In Danger (To Myself & Others)

dagger, bullet, spark between our eyes we watch god’s shape & holler
point against clouds the body made the news last night as television
flickered static wrong inside each mouth some evidence of grace
summer of judges hearing sworn me another state commitment
without power bill of right winged birds &institutions piling up again
& repetitious new addition from the days of medic’s tourniquet to
noteworthy the piano sounds in seconds tempo in the dayroom

treatment placed complexity unplanning this our triggers were two
wound up bodies fearing god & self this adult units stint acute as look
I keep from glint of whiteboy’s sudden strike my body blocking the
flailed dagger from youth’s face then crotch heap that the cops search
stole from my delusions to the flesh a fresh assault

the sheetless twin now turned you kept your praise & worship &
your love as antithetical the common space around our dim the light
switched plastic furniture & bruise my shin kicked handprint & my
eyes as beautiful your confidence & vocal tones

the likeness of my friends who held me two weeks in the clutch
their gentle fingers kissing god into my disappearance


on the wing of warning sings now shoeless in borrowed cloth a week or less
along the road you flip the script & hear the lessons in my wrist
you teach me music months after they flipped the badge
& they said I was lot’s wife in my loitering outside the hospital
trying to find a safe ride home no turning back
the blueboys came

& I will always be in cuffs & deep cut tracks the blue restraints
down to the bone—what I’ve unknown as point of view again

third person gone to lunch & war


I can’t sleep or be here now
the hallway’s crevice tight beside myself my quiet mattress four walls
taken to the floor this fearful sketch will never be our common ground
but every memory the new gods some recall as nurses cameras monitor
& half asleep another woman barges in the room her body’s overcast
my own

some part time keeper said wake up listen don’t you can’t
sleep in the stark flesh here accidental as my body

what unblanketed & caught

into my unshared room
into my trans extracted double bed
into my flash to solitary & confinement
few days prior


I won’t let anyone bleed out
but on her watch its all wrong
pronouns in her mouth I can’t
even shave my face w/o surveillance
I can’t be trusted
with a tampon

my misunderstood
period then disclosure
but never closure

why do bodies need
occasional reprieve
each eye & fleshy hole so weary
can’t save my ass
from the sockets spark again

this marginal

you must feel
the scumbags
in our wake & wave


this misinterpreted revival
& the bible held adjacent to
your flood inside a little room
& one cot over an uncomforting

new patient who deepthroats
another damn banana between meals & twice now
for gratification never knowing the true root word for affection
(much less mine)

what’s graspless we can’t fully know
what has ungrasped us now a hand that shakes
holding the lost ones felt
of worn down wash-tip marker

I am over 100 letters
I can’t read


can’t say or save
our names & you
can’t fully see
me hurling pills
& hurling caution
signs across embodied huddle

I flail the yellowed plastic at the tech unfold my rage

behavioral to them


this anger we wait to open our pockets with nothing left we never
steal what turns to shard the pointless spoon or cuddled styrofoam no
knives or strings or rings just research & a patients song again on the
piano my jointed yet disjointed lyric tucked inside your pockets lint

you gave me shoes that first day & I felt more than enough more than
some man the state turned out into a glasshouse with one soft tree
along the distant yard your kindness and the landscaper you kept
inside your steady hands the mouth misread as eyes and bad

words I said
some hedges
kept too crisp
you noted everything

in a black moleskine
you opened

let me read the pages


the days we prayed barefoot along the cafeteria’s woodgrain
the cherry stained & table free body that opened as the corner

when I close my eyes
three times each day
I croon to hum
I still remember you

how we stared after the throat held at the freeway
how we were so damned determined once again to feel alive

when mornings rose our fists up as the moon as what comes back what’s
leaving behind those teargassed lids then tears & rage along the
blueboys shoulders flashes and everyone I know plus me’s all acting up
& spiraling down again I’ll know you deeply

just after a few days
when I’d circled salted soundtrack parking lot street-fulls
our overlap of holy words
when I paced the halls
as protests every hour


every breath a revolution
these moments small
as weary back
in a clear cell
each morning
that we called the eye
and its attention
wasn’t gone
but rootless
as another’s
nuit blanche


& nothing free

the way eves swell
I speak in crosswires

I am limited

I am limited
to the memorial
of language


I’m lucky when I realize that the staff can’t understand me if I speak
French I’m so lucky that I disappear & you don’t know me as the maple
road only as heady tongue vibration pills as ominous communion rolled

beneath the wafered tongues

we play our sole possession
& the house goes crazy flipping dominoes

we never were the lepers but your mind
kept writing home

your notions sin—do you remember
when I fed you cilantro from my fork
that one calm in the cafeteria
the shuffle tender as you laughed

& we both laughed your bible off
as joy again
a moment
when my mind
stopped jumping itself
off the roof


two months now the piano held
those powerlines I’ll end
this trauma’s war & I’ll return
the institution’s plastic

liminal now & then forget
just for a moment
what pissed me off

the metal toilet
& the bad photos
of trees we couldn’t touch less keep
despite this prolonged glance

I heard you
& your body’s
meditative bowl


The small of hours after transport took me out I asked what drained
you too

stolen as we enter
this contact nebulous

I see you
now & again

keep in mind
our blown glass knees

what healed & prayed your body into silence
mine in stillness

without fear along god’s grain

I hope you
hold what’s close
take notes

on passages

the words another’s voice pitched wrong
& you let go of

the queer inside you held like terror
held onto the bible by your bed


I hope you return home
& recall worship music
praise we played those hymns
I hope you better yet possess your own piano

I hope your future boyfriend drums
better than I could on the psych ward stools

that you keep the naked ear
from way back when
we tuned the furniture awake
or at least that when the music swims

you back to you again
that if all else you feel

what braided sound
from keys to hands

each open palm as psalm
& what moves past

beyond the throat

I hope you hold
the notes so long
the sound unblocks
each door you know

your future possible
as a newly unbarred window