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
    For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
    sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
    is at least half terrible, and for every kind
    stranger, there is one who would break you,
    though I keep this from my children. I am trying
    to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
    walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
    about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
    right? You could make this place beautiful.


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