(I don’t miss him.
I miss our what-would’ve-beens, the
future I don’t get to have. The shoebox
apartment in Asheville, a tiny book-record-coffeshop-club beneath,
sitting on the drumset during a concert, kisses
between songs, the snow melting
between his blonde eyelashes, his nose nestled into the
crook of my neck while we lay,
entangled, on the hardwood floor in
only our socks. The lakehouse
in New York, morning serenades on a wooden dock
with black coffee, him taking Auden out on a little
canoe with his guitar. Three children.
Mountains and valleys and
making them toys and never not having a hand to hold
and fucking in the bathroom of that amusement park,
and crying into his salty shoulder and
him plucking the stars out of the sky for me.
Is it possible to miss
a life I never
I can feel it when I’m away from you,
separated by this island’s length. I can
see you in my dreams and yet when I
reach out my hand, it swipes through
thin air. I hear you laugh or someone
will call your name and I’ll react. Such
a blatant move to see if you are stood
behind me somewhere in the crowd… but
you never are. You are still miles away
and out of reach. Come back and heal me.
I’ve had enough of this sickness, I need
to find home. Find where you are.
as i look at the cherry blossoms
an image of you is painted before me-
your veins wrap around sturdy branches,
spiralling off into bouquets
& i see in the flowers the same compassionate pink
of your cheeks, framed by dimples that
i always try to summon with a joke.
but all the same, your smile, that sweet mellow smile,
it seems now so far away?
so two dimensional? so cardboard?
your aroma manufactured and your spirit
stifled. you are so beautiful
and yet so inhuman. instead of eyes you have
i suppose this is all i could hope for
when the cherry blossoms i gaze upon
are mere pixels on my
13inch LCD screen.
Natalie’s note: A startling mix of the old-fashioned and the postmodern.
of a pilgrimage,
an apocalyptic Travel Lodge,
looking for the land between the rivers,
Tigris and Euphrates.
Crippled oil war draftees,
haunted by Paradise,
and dreams of ever more,
we’re slinking toward Babylon
abandoned in desert wars,
past slot machines
and moneyed whores.
We’re the nerve gas warriors
guarding stainless steel kitchens,
ending gas price bitchin’,
sending the sand men twitchin’,
to keep Vegas twinklin’.
We’ll rout the rag,
protect our swag,
and that’s no brag.
See our flag.
© Jude Dippold, 2013
And the church bells rang through the chill of the morning
The fog had settled
And I was in the doorway
I stepped into the sacred terrain
And the walls rushed in to embrace me
And I cried
A family of three.
Carved to perfection.
as the sun. Lit up
two candles by their sides.
Smoke builds up
like spirits flying
up to heaven.
The air: breezed
jasmine scent dancing
Perennial scene of a new
along blocked ears.
that ceramic Caucasoid
God would hear him.
The air breezed jasmine scent;
s fall as p
A perennial scent
of a new week: his life
is a novena.
(God hears him…)
My sixth grade teacher told me
If I lost weight
Someone might love me someday
It’s been going downhill since
I can count 23 knots on my spine
And feel dangerous in red
I was told
I would make
A striking boy.
My best friend died two years
I think I still haven’t cried for her
I can be happy
But sad looks good better on my skin tone
I’ve never fallen in love with the sea
It’s as petty as a pretty girl
(Nearly as fickle)
I shudder when you speak
I could sleep for a thousand years
But I’m cold and the hunger keeps me awake.
I’ll never let you go
Love is like being chained
My birthday will pass unnoticed
Being lonely taste like
i’m scared of him because he’s pretty and
he knows what love is and what it isn’t and i don’t
and he’s so pretty and i lie through my teeth
i tell him he’s
and i don’t even know what perfect looks like
the closest thing to perfect i’ve ever seen is
the curve of his spine but
he’s got a razor sharp smile and
he hides knives behind his teeth
he thinks i don’t see it but i can feel it,
i cut my tongue on it and copper fills my mouth
i tell him he’s perfect and i don’t even know what perfect
feels like i only know what it feels like to have your
stomach free fall through your body i only know
what it feels like to have his hands on the small of my back
and is that close enough? is that close enough?
“you’re a cutter too, your words are like razor blades—”
are you bleeding yet? because i am, i am
Less than the sums of rising sun
scattered across heartfelt millennial,
new dawns to strip the teeth from
bloody gums and the blistered knuckles from
A fist is so much less
than purple puckered lips,
drained from blue veins in an abandoned
The nation is a pink light on the ice,
and if she dies this morning,
it will not be with the sighs for all her coming
root canals and bursting barfights,
southern summers on drowning coastlines,
but with the worn-through eyes of a pierced vein.
She will not use the blade he gave her
on a soft Christmas morning while her bruises pulsed
and her teeth ached
and they watched the endless sunlight.
She will use the northern snow,
and the time between someone noticing a flash of red,
a hearty scream,
and the time it takes to discover
a unmarked person in a serene niche
who doesn’t wish to be found.
Daguerreotype girls are all children,
dressed in white bows atop silky black hair,
more often than not clutching to
I was born at a county hospital,
and I never had the good grace to know what
forceps feel like on an infant head,
but I creak yet.
If I was a woman in sepia I would
clutch to a baby girl and slice my arm
with keen silver-tongued letter openers,
jab out my tired eyes with knitting needles
rather than my breathtaking rapier,
slim to deliver liquids wailing in my skin,
push the doctor out from under me,
I’d be a caretaker yet.
Daguerreotype women are stern-mouthed beauties,
but I would be hidden away high or burned
alive for a mad woman’s witchcraft,
and I more than likely wouldn’t live to see the disappointing photograph.