Blood Clots | Poems that Suck

The 'feminine mystique' is
a river of wine-red blood
which flows like rivers
from between my rolling
thigh.

Of contractions in my
belly which wrack my
body so that it is 
bent doubled in upon
itself. 

Of pillowy tissues
tearing from my uterine
walls, slipping from my
vagina like boneless baby
squid.

Congratulations. 

You're not a daddy. 

Beloved: A Poem for Palestine | Poems that Suck

This is the poem that won the Anita McAndrews Poetry Award

There’s a funny story behind this poem:


It was written in January of 2017 – 1 month after I returned from Palestine the first time. It is the product of a class assignment: I had to write a Psalm using non-traditional language and non-traditional versing. I was PISSED that I had to write this (if any of you know me, there’s two parts of the Bible I cannot stand – Psalms and anything Paul wrote). I put it off for a week, grumbling and bitching about having to do it. I was, additionally, experiencing a major depressive episode at the time and just didn’t have the energy to do it. So the night before it was due, I sat down and wrote this.


Funny how life works out, huh?

You can read it here or below:

Beloved:

You called me to the ends of the Earth,
the place where your breath sighs,
so that I might suffer to find
brotherhood.

I met you at every step, the ochre
Judean sands gritting between my
toes as I tried to match you;
heel to toe.

Your spirit whipping my hair, as
I traced the desolate crescendos
of the South Hebron Hills in the dying
winter light.

I have known the fragile weight of you,
destroyed, in my open arms as despair
swallowed me on the rocky shores of
the Kinneret.

Heard your voice transform from singing
in a sumptuous Arabi to the shrill scream
of terror as I stood, useless, on the rooftops:
Al-Khalil.

I have seen your face in its forms of hurt
and healing; bruised purple, smeared with
blood, swollen; the gift of a crazed soldier
or settler.

Smelled the acrid stench of burning wire,
choking me, stinging my eyes as I trudged
knee deep in filth to bring your children
to kindergarten.

Beloved:

You have called to where my heart throbs
thrice: Fal-a-steen -and I can’t ever hope
to rid myself of the land, the people, or
the life.

You invite me, now, to receive you in
the fruit of the vine, to fill myself
with your sacrifice so that I might match you
heel to toe.

The Untraveled Path | Poems that Suck

I have a photo of a place I love, 
 took it before I even knew you existed;
  a pathway drenched in the golden, afternoon light
   which lead to a small cluster of fragrant orange trees. 

We stood at that very spot once, 
 many years later and took a photo together.
  It's long gone but I remember it; 
   you arms were wrapped around my hips

Holding me delicately, as if I were a treasure.
 I was turned slightly, curled in the warmth of 
  your shoulder, eyes closed as you kissed the
   side of my head, on the temple, so sweetly. 

Every time I look at that photo,
 I imagine us there - ghosts of love
  that never blossomed, but had always stayed
   sweet - and I smile at what could've been.

Olivewood | Poems that Suck

We snuck into the church's gift shop in
 hopes of escaping the oppressive summer heat.
  They had an air conditioner, which felt delicious
   on our sweaty skin and sunburnt shoulder blades.

Trying to look inconspicuous, we pretended
 to shop, so the clerk wouldn't catch on and
  throw us out. You were looking at something intently
   and when I came to see, you extended your hand to me.

In the bowl of your palm was a perfectly carved,
 polished olivewood heart. I turned my palm skyward
  to see if you would offer it; you dropped it into
   my waiting hand without hesitation. 

To Swallow the Sun | Poems that Suck

 Your long, thin finger crept
                       like a spider
           up my inner thigh.
 
 "Stop," I hissed through my teeth;
                 a warning. 
 "No one's looking, no one cares."
                and you continued
 your journey up the pale length of my skin.
 
 The pads of your fingertips reached their
                   intended destination
 and I sighed with the delicious feel of them,
 
 as I gazed, heavy lidded, at the sea,
                    head tilted back,
 as if I were swallowing the sun.